Cycling network BIKE Channel has acquired the non-exclusive UK television rights for the 2016 Tour of Britain, taking place in September.
The channel will show live coverage of the event to viewers with Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media, which starts in Glasgow on the 4th September and ends in London on the 11th following a deal with the race organisers Sweetspot that sees the channel take the "pay TV rights" (although BIKE is free-to-air on satellite).
It's the most significant rights acquisition for BIKE to date, having only launched in the UK last December. It now reaches over 17 million households following its launch on Freesat earlier in July.
ITV4 will continue to cover the event with around three hours of live coverage every afternoon, plus a nightly highlights show, through its "free-to-air rights" (although ITV4 in HD is a pay TV channel).
Filippo Ubaldini, CEO of the BIKE Channel said:
“The Tour of Britain is one of the most important tours on the calendar and we are delighted to bring it to BIKE this summer. We are sure fans will love following our dedicated coverage of eight days of racing through stunning British countryside before what promises to be an exciting sprint finish in London.”
Mick Bennett, Race Director of the Tour of Britain, said:
“With ten WorldTour teams riding in this year’s Tour of Britain, the race is now the biggest it’s ever been. BIKE’s coverage – available in over 17 million households in the UK – will bring the Tour of Britain to new audiences and is key to the continued growth of the country’s national Tour.”
BIKE Channel is available on:
- Sky channel 464
- Virgin Media channel 552
- Freesat channel 251