BT Sport beats Sky to AC35 coverage

Sir Ben will lead the UK’s challenge for the 35th America’s Cup – photo: ACEA/Mark Lloyd Sir Ben will lead the UK’s challenge for the 35th America’s Cup – photo: ACEA/Mark Lloyd

AMERICA’S CUP: BT Sport has beaten Sky to get the live television rights to broadcast the UK and Ireland America’s Cup races and highlights of the 2017 America’s Cup.

Beginning with the opening races of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) in Portsmouth on July 25 and 26, BT Sport will offer live coverage of all America’s Cup racing to viewers in the UK and Ireland through to the finals in 2017.

The BBC will carry America’s Cup highlights after acquiring free-to-air 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 BBC agreement for free-to-air broadcast.

With Sir Ben Ainslie leading the UK challenge for the 2017 AC35, the excitement level for this series is likely to be huge.

We understand Sir Keith Mills, one of the top names in the campaign backing Ben Ainslie to win AC35, was highly instrumental in obtaining the AC35 rights.

Other top names behind Mr Ainslie include the Carphone Warehouse co-founder, Sir Charles Dunstone, Oakely Capital’s (and North Sails’) Peter Dubens and Ian Taylor, boss of oil giant Vitol.

Among the sponsors backing Mr Ainslie are Siemens, KPMG and BAE Systems, with help from Red Bull Racing

“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,” said Harvey Schiller, the commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup.

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 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.“

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, commented: “The BBC is delighted to be able to offer viewers highlights programming for the next two and a half years of America’s Cup racing.

“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.”

Latest Press Releases

The Poole Harbour Boat Show Exhibitor Stand Space and Sponsorship Sales Open Now

The Poole Harbour Boat Show is now officially launched for a return in 2020 to the spectacular boati... Read more

Barton Marine take key role in showcasing UK Manufacturing Excellence

New for 2019 the Southampton Boat Show, powered by Borrow a Boat will be welcoming visitors into the... Read more

The International Paint Poole Regatta - Shaping up to be even Bigger in 2020

The International Paint Poole Regatta 2020 is developing to be the biggest event yet, with the organ... Read more

MS Amlin Seamanship Award Entries Close on the 20th August

Your chance to enter the MS Amlin Seamanship Award 2019 closes at midnight on Tuesday 20th August. Read more

Damage to the Environment - Episode 5 of 80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dee Caffari look at how the environment at sea has been damaged over the... Read more

MS Amlin Go Round the Island 2019

MS Amlin Yacht, the boat insurance specialists have now been race partners of Round the Island Race ... Read more

View all