ITV have secured a deal to screen the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship live and exclusively until 2022, the longest contract in the championship’s history.
The British broadcasting giant has screened the series since 2002 and, having screened more than 230 hours of coverage in 2015, have completed a contract to take the partnership into an incredible 20th year.
With the current term concluding at the end of next season, this new contract commences from 2017 and sees the broadcaster continue to screen the series live on its free-to-air ITV4 and ITV4HD channels. At least seven hours of live action will be shown each Sunday at the 10 meetings, whilst highlights programmes will also be shown on ITV4 and qualifying will be live via www.itv.com/btcc.
Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, said: “This is fantastic news and yet more evidence that the BTCC is right at the top of its game. Not only is this the lengthiest broadcasting contract in the BTCC’s history but it’s also the longest sports contract signed by ITV4 – a real testament to the standing of the BTCC, not only in the motor sport world but also within mainstream sports broadcasting.
“ITV’s commitment is second to none – the programme production is first class and to have received a record breaking 233 hours of coverage in 2015 is phenomenal. I’m delighted that our new contract maintains the same quality and quantity of free-to-air coverage right through until at least 2022.”
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “ITV’s coverage of the BTCC for nearly 15 years has borne witness to the growth of this wonderful series. I’m delighted that this new deal allows us to continue our long-term partnership and bring the superb on-track entertainment provided by the BTCC free-to-air to viewers.”
Having been associated with the BTCC for 28 years meanwhile, presenter Steve Rider was another figure left brimming at the broadcaster’s new BTCC deal.
“Having been involved in the broadcasting of the BTCC for twenty eight years, this renewed ITV commitment is the most exciting news for the Championship and British motor sport in general,” Rider said, adding that free-to-air coverage is a coup for the series.
“The guarantee of extensive free-to-air live coverage will allow the partnership between ITV and the BTCC to develop to a whole new level, underlining the position of the Championship and its support races as the most consistently competitive and entertaining motor racing on television.
“The BTCC already has a long term commitment from its main sponsor, full grids, strong, determined personalities, crowds of over thirty thousand and a thirty race Championship, which, in 2015, was only decided in the last few hundred yards of racing. Now it promises to get even better. Well done ITV.”