While Canada’s absence from the race continues for a second consecutive year many Canadians will still look to tune in to the worlds biggest cycling race throughout the month of July. Doing so legally can sometimes be a challenge so here is how to watch the 2018 Tour de France in Canada.
There’s always the last resort of cycling fans seeking to see the Tour de France: dodgy and unreliable illegal streams. These come with pop-ups (occasionally NSFW), the threat of viruses and, what feels much more urgent as the days racing enters the final kilometres, the chance that the feed will skip or freeze entirely. To avoid those free features as you watch the 2018 Tour de France, you’ll have to look for more legitimate coverage options.
In 2018, to watch the race on your television set you will need to be a subscriber to Sportsnet 1 which will be showing all 21 stages and replays between July 7 and 29. Rogers is the sole Canadian rights owner of the race. Replays of the stages will be shown on Sportsnet at different times over the course of the day and into the evening. The replay schedule will depend on Sportsnet’s other programming on the day.
While Rogers has the English broadcasting rights, RDS will be broadcasting the Tour de France in French throughout the 21 stages. The Montreal-based French-language sports broadcaster will have live showings of each stage. On weekends those will be found on RDS while during the week you will find the live broadcasts on RDS 2. The main channel will have replays at 3 pm on weekdays.
For cable cutters in Canada, you will have to subscribe to Sportsnet’s online streaming service Sportsnet Now. It costs $24.99 a month but as the Tour takes place entirely in July you can cancel the service once it’s over. If you do want to watch the Tour on your laptop or mobile device and will be away from your TV set where you already are a subscriber to Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now could also already be part of your TV package. Sportsnet Now is a direct to consumer service available for tablets, mobile devices and online. When you subscribe you get a 7-day free trial so if it doesn’t live up to expectations you have a week to cancel without being charged.
New for this year, it looks like Amazon Prime subscribers also have the option of watching through RAI’s Eurosport Player, which you can access through the Amazon Channels service. Both offer a free trial period, 30 days for Amazon Prime and 7 days for Eurosport Player, so you have another streaming option to try out.
Americans can watch the Tour throgh U.S. rights holder NBC Sports which have the broadcasting rights south of the border. NBC is offering a grand tour specific Sports Gold Cycling Pass for the Tour and Vuelta a Espanã, but it is only available to American customers.
If you can figure out how to convince FuboTV that you’re in America, the online streaming service will be covering the Tour
Due to the time difference to Europe, many Canadians may not be able to tune into the race live. For highlights keep an eye on the Tour de France Youtube channel, and Velon which will have onboard GroPro’s capturing footage from the bikes of partner UCI teams in the peloton. Velon package up these videos into highlights after each stage.
If you want behind the scenes video from the tour keep an eye on Michelton-Scott’s Youtube channel. The Australian WorldTour outfit wrapped up it’s popular Backstage Pass video series after six years, but continued to post videos daily all through the 2018 Giro d’Italia.