Saturday, July 7, 2012

Is it just me or is cycling getting more popular in the US?

I got up at my normal 5:00am to watch the Tour, but when I switched to NBC Sports Channel, there was no Tour.  It took me a bit of investigation to realize that they were showing the Tour on NBC.  I'm pretty sure that this is the first time that NBC broadcast a stage of the Tour that wasn't the final one.  This makes me wonder: is pro cycling getting more popular in the US, or is NBC just trying to make pro cycling more popular in the US?

Nowadays, either NBC Sports Channel or Universal Sports show pretty much every major pro race, including the 3 grand tours, the Tour of California, the Pro Cycling Challenge, the Dauphine, the Tour of Switzerland, and quite a few other races, either in whole or in excerpts.  This could be because so many people in the US are clamoring for cycling coverage, or it could be a nefarious plot by NBC to try to get us hooked on the sport by feeding us a steady diet (kind of like a drug pusher!)

Either way, I did a bit of searching online to see if I could find out something about the ratings that all this cycling coverage is getting and couldn't find anything, so I guess the question will still remain in my mind: is NBC Universal showing so much cycling because of customer demand, or are they showing so much cycling to try to generate interest?  I hope it's the first, but either way it's a great time to be a fan.

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