The broadcaster joins ESPN and Starzplay in broadcasting the new esports series around the world.
BT Sport, ESPN and Starzplay Arabia have all picked up rights to air season 1 of Global Racing Series virtual racing competition, the V10 R-League.
It makes the tournament one of the most widely syndicated sports competitions, with broadcast coverage across 75+ countries.
The V10 R-League centres on four weekly ‘matches’ made up of three race challenges, on the world’s most iconic circuits. Two teams go head-to-head in each ‘match’ on the Assetto Corsa game in the V10- powered car designed exclusively for this Global Racing Series.
Competing from home on a full racing rig, the professional sim racing teams battle over a £100,000 prize pool.
The rights to televise the V10 R-League were secured from esports specialist Gfinity and Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM).
BT Sport and Starzplay Arabia have signed multi-year agreements for exclusive rights in the UK and Ireland, and across the MENA region, respectively, while ESPN will carry the V10 R-League for Seasons 1 and 2 in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Latin America, the Caribbean and Oceania across its networks and platforms.
BT Sport will show highlights of the Season 1 opener ‘as-live’ in a two-hour show on BT Sport 2 from 7pm GMT on Monday (7 September). Each of the seven rounds will then broadcast weekly at the same time.
Full coverage of the virtual racing will be made available for anyone to watch for free the following morning, after the highlights show, on btsport.com and the BT Sport App.
Rachel Stringer, Nicolas Hamilton and Ben Daly (above) will host the coverage.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “Lockdown has demonstrated a huge appetite for virtual motorsport, and we are delighted to expand our innovative work with Gfinity to bring this exciting new sim racing format to UK fans exclusively to BT Sport subscribers on Mondays and free to all online the next morning.”
Maaz Sheikh, co-founder & CEO at Starzplay, added: “As a Dubai-based streaming service, we have continuously focused on delivering content that meets the viewing needs of regional audiences. For the first time, we are bringing the thrills and excitement of esport, which is gaining tremendous popularity across the Pan Arab region.”
Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO at ADMM, said: “To be achieving global broadcast scale, fantastic talent and some of the best teams in the esports racing world for Season 1 is testament to our formula. Working with great partners like Gfinity – and having the right people in place to deliver the programme will continue moving us towards our vision of continually advancing world class motorsport across esports platforms.”
John Clarke, CEO at Gfinity, said: “Growth is driven through innovation. The Global Racing Series and the V10 R-League did not exist three months ago. With a clear vision, a great partner in ADMM and a lot of hard work today we have a unique made for broadcast racing format, with a new virtual car that roars, which has captured the imagination of three of the world’s most forward-thinking broadcasters.
“Receiving commercial broadcast deals from these partners and the distribution scale that they provide will play a positive role in helping the company reach its target of moving into profitability in Q1 of the 2021 calendar year.”