Isle of Man TT's live TV push down to "concerns about audience size"

Isle of Man TT organisers says its push to bring live television coverage to the 2022 event is down it being “concerned about the size of our audience”.

Peter Hickman, 1000 BMW/Smiths Racing BMW

The TT returns in 2022 having been cancelled for the previous two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time in the event's 115-years, the TT will be broadcast live as organisers get set to launch its new OTT platform TT+ in April.

TT 2022 will feature 40+ hours of live action spread across practice and race week, with a full team of presenters and plans for its coverage revealed last week.

While access to the live broadcast will cost £14.99, the rest of the video content – including a new feature film set for release later in 2022 and a Drive To Survive-style docuseries in 2023 – will be available for free.

The TT's business development manager Paul Phillips says the aim behind the event's new broadcast strategy was to bridge "generational, territorial gaps in our audience".

When asked if he was concerned that broadcasting the TT live would affect physical attendance at the event, Phillips said: "I've got no issue that people will stop coming to the TT because of the live broadcast, I think quite the opposite.

"I think it will just make more and more and more people want to come.

"You got to remember that the whole broadcast strategy is built on the fact that we're concerned about the size of our audience.

"We've got gaps, generational gaps in our audience, we've got territorial gaps in our audience, because we're simply not visible in those countries.

"Whereas now, if you have an internet connection in Timbuktu, you can watch the TT from the moment the first bike goes in qualifying to the end of the Senior race. That's a massive, massive deal."

While much excitement has been generated about the TT's new live coverage, Phillips added that what the event doing "is not revolutionary".

James Hillier, 1000 Kawasaki, Wicked Coatings Quattro Plant Kawasaki

James Hillier, 1000 Kawasaki, Wicked Coatings Quattro Plant Kawasaki

Photo by: Dave Kneen

He also stresses the live element would not work without a proper year-round content stream to help drive interest, hence the need for the new TT+ OTT platform.

"Live TV would be a complete failure without a strategy to gather audience, because we put it on live and we invest and we make a live product," he said. "But we know currently what our audience looks like and how big that is. So, there's no point.

"It's like if the TT was a human being, the live broadcast will be the head. But all the other content is the blood pumping around the body, taking the blood to the head. There'd be no point having the live without having a proper content approach.

"And this is where you can quite easily look to a lot of other sports who are really doing this well - all sports today, we're living in a digital age.

"In our world in motorsport, Formula 1, MotoGP, World Superbike, World Rally, they're all doing the same thing.

"Nothing that we're going to do here is revolutionary at all. It feels revolutionary for the TT, but it's just the only approach in 2022."


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