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MSV Confirms Extensive UK TV Coverage For Bennetts BSB


The Bennetts British Superbike Championship will enjoy an unprecedented amount of both live and delayed UK and, for the first time significant International television coverage from 2008 – its first season under the tenure of MotorSport Vision, who have secured new and extensive broadcast arrangements with Eurosport and Channel 4.

The move confirms British Eurosport in the UK as the undisputed home for live motorcycle racing with the Bennetts British Superbike Championship joining live racing from the MotoGP and World Superbike Championships being broadcast to over 10 million homes through the SKY and Virgin Media platforms. The new acquisition, representing 48 hours of live and 66 hours of highlights coverage of BSB in the UK is the start of a major new development for the British Eurosport 2 channel. This new investment in British Eurosport 2 will see it deliver more exciting, tailored programming and presentation for UK sports fans in the coming months.
 
Fans will be able to enjoy a regular 4-hour live race day show featuring both Bennetts BSB races, the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship and Henderson Yamaha R1 Cup support races all live from each BSB round with expert presentation and analysis. Race day highlights will also be shown in primetime that evening, and throughout the following week, including on Thursdays, a “British Superbikes Extra” show featuring all races from the weekends British 125GP, Metzeler National Superstock 600/1000 and KTM 990 Super Duke Championships.
 
The Eurosport Group has signed an agreement with MotorSport Vision that will also see BSB broadcast live and exclusive across Europe on Eurosport 2 and live on the Eurosport feed in Asia and the Pacific, opening up the Championship to a potential overseas reach of 30 million households in 53 countries. In addition, there will be live streaming of all races on all Eurosport's websites. In the UK this will be www.eurosport.yahoo.com. Eurosport also take on the role of BSB International TV rights handler with ambitions to promote even further worldwide TV coverage.
 
David Kerr, Director of British Eurosport said: “The acquisition of British Superbikes has got our ambitions for the new British Eurosport 2 off to a roaring start. We have a long relationship with bike fans and can now add this great championship to our already unbeatable line-up of bike racing. The arrival of the British Superbike Championship clearly positions British Eurosport as the home of live motorcycle racing on TV.”
 
Extending the reach of the championship even further, Channel 4, one of only five UK network terrestrial channels, will also broadcast a one-hour highlights programme on the Tuesday night after each event, with a repeat later in the week. The same programme will also be available on Channel 4’s 1 hour time-shifted and free-to-air service; C4+1. The show will also be available to view on the internet and selected digital TV partners through Channel 4’s Video-On-Demand service, www.channel4.com/4od. This marks a return to the Championship for the broadcaster who last covered the action in 2005.
 
Deborah Poulton, Deputy Editor of Sport at Channel 4 said “ We are thrilled to have British Superbikes back within our portfolio and hope that the availability of our tailored highlights package will serve bike fans well."
 
This gives BSB a massive total of some 162 hours of UK broadcasting – across satellite, digital and terrestrial TV networks plus additional live Pan-European and Pan Asia-Pacific coverage and extensive live streaming and on-demand content on the Internet – making it the most significant TV broadcast arrangement in the championship’s history.
 
Commenting on the new TV deal, Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of MotorSport Vision said: “As the new rights holder it is clear that television coverage is vital to the future development of BSB, so a great deal of effort has gone into understanding what matters and securing the optimal package. ITV1 was not going to continue carrying live BSB coverage from 2008 and we are in a new era in which the digital channels will be the home of virtually all sport. I believe it is important that we have a broadcast partner that is recognised as the logical and natural home for bike racing, so fans know where to find BSB on television. With nearly 20 years of sport broadcasting and now covering both MotoGP and World Superbikes, Eurosport was the therefore the perfect choice and I was delighted to find that they were as excited as we were about completing the hat trick with BSB too. I am determined that BSB shall also become internationally famous as the best national superbike championship in the world and Eurosport’s global coverage will play a major role in achieving that. Channel 411 on SKY is going to be utopia for bike racing fans this year. It is also very important to maintain terrestrial coverage and our Channel 4 highlights programme will attract a big audience on Tuesday nights.”
 
Stuart Higgs, BSB Series Director concluded: “This is fantastic news for everyone associated with BSB – our teams, riders, the manufacturers, commercial partners and of course the fans – who will all benefit from the increased UK and now worldwide TV coverage of our events. Broadcasting is an incredibly complex and evolving environment and our hard work has paid off by placing the championship across many different and new broadcast and media platforms. We have in Eurosport and Channel 4, two very complimentary broadcast partners who with their combined reach and technologies will ensure BSB is seen by as wider audience as possible.”     

You can find British Eurosport 2 on SKY (channel 411) and Virgin Media (channel 525).


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Jay | 05 March 2008, 12:15
Brilliant move by MSVR. A shake-up was needed, and whilst the ITV coverage was always brilliant, bringing it to more people is undoubtedly a very good thing for the series. It's this sort of responsible thinking the series has need before now. Also, I'm chuffed that the support series' are getting more coverage! They're just as good as superbikes!

andrew&7 | 06 March 2008, 09:38
Awesome! Guess I'd better make sure I'm smart in case the cameras point our way :-)
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