For those of us in the United States, flying to the tiny island in the Irish Sea will no longer be the only way to watch the Isle of Man TT. The governing body behind the world's most famous public-roads race just inked a new TV deal, bringing the race to television sets in the United States and Australia in addition to the U.K.
The U.S. deal, done with the Velocity Channel, is for seven one-hour race shows that will air within 24 hours of each race. They say the one-hour shows will be tailored to the American market. We hope that doesn't mean different, dumbed-down coverage.
North One TV has held the contract (and will continue to do so for the U.K. and other markets) since 2009 and has seen the audience for Isle of Man TT programming grow from 8.1 million to 24.4 million viewers across 130 countries.
This year, Isle of Man TT qualifying begins May 24 and the racing starts on May 31.
I don’t know how many people have the Velocity Channel, but hopefully many of you do. If not, this deal will at least increase the chance of local motorcycle shops, cafés, bars, and clubs showing it somewhere you can attend. We’re excited to see any form of the sport made more widely available, especially one as unique and amazing as the TT. Here's hoping it really catches on.