The excitement of the world's premier ocean race is set to touch the lives of its biggest ever world-wide audience as the Volvo Ocean Race announces today a completely restructured television package for the 2005-2006 event, which starts in November 2005.
Internationally renowned production company, Sunset + Vine, is to be the global producer and distributor for the next Volvo Ocean Race, widely acknowledged as the 'Everest' of sailing and one of the world's toughest team sports events.
Sunset + Vine, and its parent company, The Television Corporation PLC, will produce and distribute several hundred hours of programming that promises to bring the drama and intense competition of this global event to an audience of up to two billion people worldwide.
The Television Corporation is known internationally for breaking new ground with programmes and event coverage ranging from award-winning cricket for Britain's Channel 4 and the Tour de France cycling classic, to the entertainment show 'Paradise Hotel', a major hit for the Fox Network in the United States. It was responsible for more than 2,300 hours of television broadcasting in Britain last year and is the UK's biggest independent television distributor with more than 12,000 hours broadcast in 200 territories around the world each year.
The Television Corporation is bringing all this experience and expertise to the Volvo Ocean Race. With seven cameras on each of the competing yachts, linked by satellite to a purpose-built studio and editing facility in Southampton, England, the producers will be able to show the key moments of the battle between the world's top professional sailors operating in the worst that the oceans can throw at them.
Each yacht will be equipped with its own edit suite and a 'panic' button on deck which, when touched by a crew member, will automatically record the drama on board as the yachts touch speeds of 40 knots, tearing though the iceberg-strewn wastes of the Southern Ocean.
Mark Howell, media director of the Volvo Ocean Race, said: "We are delighted that Sunset + Vine, and their associated companies, who have an unrivalled reputation for being able to capture the excitement of sport and make it attractive also to non-sports audiences of all ages and outlooks, has agreed to manage the television production and distribution for our 2005-2006 race. Together with the news coverage, which will be produced by a dedicated news provider, and our sport output, we believe the next Volvo Ocean Race will reach the widest possible audience."
John Leach, managing director of Sunset + Vine, said: "We want to make a real difference to the way sailing has been traditionally filmed and seen on TV. Our Channel 4 Cricket coverage has led the way in demystifying a sport, making it more accessible and, at the same time, more exciting. We aim to do the same with sailing through the Volvo Ocean Race."
The Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race will start with an in port race in Sanxenxo, Galicia, on November 5, 2005. The start of leg one, the first offshore leg, will be from Vigo, Galicia, on November 12, 2005. The Volvo Ocean race is a round the world yacht race featuring nine offshore racing legs. Included in the 2005-2006 event will be an inshore race at each of the main stopover ports including the start port in Galicia. Four teams from the last race measured the media value of their exposure. The results showed an average of US$50 million, which equates to a 200-300% return on their sponsorship investment. Volvo Ocean Race achieved a cumulative audience of over 800 million viewers ranking it among the top international sporting events. Research on awareness of the competing teams was also conducted which again showed an increase by up to 30% for some sponsors.