GlobeCast, the subsidiary of incumbent telecommunications operator France Telecom, has provided broadcast coverage of the whole Tour de France cycling race for the 15th consecutive time. The Tour de France is more challenging than most sporting events to broadcast because of the hundreds of kilometers covered, over which competing cyclists are widely spread travelling at speeds up to 100Km/h downhill. GlobeCast vehicles and teams were present throughout the multistage race from July 2 to July 24 delivering live coverage. This included 10 hours of satellite transmissions per day and five hours via microwave for France Télévisions. The mobile units responsible for these transmissions were distributed along the entire course, involving about 30 professionals and technical experts for the length of the race.
GlobeCast's 21 mobile units were stationed on the starting line as well as at intermediate points on the course. Over the final few kilometers, a digital microwave transmission truck, also operated by GlobeCast, broadcast coverage of the arrival at each stage. In addition, footage from helicopters and motorcycles was received at the finish line from the Atlantic Bird 1, Atlantic Bird 2 and Atlantic Bird 3 satellites.
The infrastructure allowed the broadcast of up to 27 simultaneous video feeds to the "hub truck" used by GlobeCast to offer coverage of the entire race.