BT Sport and the BBC have agreed broadcast deals to air the Americas Cup in the UK.
Pay-TV broadcaster BT Sport has acquired live coverage rights for subscribers in the UK and Ireland for all live stages of the 2015-16 America’s Cup World Series events, as well as the 2017 finals events of the international yacht racing series.
BT Sport’s coverage will commence with the Americas Cup World Series first-stage event in Portsmouth on 25th and 26th July 2015 and include the America’s Cup Qualifiers, Challenger Playoffs, and America’s Cup Finals, all set to be held in Bermuda, in 2017.
The BBC has acquired free-to-air highlights rights for the Americas Cup and the broadcaster will carry highlights programming of both the Cup Finals in 2017 and the World Series event in Portsmouth this summer.
Harvey Schiller, the commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup, said: “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.”
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “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.”
Barbara Slater, BBC Sport director, said: “We’ve followed Sir Ben Ainslie throughout his brilliant Olympic career and covered his remarkable contribution to the dramatic America’s Cup climax two years ago, so we’re delighted to bring the latest chapter in his career to a wide audience of existing fans and newcomers.”
Four-time Olympic gold medal winning British sailor Sir Ben Ainslie helped lead Oracle Team USA to triumph over Emirates Team New Zealand in the Americas Cup in 2013. He is leading the charge for his own British team, Ben Ainslie Racing, to qualify for the 2017 Cup Finals, starting with the first stage of the competition, the World Series, this summer.