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ITV extends Tour de France deal to 2015

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ITV has extended its TV rights deal for Tour de France until 2015.

The broadcaster will continue to offer live coverage and highlights of the premier cycling event on digital channel ITV4.

Under a deal with rights holder the Amaury Sports Organisation (AMO) finalised on Monday, ITV will also extend its digital and online coverage around the Tour de France from this year.

ITV controller of sport Niall Sloane said: "ITV's coverage of the Tour de France has a terrific reputation with viewers and sports fans and I'm delighted that, in one of the most exciting periods for British cycling, we have secured coverage on ITV4 until 2015."

In summer 2001, ITV paid £5 million to secure the TV rights to the Tour de France, after they had been dropped by Channel 4.

The coverage has proved popular, and the audience for ITV4's highlights of the 2011 Tour de France, in which BBC Sports Personality of Year winner Mark Cavendish secured the green jersey, was up by 33% year-on-year.

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