29 June 2012

How to watch the 2012 Tour de France

TV coverage and online links to watch the Tour
The Tour de France begins tomorrow, get ready to watch 3 weeks of fast racing and beautiful scenery. Do you want to know where and when to watch the coverage? Some suggestions include:

European countries
TV Schedule for the 2012 Tour de France
21 Broadcasters around the world will provide coverage of the Tour de France, see the full list and links to video at Steephill.TV (scroll to the bottom of the page) www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france/. See the Eurosport TV Schedule. Also Tour de France on TV; TV broadcast schedule compiled for you by Paddy Sweeney at VeloPeloton.

United States 
Live (and taped) TV coverage schedule of the 2012 Tour de France - NBC Sports Network (cable) (EDT)
Saturday, June 30 Prologue: Liege to Liege, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 1 Stage 1: Liege to Seraing, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network; Recap show, 4 p.m., NBC
Monday, July 2 Stage 2: Vise to Tournai, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Tuesday, July 3 Stage 3: Orchies to Boulogne-sur-mer, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, July 4 Stage 4: Abbeville to Rouen, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, July 5 Stage 5: Rouen to Saint-Quentin, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 6 Stage 6: Epernay to Metz, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 7 Stage 7: Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles, 8 a.m., NBC
Sunday, July 8 Stage 8: Belfort to Porrentruy, 8 a.m., NBC
Monday, July 9 Stage 9: Arc-et-Senans to Bescancon, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday, July 11 Stage 10: Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, July 12 Stage 11: Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles, 7 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 13 Stage 12: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davezieux, 6:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 14 Stage 13: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Le Cap d'Adge, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 15 Stage 14: Limoux to Foix, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Monday, July 16 Stage 15: Samatan to Pau, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday, July 18 Stage 16: Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon, 6:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, July 19 Stage 17: Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes, 7:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 20 Stage 18: Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 21 Stage 19: Bonneval to Chartres, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 22 Stage 20: Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Elysees, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network; Recap show, 1 p.m., NBC

Live (and taped) TV Coverage schedule of the 2012 Tour de France - NBC (network channel) (EDT)
Sun, July 1 Stage 1 Liege-Seraing 4-6 p.m. ET Tape
Sat., July 7 Stage 7 Tomblaine-La Planche des Belles Filles* 8 a.m. - Noon LIVE
Sun., July 8 Stage 8 Belfort-Porrentruy* 8 a.m. - Noon LIVE
Sun., July 22 Stage 20 Rambouillet-Paris Champs-Élysées 1-3 p.m. ET Tape


Online Live coverage - on your computer
If you want to watch the race on your computer you have two choices based on your personal schedule. If you can watch the race during live hours - watch for free. If you cannot watch Live, then pay for on-demand, or watch the short recap video links provided by Steephill.TV for free (usually 3-10 minutes long).

For free online live (and recorded) coverage - both Steephill.TV and Cycling Fans compile the best online links for viewing. They will usually indicate where access is restricted, and in what language the audio commentators will speak. Steephill.TV also compiles the best list of articles and videos, before and after each stage, with good photos after.

For paid (Live, on-demand, tracking) web video you must purchase viewing rights through NBC Sports (with a MapMyRide account and a social network sign-up), join NBC Tour de France LIVE powered by MapMyRide for $29.99 for the entire race or $4.99 per stage.
Apps - watch on your device
In the USA, the NBC Tour de France LIVE app is sold separately from the web application. Search for it on your phone (app image below). The cost is a whopping $14.99.
Tour de France app is $14.99 for your phone
The tracker app for iphone, ipad, Android (restricted regions) is this one (app image below), called the SBS Tour de France Skoda Tour Tracker 2012, download at thetourtracker.com/. SBS is the Australian broadcaster.  
Also TOUR DE FRANCE 2012 presented by ŠKODA By Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O)
Google Play ☛ http://goo.gl/Xh9Ms App Store ☛ http://goo.gl/K9nJg

Live Text updates
For interesting written updates/commentary follow Live Update Guy (live text updates), Steephill twitter updates (steephill text updates), or CyclingNews.com text updates.
Twitter: If there is any one person I would recommend following on Twitter it would be Aussie Edy Budicin @edbud68, he sorts through and offers the best he finds out on the web and on Twitter - he will point you straight to the good stuff without wasting your time. Also the team is producing Backstage Pass videos that should be fun and informative throughout the tour. Maxime Monfort  is also worth a follow, so is Robbie McEwen , Manuel Quinziato , Jens Voigt @thejensie and Paul Sherwen @PaulSherwen. VeloPeloton will bring you great local photography of the Pyrenees @velopeloton. And of course, please follow me @karenrake. Or see a general list of riders and teams on Twitter at Who to follow at the Tour de France - Riders & DS.
Watching the TV coverage, and the race approaching, on l'Alpe d'Huez in 2003  Photo by PedalDancer.com/Karen
When to watch - Time Schedule: 
The first rider in the Day 1 Prologue will start at 14:00, the last rider will finish at 17:25. Most standard Tour de France days expect the Caravan to begin around 10:20am, the riders to start between 12:00 and 12:30 and finish shortly after 17:00. If you live in New York (EDT) NBC Sports Network will begin broadcasting between 6:30 to 8:00am, each stage should finish between 11:00-11:30am. For fans viewing in MST the stage finish should be between 9:00-9:30am, PST 8:00-8:30am will be the approximate finish time each day. 

Pedal Dancer tips for viewing the Tour de France: 

Record the race if you can to watch later in the evening after work with your family (but avoid all social media and twitter unless you want the finish spoiled). 
If watching live online, scan Steephill.TV for links and keep 2 different browsers open. When one channel goes to commercial you will not miss out on race coverage (or scenery), try listening to the race in another language. Also the timing, clarity or camera angle is often different depending on the broadcaster - I look for the best option.
If you really want to know what is going on in the race, also read live text coverage by CyclingNews.com. They often give better news on rider positions, time gaps, and breakaways.
I like viewing the daily stage information provided on FrenchTV http://www.francetv.fr/sport/tour-de-france/direct