No Vuelta on OLN

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14 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"OLN has decided not to air the Vuelta a España this year. Instead of announcing this on their cycling schedule page, the news is broken on the OLN forum (scroll down to OLN moderator's post):

""Sorry to disappoint.

I'll clarify.

There will be just one 1-hr. Vuelta show.

There will be no daily coverage.""

An AP article (quoted in another thread) about the Tour stated that ""OLN was watched by 1.37 million viewers during the race's final stage, Nielsen said. On a typical day this year, the Outdoor Life Network is watched by an average of 56,580 viewers -- barely enough to fill a baseball stadium."" Still they decided that not enough people are interested in cycling to make it worthwhile to air the Vuelta.

As I've said before, Lance ad nauseam doesn't mean more cycling coverage."

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
There is an online petition to save the Vuelta on OLN

"Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition:

""Full Broadcast Coverage for the Vuelta a Espana ""

hosted on the web by, the free online petition
service, at:

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
signing yourself.

Best wishes,

Anthony Poole

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

Thanks, Anthony. Since one of my main reasons for subscribing to digital TV was to be able to watch bicycle racing, it seems like this is another race I should see.

Anonymous's picture
Gary Katz (not verified)
Vuelta Petition

I was number 8231 to sign the petition. Within seconds, two additional signatures had popped onto the list as well.

I previously wrote to OLN-TV on my own, expressing my dismay. I asked them to at least provide a preview, two rest day recaps and show the final stage!

To give credit where it is due, I learned of OLN-TV's decision in one of the daily news columns on favorite cycling website.

Anonymous's picture
Gary Katz (not verified)
Petition to be on

I sent word of this petition to Ed Pavelka responded and said they will mention it in their next issue

Anonymous's picture
Joel Sperber (not verified)
OLNTV Coverage

Had serious withdrawal when the Tour ended. I need more enablers, sign the petition for the Vuelta - quick and painless.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Adding insult to injury

"OLN is only showing a one-hour recap of the Vuelta. But when is the show scheduled? Prime-time or the weekend? No. Wednesday, October 27, at noon, a month after it's over. (See OLN's new schedule.) How many people will care enough to watch or tape it then?

No, forget the Vuelta. What's really important is on tonight: THE FINAL WRAP-UP EPISODE OF THE LANCE CHRONICLES!

OLN has probably exceeded their cycling budget for 2004, throwing so much away on the stupid Lance Chronicles, Road to the Tour, and Al Trautwig, that they decided there's nothing left for real cycling after the Tour. Please show that you are a fan of bicycle racing by signing the petition. I am going to send OLN a letter also, but signing the petition is painless and only takes a few seconds. Thanks."

Anonymous's picture
Fixer (not verified)
Fine with me...

I was perfectly happy back when the only US cycling coverage was Sam Abt's column in the Times. I have OLN, but never watch it. Can't imagine spending dozens of hours sitting in front of the TV, watching someone else ride their bike.

I'll take the old Wide World of Sports condensed programs over this long-winded OLN stuff anyday. The whole Tour can be summed up in an hour's footage - do I really need to see long stretches of the peloton riding tempo, NFL-style computer generated graphics, and all the details on Lance's water bottle cages? Just show me the break, the rivals suffering behind, and the winner crossing the line.

So, let's scale back the cycling coverage, Mr. OLN, and give us some more real sports, like moose hunting!

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
OLN blew their Vuelta coverage...

by filming and supporting the Cutters in the TDF

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
But at least they were dropped!

Yes, the Cutters was possibly one of the worst pieces of TV I've seen in this country. At least they didn't make it beyond midway through the second week of the Tour.

It's possible that OLN may have blown its cycling budget this year, but with the kind of viewing figures they get for the grand tours, I would have thought that it would have been a compelling argument to make to potential advertisers.

Personally, I don't understand the fascination of watching a duck being shot. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all, with the possible exception of seeing one being shot in sunshine, and one being shot in overcast conditions.

Maybe if OLN realised this, they would get more than their normal audience of around 56,000. The TdF had audiences in excess of 1m. While it would be unreasonable to expect the Vuelta to generate as many viewers, I am sure it would get more than the 56,000.

Please sign the petition (see links elsewhere in this thread).

Maybe with Discovery Channel getting involved, OLN might have some competition next year in the coverage of professional road race cycling.


Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Official Statement from OLN

"From the OLN forum:

""Thank you for your feedback regarding the 2004 Vuelta a Espana. Your opinion is very important to us. As the television home of professional cycling, we are constantly working to bring fans and viewers the top cycling events from around the world.

""At this time, we will not be televising the 2004 Vuelta a Espana live. We will present a wrap-up program of the race on October 27 at 12 PM ET/12 PM PT and are currently researching alternative ways to present the race. We are committed to growing cycling's popularity both in the U.S. and abroad, and it is our hope that we can increase coverage of the Vuelta in future years.

""Again, thank you for your feedback -- and your continued support of OLN.""


Anonymous's picture
Eden J. Weiss (not verified)
Very disappointed with no Vuelta

Dear NYCC cycling and OLNTV fans, I had to weigh in on this.I did not miss one second of the Tour de Lance and loved every second of it! I also loved the Giro and the spring classics and the Lance chronicles( as i was thrilled to see him apply chamey cream to his butt pad).Seriously though, it took me 2 years to complete the process of getting Directv for my 88 unit co-op in Brooklyn. I first got on the co-op bd.,then had to sell DirecTV as an option to the other bd. members,then find a company willing to install two big dishes on our roof, then guarantee about a 30% sign up rate for the company. I did it all for my paassionate love of watching the finest endurance athletes in the world display their talents on their beautiful expensive machines! Now no Vuelta! I want my daily dose of Phil and Paul back! I proudly signed the beatifully articulated petition and added a lengthy comment( as you could imagine)to it. Time to go to sleep now; I have to get my rest for the 24 hr. non-stop Olympics coverage, while sqeezing in my own cycling laps around Prospect Park( the best place to train in NYC).See ya out there.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Reason for the Vuelta decision


OLN's network president explains why he decided to drop the Vuelta: ""The cycling community is passionate, and we're glad they are vocal,"" he said. ""If we could have done something to make it work, we would have. I wish the cycling community counted as more rating points than it does. But for three weeks, devoting the hours and coverage and manpower, predicting the return we would get.... We realize this event is a crown jewel for the cycling community, but in all the years it's severely underperformed in its time period. Frankly, so does the Giro, and everything else other than the Tour.""

Harvey said in another interview, ""We are the home of professional cycling on television,"" he said. ""We love the fact that Lance has brought so many eyeballs and attention to the sport of cycling. But it’s not just Lance."" Mr. Harvey, OLN's presentation of the Tour (All Lance, All the Time) and decision about the Vuelta belie your words. As for me, OLN, Out You Go!

(I forgot to mention that there were over 15,000 signatures on the on-line petition. I didn't think there would be even a third of that. Thanks to all who signed!)"

Anonymous's picture
curious (not verified)

so, let me get this attempts to provide more domestic programming than ever before on cycling while still responding to the profit imperative. rather than being supportive, some would toss out the proverbial baby with the bathwater...what the previous writer did not mention was that OLN had lost money televising the vuelta and other races in previous years and could make more money televising some hunting program instead(perhaps an indication of the state of the american psyche?). since advertisers drive specialty channel programming based on their desire to reach eyeballs, perhaps we should be castigating the nikes, treks, subarus, gm's, etc of the world for not being more supportive of cycling rather than OLN that just wants to rake in the bucks, i mean dollars. or, maybe we should just blame lance for having so narrow a racing focus.

Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)
Tyler at Vuelta!


Phonak leader Tyler Hamilton will contest this year's Vuelta a España, according to a Marca report. The American, fresh off a gold medal performance in the Olympic time trial, will look for grand tour success after a disappointing Tour de France derailed by injury. The Vuelta begins September 4 in León.

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This makes OLN's lack of coverage even worse!


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