TOCA has announced a new five-year television contract for the British Touring Car Championship has been signed with the ITV network, extending the longest TV partnership in UK motorsport history to at least 2026.
The BTCC has been shown on the free-to-air network ITV since the 2002 season, and the new five-year deal means that the BTCC will enjoy one of the longest British sporting TV partnerships on record.
The current deal was set to conclude at the end of next season, and the new contract comes into force for the 2022 season, with at least seven hours of coverage from each race day continuing on ITV4.
The deal provides for at least 340 hours of coverage each season, with 180 of those hours being on broadcast time on ITV channels and a further 160 hours of online streaming and highlights.
Saturday’s qualifying session will continue to be streamed live online on the ITV website at www.itv.com/btcc, whilst clips of the racing will continue to be made available via ITV’s social media channels.
“We are delighted to extend our contract with the British Touring Car Championship,” said ITV Director of Sport Niall Sloane.
“Fans throughout the UK can watch free-to-air some of the best racing in European motorsport through to the end of the 2026 season and we look forward to developing the coverage even further with our friends at TOCA.”
BTCC Chief Executive Alan Gow stressed the importance to TOCA of the series remaining on free-to-air television.
“I’m immensely proud of the great and close partnership that we have with ITV,” added Gow. “Their commitment and enthusiasm to bring the BTCC to as wide an audience as possible is absolutely unrivalled.
“It was vital to me that the BTCC maintained its vast live free-to-air coverage. Simply, we want the maximum amount of people to be able to watch our great racing – it’s the bedrock of our enormous popularity.
“So hiding our championship away behind a paywall would only have the exact opposite effect.
“With the new hybrid regulations and our fantastic broadcasting coverage now locked into place right through to the end of 2026, it provides the solid foundation on which all our teams and partners can base, and build, their involvement.
“I’m not sure how many major motorsport championships in the world have an unbroken (and in fact increasing) free-to-air broadcasting relationship spanning a quarter of a century with the same broadcaster.
“But by my reckoning it’s probably only one… the iconic British Touring Car Championship.”