BRITISH GT SET FOR LIVE UK TERRESTRIAL TV COVERAGE
The first live TV coverage will come from the Rockingham round in May. Photo: www.jakobebrey.com
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship’s UK television package is set to enjoy a major boost this season after series promoters, SRO, completed a deal to broadcast live coverage on Motors TV.
Five of this year’s seven rounds will be broadcast live on the High Speed Television Channel, which is available to Freeview HD, YouView, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin Media customers. Together, these platforms account for roughly 20 million UK households.
The channel’s recent Pan-American expansion will also see one of the worlds best represented GT3 and GT4-spec series available live in US and South American homes, as well as across Europe.
A total of five to six hours of Hay Fisher produced live coverage from all but the Oulton Park and Spa-Francorchamps rounds represents a significant increase in the championship’s television profile, which again includes regular highlights from every race weekend on Channel 4 and Motors TV.
Together, this ensures that fans, drivers, teams and partners alike are all set to benefit from the increased publicity. Indeed, leading sports marketing research consultants, Repucom, calculate that the championship’s live coverage could increase its partners’ exposure value by as much as 40% in 2015.
British GT Championship Series Manager Benjamin Franassovici confirmed that securing live television had been SRO’s top priority for British GT ahead of 2015. “The championship has grown significantly over the last five years or so and the final piece in the jigsaw was to add regular live TV coverage. It’s something we’ve underwritten at some rounds in the past, but given the level this championship is now at it became increasingly clear over the course of last season that our teams and drivers saw the additional exposure as an important marketing tool.
“It’s testament to the strength of British GT that our entry list was full before this announcement. It is a huge investment to make, but the live television element undoubtedly adds greater commercial value for the sponsors, teams and drivers.
“Motors TV are also the ideal choice for us given our long-running partnership and their expansion to Freeview HD throughout last year. We know a lot of their viewers were calling for live British GT and I’m delighted that we’ll be able to provide it this season.”
Frederic Viger, Head of Programming and Acquisitions at Motors TV, was equally delighted with the deal.
“Motors TV has long been the home of sportscar racing and securing live British GT coverage is just the latest in a long and prestigious list. We’ve aired highlights for many years and also broadcast the occasional live race, but never quite been able to finalise extensive live coverage. Our Freeview HD expansion throughout last year has made a big difference though and now allows us to offer even more fans an opportunity to watch one of the world’s very best GT championships live.”
The opening round of this season’s Avon Tyres British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (April 4-6).