Watch the Tour de France 2018 Live, without Cable on Your Apple TV

The Tour de France, a summer tradition since 1903 (except for the years during WWI and WWII,) is almost upon us again. The 2018 Tour de France runs from Saturday, July 7, through Sunday, July 29, and will cover 3,351 kilometers broken up into 21 stages. Le Tour fans are preparing to watch the annual bike race, and many are wondering how they can watch their favorite teams live, without cable, on their Apple TVs. To catch all the coverage we're hoping for, we'll need to know the Tour de France schedule, who's providing Tour de France TV coverage, and which streaming providers offer that network. Let's get started collecting all the information we need so we're ready for Tour de France 2018! 

Related: Apple TV: Your Complete Guide to Setting Up & Streaming On-Demand Content   

Tour de France Schedule, Stages & Route

July is traditionally Tour de France month and, as mentioned above, this year the race begins on Saturday, July 7, and ends on Sunday, July 29. The race switches back and forth between a clockwise and counter-clockwise route around France, with occasional dips into neighboring countries. This year will be a clockwise one, with riders beginning in the seaside town of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île and finishing at the Champs-Élysées in Paris. For full details about the route, including maps of every stage, click here. For a printable PDF of the route map, click here.  

Le Tour de France TV Coverage

tour de france 2018 schedule

Image Courtesy NBCSN

For those of us in the United States, Tour de France TV coverage is provided by NBC, and will be divided between NBCSN, NBC Sports, and the NBC Sports Gold app. For a complete schedule of all NBC Tour de France coverage, click here.    

How to Watch the Tour de France 2018 without Cable

Since the Tour de France will air on NBC affiliate channels, I wish I could tell you to download the NBC app for free on your Apple TV; but sadly I can't. The NBC app requires you to enter a code from your satellite or cable provider to start streaming, so cable-cutters can't use this app. There are other options for cord-cutters to watch Le Tour live on Apple TV, though. Let's go over several of them below, so you can decide which one works best for you. 


Tour de France Live Stream with Sportsnet NOW

Sportsnet NOW is only available for those lucky Canadians out there, but I want to mention it as it's such a great option for catching all 21 stages of the race, live. With features including HD broadcast, split-screen viewing, 24-hour rewind on select channels, and even on-demand programming, I'm more than a bit jealous of Canadians right now.

tour de france live 

Compatibility: fourth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: $24.99 per month.

Pros: Month-to-month subscription, cancel at any time before subscription renews. 

Con: Only available in Canada.

Watch the TDF on NBC Sports Gold

You don't need a cable subscription to log into the NBC Sports Gold app and watch the Tour de France, but you do need to purchase a Cycling Pass. With the Sports Gold Cycling Pass you can view all the stages live and on-demand, whether at home on your Apple TV, or out and about on your iPhone or iPad. For hardcore Tour de France fans, this would seem to be the perfect purchase, especially since it comes with an entire year of cycling coverage. However, I'm reluctant to fully recommend this option as the NBC Sports Gold app scores an underwhelming 1.3 stars for its app store rating. 

nbc tour de france

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, fourth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: $49.99 per year.

Pros: Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing.

Con: Complaints about difficulty loading, login issues, and low-quality streaming and playback.

Stream the Tour de France with fuboTV


Compatibility: fourth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: Seven-day free trial, $44.99 a month after that.

Pros: 75+ live channels. 

Con: Channel availability varies by region.
FuboTV is a TV-streaming service with a heavy focus on live sports. The basic package, Fubo Premier, offers more than 75 channels of content that includes NBCSN. For $11.99 more a month FuboTV will give you Fubo Cycling, six channels of cycling content that comes with comprehensive Tour de France coverage. 

To sign up for FuboTV and find the Apple TV app, click here.

Tour de France Live Stream with Sling TV 

tour de france bike

Compatibility: fourth-generation Apple TV.

Cost: Sling TV Orange Plan, $20 per month, Blue Plan, $25 per month, Orange and Blue, $40 per month.

Pros: Seven-day free trial period with no commitment.

Con: Channel availability varies by region.

Sling TV is an à la carte streaming TV service that allows viewers to pay far less than a cable subscription would cost. Customers can choose Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or both. As an added bonus, Sling offers a Cloud DVR option for $5 per month. This way you can record all the stages and watch them later if you have work or family plans to accommodate. If you purchase Sling Blue at $25 a month you have access to all the TDF channels: NBC, NBC Sports, and NBCSN; but offerings vary from region to region. Make sure all three channels are available in your area. 

Here are step-by-step instructions to help you find and install the Sling TV app on your Apple TV. 

Top image editorial credit: Radu Razvan /

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.