KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The explosive growth of cable sports networks over the past two decades has helped to bring cycling to American fans.
Just this week, folks with the right television package could wake up early and tune into beIN Sports to catch live coverage of the Giro d'Italia, one of cycling's three grand tours. Then in the afternoon, they could flip to the NBC Sports Network to watch live coverage of the Tour of California, which has grown over the past 10 years into the marquee U.S.-based stage race.
In Europe, just about every significant race is carried on TV. Until just a few years ago, those races were rarely beamed to America.
The Tour de France did not become regularly available on U.S. television until the late 1990s.