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Thrills, spills and lycra: tuning in for the Tour de France

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 – March 2013 (n = 4,904).

With the 2013 Tour de France starting this Saturday night (AEST), cycling fans around Australia are bracing themselves for some serious sleep deprivation. Despite live broadcasts of the race going to air in the late evening and running into the pre-dawn hours, 21% of Australians aged 14+ will tune in at least some of the time, according to the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research.

So who exactly watches the Tour de France? Is it all ‘Mamils’ (middle-aged men in lycra) or does this mother of endurance tests attract a broader audience?

Tour De France Viewers

The Tour tribe

The majority of Tour de France viewers are male (57%); and are most likely to live in NSW (31%) or Victoria (30%). In terms of age, 31% fall in the 50-64 bracket — possibly a good few Mamils among them — with those aged 35-49 and 65+ also comprising significant portions of the audience (25% each).

Tour de France viewers by gender, age and state


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 – March 2013 (n = 4,904).

Interestingly, people employed in professional and managerial occupations are 38% more likely than the average Australian to tune in to Le Tour, perhaps explaining why viewership increases markedly among those on salaries above $130,000.

Of the 3,245,000 Australians who ride a bike either occasionally or regularly, the proportion of Tour viewers is well above the national average, sitting at 37%.

Destination, France

But the Tour de France isn’t just a big-ticket spectacle on the annual sporting calendar — it also influences its audience’s travel intentions. While 8% of Australians name France as somewhere they’d like to spend a European holiday in the next two years, 14% of Tour de France viewers name it as their preferred holiday destination (second only to England). Considering the frequently stunning backdrop against which the race unfolds, how could this be any other way?

Norman Morris, Industry Director — Communications, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Cycling is so popular in Australia these days that it’s rare to see a metropolitan road with no cyclists on it. This popularity extends to the Tour de France, which attracts almost 4 million viewers from around the country. Of course, the participation of our own home-grown champion Cadel Evans provides extra incentive for Aussies to tune in.

“While it’s no surprise that bike-riders are more likely to tune in to the race than the average Australian, the impact of watching the Tour on viewers’ European holiday intentions is an interesting result. Tourism and travel-related businesses need to take advantage of this great opportunity to reach this receptive market in the coming weeks.”

Click here to view our extensive range of TV Sport viewer profiles, including Cycling viewers, our range of Sport Participator Profiles including Cyclists and our Holiday Destination intention profiles including France Holiday Intenders.  These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

Image: Flickr, will_cyclist

For comments or more information please contact:

Norman Morris

Industry Director — Communications

Office: +61 (3) 9224 5172

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%