ITV Sport has announced its plans to provide the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship and ELF Renault Clio Cup with Michelin with extended, prime-time television coverage. Live broadcasts will also be increased boosting both Championships’ exposure when the season starts at Brands Hatch on 4th/5th April.
The popular Motorsport UK show returns to screens in 2009 with a 35-week schedule starting on Thursday, 30th April on ITV1 with two repeats on ITV4 and a repeat on Men & Motors. The show length has been extended to 60 minutes from the previous 30 minutes, representing an increase of more than 100% in coverage compared to last season.
The show will be hosted by Louise Goodman who has become a popular household name thanks to her Formula 1 duties with ITV. Each episode will also be able to view through the ITV player on the ITV website (http://www.itv.com/catchup) for up to four weeks after the show has been aired.
In addition to the regular highlights shows, both the Formula Renault UK Championship and ELF Renault Clio Cup are set to receive live coverage during the course of the season. As support races to the British Touring Car Championship, both one-make series will be shown live or same-day as-live during ITV4’s mammoth six hour-plus transmission on Sunday afternoon – subject to TV scheduling and race meeting timetables.
During 2008, Motorsport UK audience figures for shows featuring the ELF Renault Clio Cup totalled 3,540,000. The corresponding figure for the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship was an impressive 4,890,000.
ITV4 is currently available to more than 85% of UK households via freeview, cable and satellite platforms.
Commenting on the announcement, Championship Manager Simon North said: “We are delighted at ITV’s decision to extend its television package which will allow even more racing fans to enjoy the thrilling action that both the Formula Renault UK Championship and ELF Renault Clio Cup offer. For coverage to increase by more than double, in addition to some races being shown live, is great news for both Championships’ and demonstrates ITV’s strong reputation for sports coverage.”
The ELF Renault Clio Cup will continue to benefit from Renault Sport UK’s pioneering move to show complete footage of every race held on Sunday during the season. The videos are uploaded to http://www.renaultsport.co.uk and are available to view free of charge, 24 hours a day.