Television viewers throughout Europe watched nearly 50 million hours of the UCI Road World Championships (23-30 September) on public service media, thanks to a partnership between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
47 million hours of cycling action from Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria, were watched on free-to-air channels in 20 countries across Europe. Overall, the event was aired in 53 European countries, with coverage provided by Eurosport in non-free-to-air countries.
Viewers in France (France Televisions), Italy (Rai), the Netherlands (NPO), Belgium (VRT & RTBF) and host country Austria (ORF) watched the most coverage.
The Men Elite road race (30 September) enjoyed an all-time viewership record with fans watching a total of 21.5 million hours on EBU Members' free-to-air channels.
The race attracted peak audiences of over a million viewers in both France and Italy and over 500,000 in Belgium and the Netherlands.
In Flemish-speaking Belgium the race had an enormous 60% share of the television audience while in the Netherlands, Switzerland and French-speaking Belgium over 20% of television viewers were watching the race.
The Women Elite road race (29 September) was also broadcast on 53 countries across Europe including 18 territories covered by EBU Members, with peak audiences of between 500,000 and a million viewers in the Netherlands (NOS), the UK (BBC) and France (France 3).
Figures show that the Women Elite race attracted a larger audience in Europe than any other female race during the season (with the exception of the European Championships in Glasgow).
Additionally, the 2018 UCI Road World Championships were broadcast in almost 100 countries around the world, confirming the 8-day cycling festival as one of the most viewed road cycling events of the year.
“These figures demonstrate the popularity of our Championships with fans throughout the world,” commented UCI President David Lappartient. Thanks to a combination of challenging courses, thrilling races, a spectacular setting, enthusiastic fans and excellent TV production, our event has reached new heights in Innsbruck and I am sure that it will enjoy the same success in Yorkshire next year.”
"The EBU is very proud to have played a vital role in delivering such impressive viewing figures for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships" said Stefan Kürten, EBU Executive Director of Sport. We are fully committed to offering the UCI, National Federations and event organisers the best platforms and the best services ranging from production to distribution to engage with all audiences across Europe."
Sources: EBU, Nielsen