Without Lance Armstrong and the Tour de France, the Outdoor Life Network would be in a pickle. Its primetime programming during the 49 other weeks of the year tends to consist of rodeo and fishing, with ratings that make The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch look like Friends. This being Lance’s final Tour, OLN is not missing a beat getting its money’s worth from the perpetual maillot jaune. This year’s telecast is replete with product tie-ins and obligatory references to Lance approximately every five seconds. The broadcasters, including the indomitable Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin, are clad in L.L.Bean shirts and fleece jackets. AMD and Trek have a segment to show how they build Lance’s bikes. OLN also lets its commentators shill their own Lance-related products. Former Tour rider and official Friend-of-Lance Bob Roll, who shuns the faux French by calling the race the “Tour DAY France,” hosts a Tour 101 segment tied to his instructional guide, Tour de France Companion 2005. Even Lance’s longtime coach Chris Carmichael is hauled out every night to add his two cents on Lance—and shill his line of training programs and nutrition books.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey
Credit: PR Newswire/Newscom