BTCC ends TV deal with BBC

British Touring Car Championship organisers have decided not to extend their contract with the BBC to cover the series next year

BTCC ends TV deal with BBC

The BBC's Grandstand programme has covered the series for the last decade, but series organisers and competitors have become frustrated at erratic scheduling this year.

"The series has come an incredibly long way this year, and without any intention of being arrogant or asking for things outside our normal remit, our discussions with the BBC have been based on number of criteria," said series boss Richard West. "We wanted to ensure that we had regular slots that did not conflict with live BTCC rounds or, where possible, other motorsport events.

"The BBC admitted that certain things had not been to the benefit of the series, such as the inability to provide regular slots and, by their own admittance could not meet the exacting standards that we had put to them. On that basis we thanked them for all their support over the years and informed them that we were talking with other terrestrial broadcasters," he added.

The BTCC boomed in the mid-Nineties, and the category became the BBC's motorsport mainstay after the channel lost its Formula 1 coverage to rivals ITV.

The BBC's Pat Young said: "We're disappointed our relationship with the BTCC couldn't go further, but they wanted a more consistent time slot, which we couldn't provide."

TOCA is now seeking a new deal with Britain's other terrestrial broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

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