ARD signs off on Tour de France rights extension

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

SportA, the sports-rights agency that represents ARD, has sealed a fresh contract with Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation covering the 2017 and 2018 editions of the event. The deal was reported in TV Sports Markets 21:1.

ARD said it plans to offer daily live coverage of the 2017 Tour, which runs from July 1-23. It will ramp up this coverage for the ‘Grand Depart’ as the German city of Düsseldorf plays host to the traditional opening of the event on July 1-2.

Daily live streaming of the Tour will also be provided via the sportschau.de platform.

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.