German public TV dumping Tour in 2012

BERLIN -- Germany's main public television stations say they will stop carrying live coverage of the Tour de France in 2012 because doping scandals have diminished the event to "low acceptance" by viewers.

The ARD and ZDF television channels say they won't join a new European Broadcasting Union contract with Tour organizers ASO.

The channels say the race's standing among viewers no longer justifies long periods of live television -- though they say they will continue to report on the event.

They will carry live coverage this year under an existing agreement.