The 2009 Isle of Man TT will be screened on ITV as part of a major deal announced by North One Television, the company which has the TV production, sales and distribution rights for the races until 2013
The deal will see 11 one-hour programmes on ITV 4 plus two hour-long specials shown on the main ITV terrestrial station.
The impressive plans will see a one hour preview, a practice week special, highlights screened on all seven days and two event review specials.
The programmes will be fronted by Irishman Craig Doyle, one of ITV’s main sports presenters. He will be joined on the shows by a new commentary and analyst team and the programmes will also feature well-known guests from the motorsport world. Series editor Gerard Lane performed a similar role for ITV’s multi award-winning coverage of Formula One.
North One Chief Executive Neil Duncanson outlined the changes that fans can expect on TV.
‘We’re putting together a really strong production team and we’ll be looking to get under the skin of this incredible event. There’s a great story that’s just waiting to be told.’
New high-end production techniques will be applied to the filming of the TT. That will mean more onboard and fixed cameras, as well as an increased amount of specialist effects cameras, some mounted on walls and kerbs. The event will also feature new computer generated imagery that will explain the inner workings of the bikes and also allow fans to clearly track a rider’s progress around the course.
The event will be shot in high definition, the first motorsport event in the UK to be filmed in this way. The producers also plan to experiment with the latest ‘high motion’ camera technology that will allow fans to analyse every move that the riders make on the bikes.
North One has also struck a number of international television deals that will see dedicated TT programmes shown by renowned international broadcasters. Deals have already been agreed with Italy’s Rai TV, Globo in Brazil, Australia’s Channel Ten and leadings networks in Spain and the United States. Each of these stations will also run heavyweight promotional trailers featuring riders from their own countries.
Further country specific deals are currently being negotiated in most leading countries.
Mr Duncanson said:
‘These deals are going to significantly raise the profile of the Isle of Man and the TT in these countries. Sports fans in many instances are going to get their first exposure to the event.’
Tourism and Leisure Minister Martyn Quayle added:
‘These new TV deals are going to give us the chance to showcase the Isle of Man as a tourism destination as well as raise the profile of the TT races.’
‘Millions of TV viewers around the world will enjoy seeing the exhilarating TT racing and the Island’s spectacular countryside and we are hoping that it will lead to an increase in the number of people visiting the Island.’