France Televisions locks up Tour

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PARIS -- Gallic public TV group France Televisions will broadcast the Tour de France bike race through 2013, the group said Monday.

Public service channels France 2 and France 3 have inked a new €23 million ($33.3 million) contract with race organizers, the Amaury Sport Organization, giving the networks the right to air the popular cycling event.

France Televisions also will air other sporting events organized by the ASO, including additional bike races in the territory and the Paris Marathon.

All of these events will most likely be aired commercial-free because president Nicolas Sarkozy's previously announced plan to rid the public service channels of ads is already underway.
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