The 2011 Tour de France starts next Saturday, but it seems that I won't be getting a chance to watch much of it on television. I suspect there may be quite a few other people in my situation.
Last February, TSN announced with great fanfare that it had acquired multi-year English-language broadcast rights in Canada for the Tour de France. At first I thought this was a step in the right direction because OLN had been slacking in its coverage of this race (it was no longer carrying the enhanced presentation of the race in the evening). However, it turns out that TSN has relegated its television coverage of Tour de France to an obscure corner of the cable channel universe called TSN2.
My current cable channel package includes OLN and TSN, but not TSN2. Over the pass two decades there has been a trend in the cable industry where content has been slowly migrating to more expensive cable packages. For years I was getting televised coverage of the Tour de France, now I will have to pay more if I to want watch the same thing. I also wonder why TSN couldn't put live coverage of the cycling's most important race on its main channel. The live feed for Tour de France comes in during the morning hours, hardly prime time.
What's frustrating with all of this is that access to televison coverage of the Tour de France is being reduced at a time when cycling is more popular than ever, there are more Canadians involved in the highest levels of the sport, and there is a good possibility that a Canadian (Ryder Hesjedal) could win a stage or even wear the coveted Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France.