CBS Sports To Provide National Exposure for Tour de France Finale

This Sunday, as the athletes of the 2010 Tour de France roll into Paris to complete their 2,600-mile journey, they will receive some national exposure on CBS. From 1 to 2 p.m. ET, CBS Sports will air an hour-long recap show highlighting the final stages of the three-week stage race. Different from the live daily coverage seen on Versus throughout the 23-day event, this show will have more of a feature-film feel to it.

“We build the one-hour show more like a movie-type recap,” says Harold Bryant, VP of production for CBS Sports. “It differs from the Versus coverage, which is live every morning showing the different stages. Our show is a recap, and we try to put a little drama into it.”

CBS used to produce its own coverage of the Tour de France separate from the Versus broadcasts, but, in recent years, the national show has become a time buy. Versus produces the hour-long highlight show, but CBS Sports coordinating producer Vic Frank is on-site in France to ensure that the show has the proper look for CBS’s broadcasting needs and to integrate commercials and other promotions into the piece. In past years, when CBS did air its own coverage, Frank oversaw the broadcasts, spending six summers in France as a side producer alongside the Versus team.

Although CBS no longer produces the weekend coverage it once did, keeping one of cycling’s most important races on the network is important for both parties.

“It’s important to us, and it’s important to the Tour de France,” Bryant explains. “They feel it’s important for their sport to get that national exposure, at least on the final day.”