Isle of Man TT gets ITV TV

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Race fans will be able to watch this year’s Isle of Man TT races on ITV and ITV4 thanks to a new deal struck by North One Television, who have the television production, sales and distribution rights for the TT races until 2013.

The 2009 TT will be screened over 11 one-hour programmes on ITV 4 as well as two hour-long specials to be shown on the main ITV terrestrial station. 

The impressive plans include 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 and a former presenter of BSB.

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.

The 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 production techniques will be applied to the filming of the TT that will see 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.

The TT will also be screened by Italy’s Rai TV, Globo in Brazil, Australia’s Channel Ten and leadings networks in Spain and the United States.

Duncanson added: “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.”

North One has been involved in productions such as Italian Football and NBA on Channel 4 and  ITV; Rugby Special and Six Nations on the BBC and UKTV; Formula One on ITV and World Rally Championships as global host broadcaster.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin