Jumbo-Visma boss: Netflix Tour de France series is a ‘must’ for growth of cycling
'Whether teams get one Euro or a million Euros, it doesn't matter. It’s about the value that this brings for the longer-term,' says Plugge.
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Jumbo-Visma general manager Richard Plugge has confirmed that the Dutch team will be part of the proposed Netflix Tour de France docu-series, with the boss of Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert also calling the project a game-changer for the professional world of men’s cycling.
VeloNews ran an exclusive story at the weekend that outlined a number of key details relating to the series, including the exact teams currently involved, why UAE Team Emirates had declined to be part of the project, and that the eight-episode series is set to be aired in May 2023.
“We can confirm that we are involved and it’s our policy to be transparent as a team,” Plugge told VeloNews via phone on Sunday evening.
“We want to give insight into cycling and to the fans. This fits with our strategy and the documentaries that we’ve made in the last few years. This isn’t so much about us and more about the sport and the Tour de France. We can’t miss this because it helps the sport reach a new and bigger audience.”
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Documents seen by VeloNews indicate that the eight teams involved in the series would each receive a share of 500,000 Euros, with Netflix picking up the tab for the entire project.
On Saturday, Patrick Lefevere confirmed that his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team would also take part in the series, but the veteran team boss voiced concerns over revenue. Lefevere indicated that the money earned by the teams would need to substantially increase in the future if his squad were to carry on with future Netflix projects.
Plugge didn’t fundamentally disagree with Lefevere’s statements but he pressed the idea that the series would open up men’s professional cycling and the Tour de France to a whole new audience. Along with that, the series would also provide a huge amount of exposure for teams and their sponsors.
The documents seen by VeloNews indicate that Netflix has a subscriber base of 200 million customers.
“In my role as the president of the AIGCP (Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels), I welcome the work together between the stakeholders and the teams because I believe that together we can create synergies and a better world for pro cycling,” said Plugge. “That’s really needed, so together we can create that platform. That’s why Netflix is interested and why we can create a big show for the big fans.
“Not only does this work for the international brands involved but also the more regional sponsors. The reach will be high, even in a specific region, and that’s going to have a big impact. For every team it’s interesting.”
He continued: “We shouldn’t look at the Euros but the value that this could bring to the sport. There’s a lot of things to change, and my vision would be to change the sport drastically and radically and have a better series at the top level.
“This Netflix idea fits with this. Whether teams get one Euro or a million Euros, it doesn’t matter. It’s about the value that this brings for the longer term. This is about the teams, and the Tour de France working together to make a better world for our sport. We’re going to open our doors as cycling teams and show that we’re transparent and that it’s a good and honest sport.”