With Lance Armstrong Back, Tour de France Ratings Jump

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With about half of the race completed, Versus’ coverage of the Tour de France has seen its ratings soar — all linked to the return of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

After the first 10 stages of the race, the network’s key live morning telecasts have rocketed 77% to an average 479,800 viewers — from 270,400 over the same period a year ago.

All key male demographics have significant improvement, with men 18-34, gaining 85%; men 18-49, a 132% hike; and men 25-54, a 98% climb.

Versus has also improved on ratings against the previous time Armstrong made an appearance in the race in 2005 — the last of his seven victories. Average viewership for live morning telecasts is up 15% to 479,809 against 418,866. Plus, viewership among all key male viewing groups has climbed — men 18-34, gaining 6%; men 18-49, 15% higher; and men 25-54, improving 8%.

One caveat that contributes to some of the rise: Versus is now in 75 million homes, as compared to the 60 million subscribers of a few years ago.

via MediaDailyNews.

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