Wednesday 10 December 2008 at 01h44

The French radio station for news, talkshows and sports, RMC, which in 2005 became the official advertising caravan radio station for the Tour de France, will no longer be able to use that title from 2009. On 3 October the station received a letter from A.S.O. in which the Tour de France organisor (among other sports events) ended the negotiations to renew the 3-year contract which will end this year.


RMC at home for the start of the Tour de France 2009

At the start of the Tour de France 2009 RMC will thus stay at home in two ways: first of all because the station has its roots in Monaco (when it started in July 1943 it was called Radio Monte-Carlo) and because the Tour de France 2009 will start in Monaco, but also because it will no longer be part of the advertising caravan.
RMC in the Tour de France 2008, we can clearly see on the car that this is the 'radio de la caravane du Tour'
RMC in the Tour de France 2008, we can clearly see on the car that this is the radio de la caravane du Tour

In Le Figaro of 4 December Franck Lanoux - RMC's director - says We have a good and long lasting relationship with ASO since seven years now. RMC indeed follows the Tour de France since 2001 for a live broadcast of no less than 7 hours, from 2PM till 9PM and furthermore became the official radio station of the advertising caravan of the Tour in 2005 (for 60.000€ per year).

The end of the contract: due to competition between Amaury and RMC or not?

On 3 November Michel Moulin introduced, together with Alain Weill, a new sports newspaper (in which football has a very important place) called Le 10 Sport. Alain Weill is the owener of the company NextRadioTV which is the mother company of RMC (and of the radio station BFM and of BFM TV) and which also owns 19% of the shares of Le 10 Sport. Furthermore RMC Sport (the radio station's press agency) provides about 12 pages per day for this new sports newspaper.

Le 10 Sport is thus a direct competitor of L'Equipe which is owned by the Amaury Group. The Amaury Group therefore introduced a new sports newspaper on the same day which is based on the same principles (lots of football, published daily and priced at € 0,50) and which is called Aujourd'hui Sport (in line with the name of the Aujourd'hui en France newspaper which is also owned by Amaury) in addition to a big advertising campaign for L'Equipe.

Maybe RMC was thus banned from the Tour de France advertising caravan due to the competion with the Amaury Group, even though RMC's managing director doesn't really believe that. In Le Figaro he said: I can hardly believe there's a link between those two things.

A.S.O. also indicates there's no lonk and its new vice president, Yann Le Moenner, told Le Figaro : It has nothing to do with that. So far we had several partners around the Tour de France, including Europe 1 and Radio France. We decided to move forward with a single partner. A.S.O. indeed came up with a tender for such a new partnership and justifies this decision based on the situation in French radio land which has changed.
The fact that RMC will still be a partner of the Marathon of Paris, which is also organised by A.S.O., more or less confirms this explanation and excludes the possibility of some sort of revanche due to the competition on sports newspapers.

RMC will probably not participate in this tender because the radio station has already found a new destination of the money which was reserved for this partnership: the station's marketing in areas where it just recently started broadcasting on the FM band and where it is thus looking to win some market share from the previously existing radio stations. Furthermore, RMC can of course continue to broadcast the Tour de France and thus end the existing contract without the listener noticing this.

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Tour de France | Tour de France 2009 | Marketing


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