ITV will continue to broadcast live free-to-air television coverage of the MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) until at least the end of 2016.
With one year of the current agreement remaining a new three-year addition to the existing partnership has been agreed, securing the BTCC’s vast ITV broadcasting agreement for the next four seasons.
All BTCC race days will continue to be broadcast live on both ITV4, ITV4 HD and online via itv.com, with late-night highlights on ITV.
Live coverage from each event will be screened for seven hours (11am-6pm) and is unique in UK motor sport.
The BTCC enjoys a level of quality free-to-air TV coverage that is the envy of many high–profile international series.
The 60-minute race highlights programmes will also continue on ITV, ITV HD, ITV4 and ITV4 HD in the week following each live event.
These will be repeated three times and are also available to view for 30 days after broadcast via the online ITV Player.
The itv.com website will again include live streaming of the Saturday afternoon qualifying session and will have a comprehensive catalogue of race highlights available throughout the season.
ITV has screened the series since 2002 after taking over the rights from the BBC.
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “ITV’s commitment to the BTCC is unrivalled in British motor sport.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have signed this new contract, which maintains the same vast level of free-to-air coverage the series currently enjoys until at least 2017.
“The determination from both parties to finalise this deal, more than a year before the expiration of our current contract, is testament to the strength and huge appeal of the BTCC.
“Many of our teams have been able to sign long-term deals with partners during what’s become a record-breaking age for the BTCC and this new broadcasting agreement will enable them to further build for the future.
“ITV’s commitment means that more than 230 hours of each BTCC season will be broadcast… and, of course, a great many more hours if we include ITV’s ‘+1 hour’ rebroadcast stations to those figures.
“This new deal further validates the unrivalled popularity and strength of the BTCC and our incredibly strong relationship with ITV is something that I’m immensely proud of.”
Niall Sloane, Director of Sport at ITV said: “The British Touring Car Championship has been a hit with viewers on ITV4, and ITV Sport is delighted to have secured the rights until at least the end of the 2016 season.
“We look forward to more great racing and stories in the years to come as the BTCC continues to evolve.”
Steve Rider will continue to anchor ITV’s coverage alongside Louise Goodman, with new recruit David Addison joining Tim Harvey in the commentary box.
Commenting on ITV’s new deal, Rider told Autosport: “For ITV to make that commitment is really something.
“It means we can look at the next three years with confidence and think about expanding.
“If we get the BTCC more mainstream, perhaps on the main ITV network, we’ll all benefit.”
The 2013 BTCC season begins on Easter weekend (March 30-31) at Brands Hatch. Live coverage of qualifying will be shown on itv.com, with race day live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD from 10.45am on Easter Sunday.