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190 nations – but not Germany – to see Tour

Nearly 200 countries will watch next month’s Tour de France, but not Germany.

The German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF are refusing to broadcast the race live on German TV for the second year in a row in protest of what they say is too much doping in the sport. German fans will be able to watch the race via the cable channel Eurosport, however, which will broadcast the 21-stage race live across all of Europe.

Tour officials revealed Tuesday that 190 nations will have TV images of the race during the 2011 edition, with 60 channels broadcasting the race live, double the number from a decade ago. Thailand and South Korea are two new countries that will be seeing the Tour on their TV sets this summer.

Tour officials also said that long-term deals have been renewed with the European Broadcast Union, Eurosport Asia and SKY TV (New Zealand).

The day-in, day-out production of the TV broadcast remains in the hands of France Télévisions and six stages this year will be broadcast from start to finish. Also, high-definition continues to make inroads, with some European channels, Versus (USA), JSports (Japan), Sky TV (New Zealand), SuperSports (Africa), SBS (Australia), ESPN Inter (South America) and Canal Evasion (Canada) jumping on the high-definition bandwagon.

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