Published on July 6th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson0
Your definitive Apple TV guide to watch the Tour de France
It’s time for the 105th edition of the Tour De France. 26 tough climbs across six mountain ranges, three mountain-top finishes, and two-time trials will test the limits of the riders’ endurance and skill which begins Saturday and lasts for three weeks.
33-year-old British rider and four-time tour winner Chris Froome returns to defend his title after being cleared this week of doping, but it’s more debatable than in previous years if he can repeat. With more competitive teams and the addition of two cobblestone paths in a brutual stage nine, unpredictability is sure to be the norm this time around.
Before we get to explaining the various ways to watch the Tour on Apple TV around the world, here are a few important links to enhance your viewing this year…
How To Watch Live
This year there are 36 streaming and 43 over-the-air, cable or satellite broadcasters licensed as the official broadcasters for the Tour de France. Many of them are licensed to be both types so the chances are good that if you have a pay TV subscription or a TV provider login you will have access to live, and in many cases, on-demand content through their associated apps on Apple TV.
Not every geographic region will have Apple TV apps to air the Tour de France. We recommend you check online with your local provider to determine if they are an official broadcaster and if they have an Apple TV app for viewing.
The entire list of official streaming broadcasters geographically is shown below…
Here are all the details you need to know to watch it live on Apple TV in various countries…
NBC Sports is again the on-air and streaming home of the tour in the U.S. but unlike previous years, no stages will air live on local NBC affiliates. Instead, all coverage will be on NBCSN with extended coverage to those wanting to subscribe to the NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass package for $50. The advantage to the Pass is an ad-free world feed of extended coverage (example: Stage 1 on July 7th at 4:40 am ET versus 6:00 am on NBCSN) or the NBCSN feed with Phil Liggett & Paul Sherwen. The NBC Sports Gold app is available through the Apple TV App Store for free.
For those wanting to watch the standard TV coverage, NBCSN is available through its own Apple TV app using a pay TV subscription and its TV provider login. NBCSN can also be seen live on streaming services like DirecTV Now, Fubo TV, Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, or PlayStation Vue through their associated Apple TV apps.
Some weekend stages will air tape-delayed on local NBC affiliates Saturday and/or Sunday. Many of those can be found on all of the six streaming services listed above. You’ll need to check the websites of those services to see if your NBC affiliate is available.
The NBCSN TV and streaming schedule can be found at this link.
Coverage can be seen on ITV4 in Great Britain. This year is the ninth time ITV4 has screened daily live coverage and extended highlights of the Tour, with a total of 70 hours of live cycling to be shown during the event.
Live coverage will be available every day (here’s their schedule link), with a one-hour daily highlights show at 19.00.
It’s complicated to watch the Tour on Apple TV in the races home country. France TV Sport – which is owned by French Televisions that also owns the main over-the-air channels Channel 2, 3, 4 and 5 – has exclusive streaming rights, but has no Apple TV app.
France Channel 2, France Channel 3, and RTS Un (the public broadcaster for the French-speaking Switzerland) will be broadcasting the Tour on their main broadcast channels which can be found through the free streaming service Zattoo in France and their Apple TV app.
Eurosport – one of the largest pay-TV sports networks in Europe – has always been cycling obsessed so it’ll be no surprise that they’re all in for the Tour, whether you have a local broadcaster providing coverage or not. Eurosport will produce more local coverage of the Tour de France than ever before with fans in France, Germany, Sweden, UK and, for the first time, Poland, receiving dedicated local production of the race. International coverage will be available in a further 49 markets across Europe.
Even better, it’s all available on the Apple TV Eurosport Player app, but you’ll have to subscribe for a fee.
The Eurosport Player will include six additional live camera streams, five motorbike cameras following every move in the peloton, plus a finish line feed. Viewers can also enjoy uninterrupted and ad-free coverage, exclusive Tour de France programming and full catch-up service of every stage.
The Eurosport broadcast schedule can be found at this link.
Here is a list of other international broadcasters with Tour de France broadcast rights that have Apple TV apps and their web-based links…
DENMARK & NORWAY – TV 2
GERMANY – ARD
NETHERLANDS – NOS
LUXEMBOURG – RTL
SPAIN – RTVE
SWEDEN – TV4