ARD pedals on with Tour de France – report

German public-service broadcaster ARD has agreed a two-year extension to its rights deal for cycling race the Tour de France, according to SID.

The German news agency said ARD has sealed a fresh contract with Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation covering the 2017 and 2018 editions of the event.

In January 2015, ARD returned to broadcasting the Tour after signing a two-year deal covering the 2015 and 2016 races. ARD and fellow public-service broadcaster ZDF had stopped showing the race live in 2012 after temporarily halting coverage during the 2007 Tour due to doping scandals in the sport.

Contacted by SID, ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky said he could not confirm an extension of the agreement.

The Tour de France is set to hold its ‘Grand Depart’ in Germany this year as the city of Düsseldorf plays host to the traditional opening of the event on July 1.