The BBC and BT Sport have secured the rights to broadcast the America’s Cup.
BT Sport will provide exclusive live UK and Ireland coverage for the oldest international trophy in sport while the BBC will feature race highlights, beginning with the America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth in July.
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 BBC agreement for free-to-air broadcast.
Harvey Schiller, the commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup, said: ‘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, we know the interest level in the UK has never been higher.
‘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.’
Under the agreements, BT Sport will broadcast all live stages of the 2015-16 America’s Cup World Series events, being hosted in Portsmouth in July 2015 and again in July 2016, and continuing with events around the world.
The BBC will have highlight programming from the World Series events.
Sir Keith Mills, chairman of Teamorigin Events and founding shareholder and director of Ben Ainslie Racing, said: ‘The America’s Cup World Series event taking place in Portsmouth this July will be the first time a British team will compete in an official America’s Cup event in British waters since 1851.
‘This is going to be an historic occasion where we expect up to 500,000 people attending the event and with BT Sport’s support as the exclusively live broadcaster, and the BBC showing highlight programming, many millions more will be engaged on TV and online.’