It was never intended that the IoM government’s Department for Enterprise would make a profit from the marketing of the TT.
However, The TT+ live stream channel attracted 57,000 paying viewers and, at £14.99, it each more than paid for the production costs.
A recent announcement from the DfE confirmed that £855,000 from the TT+ Live Pass was raised over the TT period, more they revealed, than the production costs.
These were not disclosed due to “commercial confidentiality” but new data is going to be issued in the near future which may reveal more and paint an even more promising picture of the bold venture to promote the brand world wide.
Other data suggested that the showing of the qualifying sessions and the entire race programme plus repeats attracted an audience, dipping in and out, of about 130,000 fans from 185 countries. But that is not enough according to DfE Minister Tim Crookall who wants to move a 50 per cent growth to 450 per cent in the next five years.
There are those who said that there should have been an introductory offer in order to get a much bigger audience. It is a tactic not without merit but those who remember BT taking on Sky a few years ago with a
year’s free subscription to BT Sport, accompanied by the expensive acquisition of some Premier League rights and MotoGP, will also know it was a financial disaster and is now majority owned by the US media giant Discovery which also happens to own Eurosport, owner of the rights to the World and British Superbike championships.
Paul Phillips who has been largely responsible for the success of the digital strategy, is obviously delighted with the numbers and did not flinch with the Minister’s long term target. Talking to bikesportnews he said: "We will be looking to double the audience next year and our aim is to get the TT on a par with some of the world’s greatest motorsport events.”
Currently he and his team are busy giving the same treatment to the Manx Grand Prix which with a lineup which includes TT legends Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness, plus Michael Rutter, Lee Johnston, James Hillier, Jamie Coward and not forgetting Aussie David Johnson, winner of the Superbike Classic in 2019, who will lead the field away.
The five-race new-look Manx over August bank holiday weekend will also include 23 newcomers which should placate the doubting Thomases, many of whom thought the purpose of the 99 year old event had been forgotten.