How does the Tour de France make it to your TV?

Tour de France

Long-time readers, or followers on my Twitter account, will know of my huge love of the Tour de France. Every July I run myself ragged staying up all hours to watch the race live, and having fun on the #tdf and #sbstdf Twitter hashtags.

If you’ve not yet succumbed, have a look sometime. Yes, it’s a sporting event, but it is also one of the finest long-play travelogues you’ll ever see, and there’s plenty of interest for history buffs, geography nuts, and watchers of wacky humans (the roadside spectators, not the riders).

Over the course of three weeks and over 3,000 kilometres there are often breathtaking images of French countryside and architecture, as well plenty of sports wonder and drama. Cameras on motorbikes, helicopters, and cranes at key points of each stage of the race. As you could imagine, broadcasting all of this to the world is a massive exercise in organisation, and technology. This excellent article, How the Tour de France is broadcast to the world, from the Cycling Tips website takes a look at just how these images make it from the Tour de France course to our warm, comfy and very flat living rooms.