Tour de France organisers ASO have confirmed that a documentary series, in partnership with Netflix and France Télévisions, is on the way with the eight-part series on the 2022 Tour set to air in early 2023.
Filming on the production will run from March of this year through the Tour in July. Eight teams have signed on to take part, though the UAE Team Emirates of two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogačar will not be included.
AG2R Citroën, Alpecin-Fenix, Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education-EasyPost, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma and QuickStep-AlphaVinyl will all be part of the series, which will be broadcast in 190 territories around the world in 45-minute episodes.
"We are proud of this partnership with Netflix, France Télévisions and the Tour de France teams, which will offer fans a unique immersion behind the scenes," said ASO managing director Yann Le Moënner.
"Through a narrative approach, which is additive to the competition itself, the public will be able to discover how the Tour de France represents the ultimate challenge for the competitors; in particular in terms of suffering, pushing their limits and team spirit.
"This project is part of our overall ambition to make our sport more accessible and meet an even wider audience."
Quadbox, a joint-venture between Quad Productions and Box to Box Films – the latter producers of the F1 'Drive to Survive' series, will produce the series.
Reports that a series in the style of 'Drive to Survive' would be coming to the Tour began at the start of March in British newspaper The Telegraph. The F1 series, which has so far run for four seasons on Netflix, boosted viewership by 53 per cent after its initial run and it is hoped that cycling would respond similarly.
The benefits to the teams taking part have yet to be confirmed, though Cyclingnews understands that each of the eight teams would stand to gain a €50,000 fee.
EF Education-EasyPost boss Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews that he thinks teams, organisers, and the sport alike would all reap rewards from the series.
"It almost pains me to say this, but I think ASO is actually helping the sport in general with this project and I'm on board with that," Vaughters said.
"Their media rights contracts around the world are based on viewer numbers. So, if cycling as a sport becomes more popular, the Tour de France will become more popular, and therefore their viewer numbers will go up, and therefore their media rights contracts will go up. So of course, they'll benefit."
UAE Team Emirates had confirmed that the team was approached to take part in the series. The squad, along with other leading teams Bahrain Victorious, Trek-Segafredo, and Movistar, won't be in the new documentary at this point, but didn't rule out future participation.
"It's true that UAE Team Emirates, like several other teams, were approached to participate in the show. However, the terms for being protagonists for the first season were not agreed," UAE Team Emirates told Cyclingnews.
"We like the general idea, but we're not pressured to rush into anything. The door is open for participating in the future."
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