American teams to Amaury family: Spread the wealth!

Apparently the Americans are not happy at this year’s Tour de France.

Bloomberg reports that some teams are pressuring the Amaury family, owner of the 108-year-old cycling race, to share television-rights income for the first time:

Garmin-Cervelo, whose rider Thor Hushovd wore the leader’s yellow jersey for the first week of this year’s race, and HTC- Highroad showed their discontent by barring broadcasters from their vehicles during some Tour stages, officials of the two U.S.-based teams said in interviews. They’re normally obliged to open up team cars and buses to TV rights-holders.

Most European competitors support lobbying for some of the TV income from the Amaury Sport Organisation, although French squads are wary of confronting organizers because they risk having their invitation to ride withdrawn, said Jonathan Vaughters, manager of the Boulder, Colorado-based Garmin team. ASO may get as much as $200 million from TV rights, while the 22 Tour de France teams typically have an annual budget of $10 million each from sponsorships, Vaughters said.”

After that bizarre accident involving a rather careless driver from France Télévisions, you’d think the teams would want TV crews to ride along with them, if only to protect the cyclists…

Read more about money and power struggles in the latest issue of Carnet Atlantique.

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