The 2017 edition of the Tour de France kicks off this Saturday, July 1st and runs through July 23rd. Despite millions of fans, it’s still difficult to get good coverage of the Tour if you’re a cycling fan living in the States. Back in the day, watching meant setting a VCR to record a cable channel early in the morning. Coverage still isn’t great these days, but with bigger cable packages and internet streaming options it has gotten better. Here’s how to watch the Tour de France this year.
Tour de France on Cable
NBC Sports and the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will broadcast the Tour in the US this year, at around 7:30 AM EST every day. In addition, if you’re a NBC Sports subscriber you will be able to log into the NBC Sports app on your phone, tablet or computer to watch by using your cable login.
Traditionally, cable coverage of the Tour has been largely truncated. Four or more hours of racing are condensed into 2 or fewer hours of highlights. NBC appears to have finally heard from cycling fans, as this years schedule shows Tour de France coverage dominating the morning schedule, running from early morning into the afternoon with a replay each night at 8PM.
Tour de France for the Cable-Less
For viewers without cable, NBC will offer a streaming service again this year. Live-streaming times for the Gold plan differ from the normal cable times, so make sure you check online if you want to watch live. Full replays are available on-demand, though, so missing the start isn’t a big deal.
The NBC Sports Gold plan costs $30, and you can sign up for just the cycling package here. They added more races this year to the package, beyond the Tour de France, so it’s becoming a great streaming deal. You get ad-free coverage of the racing, plus bonus features like race previews, highlights, GPS tracking, interactive maps, rider biometrics, and live time trial results for every split finish line.
Non-NBC Tour de France Viewing
If you don’t want to give NBC (Comcast) your hard earned money, fuboTV is offering a special 40-percent off discount for the next two months. That makes it the cheapest streaming service for watching the Tour. With fuboTV you can watch on your smart TV, phone or computer. The service is month-to-month, so cancelling is easy enough.