Tour de France broadcaster NBC Sports will be closing down at the end of 2021, raising questions about future coverage in the US.
The cable network will stop all operations at the end of the year and will transfer sports rights from major events to a sister network, but no specific mention of the Tour has been made.
According to a report from CNBC, NBC Sports will switch sports media rights, including events like the NHL, NASCAR and the Premier League to the USA Network, which reaches a higher number of homes than NBC Sports.
The network owns rights for events organised by ASO, which includes the Tour, the Vuelta a España, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, until 2023 and a contract to air the UCI Road World Championships each year.
NBC Sports owner NBCUniversal is also expected to transfer some of its broadcasting to its new streaming service Peacock.
According to an internal memo, reported by CNN, the move is to make the USA Network “an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media market place.”
NBC Sports broadcasts live racing on TV and online commentated on by Phil Liggett and Bob Roll, with analysis from Jens Voigt and Christian Vande Velde, along with highlight shows.
The NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass is an online subscription available to cycling fans which gives them access to live streams of their favourite races.
Racing fans can also access some of the other biggest races via live streaming service FloBikes, which covers events like the Giro d’Italia, the Tour of Flanders and the cyclocross calendar in the USA and Canada.
In the UK, Tour de France coverage is provided by Eurosport and ITV, which both offer extensive live coverage of every stage, which Eurosport provides coverage for the rest of the major races on the cycling calendar.