The Tour de France begins Saturday in Utrecht, and NBC has again released its online and mobile products to enhance viewers’ experiences. “We want this to super-serve the fan and be a one-stop shop,” Kevin Monaghan, senior vice president business development of NBC Sports and NBC Sports Digital, said of the application.
New for this year, NBC partnered with TourTracker, a leader in online race coverage, to create a product that will likely be familiar to cycling fans and has also been proven easy to navigate.
The desktop and mobile versions are exactly the same in terms of core features, and little has changed from last year. “We are always looking for ideas from customers, but there is just so much here,” Jack Jackson, vice president product development of NBC Sports said. “We are getting on that border of usability and not quite sure what the next phases of things would be, but we continue to look for angles.”
NBC gave VeloNews an early look into both the mobile and desktop versions of the application and from a live-viewing experience, the desktop version was a highlight for us. In the desktop version, the amount of content the viewer has access to on one screen is impressive. The viewer can see the live video of the stage as well as live GPS tracking of the peloton and breakaway on both a map and profile version of the stage and a list of riders.
Additionally, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), owners of the Tour, provides written play-by-play commentary during the stage. The mobile version only allows the viewer to see the live coverage, and not all of the other data at the same time. Even though the desktop version costs more, it is worth the price, considering the experience is better than watching on a normal TV, provided your internet connection streams video fast enough.
Screen size appears to be the limiting factor in the mobile version, but TourTracker founder, Allan Padgett doesn’t see it this way, “The web experience is meant to really be just a live experience, whereas we expect people to use the [mobile] app as a guide they are carrying around all day.”
NBC works closely with ASO to post results within minutes of the last rider finishing the stage, and new this year, the viewer will be able to get updates in real-time of riders abandoning the race and the reasons for abandonment. Also, included in NBC’s Tour de France live product are stage replays, photos (including the timing photo from the finish), commentary, and interviews after the stage has ended.
The short videos produced by NBC during the Tour are available without purchasing the application and can be found on the cycling page of nbcsports.com.
Online App: $29.99 (one-day stage pass available for $4.99)
Mobile App: $19.99
NBC Network Television Schedule
All times Eastern (EDT) and coverage shown on NBCSN unless indicated otherwise
* indicates primetime coverage on NBCSN 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday, July 4, stage 1: Utrecht (LIVE) 7 a.m. – Noon
Sunday, July 5, stage 2: Utrecht to Neeltje Jans (LIVE) 7 a.m. – Noon*
Monday, July 6, stage 3: Antwerp to Huy (LIVE) 7 a.m. – Noon*
Tuesday, July 7, stage 4: Seraing to Cambrai (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Wednesday, July 8, stage 5: Arras to Amiens (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Thursday, July 9, stage 6: Abbeville to Le Havre (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Friday, July 10, stage 7: Livarot to Fougeres (LIVE) 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, July 11, stage 8: Rennes to Mur-de-Bretagne (LIVE NBC) 8 a.m. – Noon
Sunday, July 12, stage 9: Vannes to Plumelec (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Monday, July 13, rest day: 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Stages 1-9 Highlights)
Tuesday, July 14, stage 10: Tarbes to La Pierre Saint Martin (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Wednesday, July 15, stage 11: Pau to Cauterets (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Thursday, July 16, stage 12: Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille (LIVE) 6 a.m. – Noon*
Friday, July 17, stage 13: Muret to Rodez (LIVE) 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.*
Saturday, July 18, stage 14: Rodez to Mende (LIVE) 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Sunday, July 19, stage 15: Mende to Valence (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Monday, July 20, stage 16: Bourg-de-Peage to Gap (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Tuesday, July 21, rest day: 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Stages 10-16 Highlights)
Wednesday, July 22, stage 17: Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Thursday, July 23, stage 18: Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (LIVE) 8 a.m. – Noon*
Friday, July 24, stage 19: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire (LIVE) 7 a.m. – Noon*
Saturday, July 25, stage 20: Modane to Alpe d’Huez (LIVE) 7 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, July 26, stage 21: Sevres to Paris (LIVE) 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.*