Responding to northernmost grand départ of the Tour de France ever, race organizer ASO hailed the three days in Denmark and what it says was “a popular craze that exceeded all expectations.”
The Tour began Friday with a time trial in Copenhagen and continued with road stages to Nyborg and Sønderborg. According to ASO, approximately two million Danes traveled to watch the race during that period, one-third of the country’s population of six million.
The TV viewing statistics were also very positive, with Danish television channel TV2 recording an unprecedented average market share of 78 percent during the first three stages. It said that this market share was up to 86 percent at times, with a peak of 1,100,000 viewers recorded for the finish in Sønderborg.
“It has been a fairytale for us at TV2 to experience and to cover the Tour de France’s visit in Denmark,” said Frederik Lauesen, Head of Sports at TV2 Denmark, in an ASO media release on Tuesday. “We know that the Danish people love the tour, but the incredible interest from the team presentation in Tivoli Gardens to the stages in our country has after all surprised us in a very positive way.”
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Lauesen said that the viewing figures are “extremely high” and that was something the company never expected. “The images of the streets and roads full of enthusiastic crowds literally all the way from start to finish will remain with us forever. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in many ways and we are equally proud and humble at TV2 to have played our part in this.”
ASO released key figures from the first three days of the race, noting that:
- TV2/TV2 PLAY was in contact with 2,362,000 Danes across stages and studio broadcasts. It said that this figure represented almost a doubling compared to the interest seen for the Tour’s first three days last year.
- The first three stages were seen by an average of 767,000 Danes (viewer shares from 72 percent to 86 percent) and at the end of the third stage, the number of viewers peaked with 1,095,000 Danes following the final sprint through Sønderborg.
- The stages were the most viewed opening three stages ever, and for all Tour stages, ASO said it needs to look back more than 10 years to find similar levels.
- On TV2.DK & apps, the interest was also overwhelming, with the first three days of the Tour de France content showing a quadrupling of traffic compared to previous years.
Julien Goupil, the head of media and partnerships at ASOwelcomed the statistics.
“The audiences of TV2, historical partner of the Tour (since 1989) are absolutely exceptional and confirm our desire to make the Tour de France accessible to as many people as possible by broadcasting it on free-to-air generalist channels in Europe thanks to the partnership established with Eurovision Sport.
“These impressive results in terms of audience concern both the broadcast of the live feed of the first three stages and the traffic on TV2’s digital platforms, which has quadrupled. More than ever, the race has attracted crowds, either on the roadsides or in front of TV. A market share of 78 percent on average… never seen before.”
This year’s grand départ marked the 11th time in the past 20 years that the race began outside France. Within that period, the Tour began in Luxembourg (2002), Belgium (2004), Britain (2007), Monaco (2009), the Netherlands (2010), Belgium (2012), Britain (2014), the Netherlands (2015), Germany (2017) and Belgium (2019).
Next year’s race will begin in Bilbao in the Basque Country. Given the well-known fanaticism of the Basque fans, another successful grand départ seems very likely.