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Vaughters calls for sharing TV revenue

Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters

Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters (Image credit: Casey B. Gibson)

Jonathan Vaughters has called for race organisers to share television revenue with professional cycling teams in a bid to improve the stability of teams. The comments come on the back of ASO’s – organisers of the Tour de France - stance to keep revenue from television streams and as Highroad’s Bob Stapleton struggles to find a lead sponsor for next year.

“Cycling is one of a few professional sports where the athletes aren’t part of the revenue sharing of television rights. The business model for teams has got to change in order for the sport to change and become successful in the long term and that means the teams becoming partners with the race organiser and not necessarily just their minions,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

In contrast the English Premier Leauge shares its television revenue with clubs. In May, The Guardian confirmed that at least £37 million would secured for the league’s bottom club, while higher earners would receive over £20 million more. It’s estimated that the league generates around £1.2billion over three years.

Bloomberg reported that the Tour is broadcast in more than 180 countries, and receives about 60 per cent of its income from TV rights.

“They’re not going to give up their television rights or share with us, they have no interest in a revenue sharing model but at the end of the day if the sport wants to be successful that’s what needs to happen,” Vaughters said.

“The greater question is why is their survival completely dependent on a decision of finding a sponsor? Why is the business model of cycling so ridiculous that no matter how successful a team is or its great history, it’s dependent on a sponsorship. If the sport wants to improve across the board it has to change and have a more stable business model.”