The Isle of Man TT races will finally be broadcast live to TT fans all over the world, as well as all the practice and qualifying sessions, pre-race build up and post-race analysis.
There’s absolutely no question that the Isle of Man TT is one of the most incredible motorsport events in the world. If not the most incredible. So that begs the question why it’s taken 115 years for it to be broadcast live on telly. But there are some fairly big challenges to broadcasting a time-trial event like the TT, live. One of the primary reasons is that the TT course is 37.7 miles long, so you need a lot of cameras to cover it. Or some helicopters. Or both.
But according to organisers of the TT that’s exactly what they’ve roped in. Greenlight Television, the company behind the broadcast, are bringing in two helicopters, a 200 person production team, and a ‘significant uplift in the number of live action cameras around the course’. That will mean they can deliver uninterrupted live coverage of all the races and qualifying sessions. That’s up to 40 hours of TT action, including all the build up and analysis that goes with it.
All the action and behind the scenes footage will be streamed on the TT’s new digital channel, TT+. TT+ launches this spring and will give fans year round access to brand new, free content including an annual feature length documentary (coming August 2022) and a multi-episode docuseries (Spring 2023). There’ll also be exclusive features, interviews, onboard videos, and hours of archive race highlights from TTs of yesteryear.
Unfortunately, if you want to watch all the races live, you do have to upgrade to the TT+ Live Pass, which isn’t free. But to be fair, at £14.99* it’s a bloody bargain. Especially when you compare it to a MotoGP video pass, which is over ten times the price (I just paid £167.74 for mine). No, I think it’ll be well worth £14.99.
And for your £14.99, you get a top-tier team of presenters taking you through all the action. Matt Roberts, Amy Williams and Jennie Gow will be presenting the live broadcast. Rick Faragher will be the man on the ground, in the pits and parc fermé. Race commentary will be looked after by Dave More and Andrew Coley, joined by Cam Donald and Steve Plater. Steve Day and Chris Boyd will be in charge of TT Radio. And then there’s a list as long as your arm of ex-racers who’ll be joining John Hogan to provide expert analysis and unique insight.
If you can’t stretch to £14.99, there’ll still be a TT Highlights show broadcast on ITV4 in the UK, and Ireland, and you can still follow live timing on the TT website. There is something special about watching live sports though; especially when that sport’s as special at the Isle of Man TT.
So after two years absence, the TT is back, and back with a bang. This is the best TT news I’ve heard in a long time. Because live TV coverage can only be a good thing for the Isle of Man TT. I’m very, very excited to see what live TT coverage looks like. And I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one. Bring it on.