The world’s most exciting racing on water, SailGP, will now be seen by more viewers than ever across the UK with the announcement of a free-to-air broadcast deal with ITV. Exclusive live coverage of nine event weekends will be shown on ITVX in the first standalone live sports commission for ITV’s streaming service which was launched in late 2022. And all events in Season 4 of SailGP will be available across the ITV digital and linear network, including ITV1, ITV4 and ITVX.
SailGP is launching its biggest season ever opening with the Rolex United States Sail Grand Prix at Navy Pier, in Chicago, on June 16 and 17, which will be streamed live on ITVX in the first of 18 live 90-minute race day shows on the streamer. National teams in the mixed gender championship will battle at 12 iconic venues around the world across 2023 and 2024. Taking on the world’s best will be the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team, led by the two most decorated Olympic sailors of all time, driver Sir Ben Ainslie and strategist Hannah Mills.
The British team dramatically qualified for last season’s three-boat Grand Final race for US$1million on the final day of the season, but finished third behind Tom Slingsby’s now triple defending champion Australia team and Peter Burling’s New Zealand SailGP Team and will be out to settle this score in Season 4.
After Chicago the action will head to Los Angeles with highlights for both events broadcast on ITV4 and live racing all weekend on ITVX. Later this summer the league will then head to Europe and the France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez will be shown on the network’s flagship channel ITV1, which coincides with the broadcasters’ coverage of the Rugby World Cup.
A full highlights show of the Season 4 Grand Final in San Francisco will also be seen on ITV1. All other events in the season will have highlights programs broadcast on ITV4.
The SailGP Season 4 events in Sydney, Auckland and Canada will be shown on ITV4 on delay to ensure the best possible viewing times for UK-based fans. All other events can be enjoyed in full either live or on-demand on ITVX, ITV’s streaming service along with coverage of SailGP’s behind the scenes series ‘Racing on the Edge’.
This broadcast deal extends further than the action-packed, adrenaline-pumping racing as both companies have robust commitments and rigorous plans in place to hit key sustainable targets. SailGP has set a target of 55 percent reduction of its carbon footprint - based on science - by 2025, as well as committing to being fully powered by nature by 2025 on shore and on water. ITV has been recognized as a leader in transparency and governance of its ambitious climate action programme, ranked in the top 2 percent of companies worldwide by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). As the first sport to disclose its carbon strategy to CDP, SailGP is looking forward to furthering ITV's mission to deliver shows with the biggest impact on audiences and the smallest impact on the planet.
SailGP global head of broadcast and media Tom Gracey said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the team at ITV to bring SailGP to more UK fans than ever across their linear and digital suite of channels, with Sir Ben Ainslie, Hannah Mills and the Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team taking on the world’s best. ITV are renowned at bringing the biggest sporting moments to audiences across the country and we’re excited to be part of their premium sports output for Season 4.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to re-imagine the sport of sailing and building on our significant growth trajectory through an integrated partnership with ITV, although rumors of Sir Ben entering the Jungle are entirely premature!”
Ainslie said: “We are delighted to have ITV onboard as the official UK broadcaster for SailGP. Having Season 4 on the free-to-view network will introduce more people to the sport and we hope they’ll be supporting Emirates GBR! The team and I can’t wait to race against the world’s best in front of what’s sure to be our biggest ever UK audience and we will be doing everything we can to take home the title, to know our efforts will be on the ITV network for every fan to watch back home gives us even more incentive.”
Niall Slone, ITV Director of Sport, said: “We hope viewers will enjoy being able to watch, live and free to air, one of the most exciting and glamorous events in sailing. With live coverage across 18 days throughout the season, coming from fantastic locations across the world, available on ITVX as well as highlights on ITV4 and ITV1, there is an opportunity for our audiences to engage with all the action and we’re delighted to be partnering with SailGP to bring viewers each event, starting this Friday in Chicago.”
This new deal adds to ITV Sport’s portfolio of first class events, which also includes Six Nations rugby, The Rugby World Cup, England Women football team matches, UEFA EURO 2024, the FA Cup, EFL highlights including the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two, Carabao Cup and the EFL Trophy, La Liga, the Tour de France, the NFL, Heinekein Champions Cup, Gallagher Premiership Rugby and, in motosport, Extreme E, plus British Touring Car Championships and MotoGP, plus major competitions in snooker and darts.