Advanced Television

Pilgrim Media, Digital Circus win TT rights

November 1, 2018

By Colin Mann

Craig Piligian, producer and CEO of Pilgrim Media Group and Clark Bunting, former president and general manager of Discovery Channel and founder and CEO of new media company Digital Circus, have teamed up to secure an all-media and live programming rights deal for the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races.

The pair will collaborate on developing a range of original content for TV, film, streaming, and gaming/esports platforms, including the first-ever live broadcast of the iconic event.

The deal was brokered by Isle of Media, the public, private partnership launched to market globally the Isle of Man’s media cluster and guide media ventures locating on the Isle of Man, chaired by Dr. Richard Arning, and by Pilgrim Media Group’s Gretchen Stockdale, COO and general counsel, and David Harris, SVP, business and legal affairs.

“We’re extremely gratified to have forged such an historic deal that allows us to raise the profiles of the iconic TT and the Isle of Man – and of the riders whose fearlessness and individuality have built a competition like no other,” commented Piligian. “With the proliferation of entertainment and sports platforms, this is the global moment for the TT.”

“The deal offers a unique opportunity to grow the audience and awareness of the TT Races, increase our commercial potential, and promote the Isle of Man as a tourism and business destination worldwide,” said Laurence Skelly, minister for enterprise for the Isle of Man. “The individuals involved in this project have a proven track record – within Hollywood and globally – and we look forward to working with them to maximise the event and its potential.”

“Having supported this new venture from the very beginning, we are absolutely excited by working with those at the top of the entertainment field, and for the prospects this brings to our island,” declared Arning. “It will boost further our profile in global motorsports productions and distribution.”

In February 2018, the world-leading Duke Video Archive from Duke Marketing was acquired by automotive and motorsport digital technology business Motorsport Network. The move built on the earlier announcement that Motorsport Network and would feature the entire film history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, underlining the company’s commitment to establishing an unrivalled motorsport film resource for fans around the world.

Duke Video was founded in the Isle of Man and launched in 1981 by Peter Duke, son of six-time Isle of Man TT winner and six-time World Champion, Geoff Duke OBE. The business is known internationally for its season review videos and has progressively migrated its formats from videotape to DVD and Blu-ray, and latterly digital download. Duke content is currently sold in over 25 countries under a series of distribution and licence agreements.

Also in February 2018, the Isle of Man’s Department for Enterprise  appointed a local consortium led by Greenlight Television, and supported by Duke Marketing, as host broadcaster for the TT Races and Classic TT from 2018 onwards following a recent tender process.

Greenlight Television is one of the world’s leading motorsport television producers and as well as previous experience on the TT Races, the company’s extensive portfolio includes over 140 events each year around the world, including the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and the North West 200 Road Races. Greenlight Television is based in the Isle of Man where it operates a full post-production facility.

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