The BBC and BT Sport have secured the exclusive live UK and Ireland coverage rights for all events in the 35th America’s Cup sailing contest.
BT Sport will offer live coverage of all America’s Cup racing to viewers in the UK and Ireland beginning with the opening races on 25 July, through to the finals in 2017.
The BBC will feature race highlights, beginning with the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth in July 2015, and will also carry highlights programming from the America’s Cup after acquiring free-to-air (FTA) broadcast rights for the event. Highlights from the 2015-16 America’s Cup World Series – including the Portsmouth events – as well as the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and America’s Cup Finals are included in the BBCagreement for FTA broadcast.
“With Sir Ben Ainslie leading the charge for Britain, and with the first event of the America’s Cup World Series taking place in Portsmouth in July this year, we know the interest level in the UK has never been higher,” said Harvey Schiller, the commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup. “Our partnership with BT Sport as our live coverage broadcaster and the BBC for highlights programming means we have an opportunity to reach millions of sailing fans in the UK and Ireland and engage them in the new America’s Cup, which is more dynamic, athletic and spectacular than ever before. Fans have a choice of watching the live programming or they can catch highlight shows on the BBC. It’s a powerful combination.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring the story of Sir Ben Ainslie’s quest for the America’s Cup to millions of fans in the UK and Ireland,” added Simon Green, head of BT Sport. “The essence of the America’s Cup is the racing on the water and with exclusively live coverage of all the live stages across all of the BT Sport platforms, viewers will share in the full story from the first races in Portsmouth this summer through to the America’s Cup finals in Bermuda in June 2017.