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Page last updated at 18:51 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

BBC NI secures NW 200 until 2014

Michael Dunlop
BBC NI covered Michael Dunlop's emotional NW 200 victory last year

BBC Sport Northern Ireland has signed a new five-year contract to continue broadcasting the North-West 200 International road races.

The deal, which will run from 2010 to 2014, comes as the event celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.

BBC NI will continue to provide fans with enhanced coverage throughout the week-long festival across BBC TV, radio and online.

Crowds of over 100,000 invariably attend the event every May.

There will be reports from behind-the-scenes with interviews and features on the riders, the fans and the people who make it one of the sport's biggest attractions.

Peter Johnston, Controller of BBC Northern Ireland, said that the corporation was "delighted to continue our partnership to provide exclusive coverage of the Northwest 200 again".

Our partnership with Mervyn Whyte and his team is very strong
BBC NI editor of sport Shane Glynn

"It's a fantastic community event as well as a real sporting spectacle. We plan to use all of our resources across TV, Radio and Interactive to enable our audiences to enjoy this great occasion in lots of new and exciting ways."

Coverage of the NW 200 festival on TV will include preview and highlights programmes, live reports from the circuit each night on BBC Newsline and enhanced onboard and road-side footage.

BBC Radio Ulster will continue to have live coverage of the main race with features, build-up and live reports on everything happening during the festival on a number of programmes throughout the week.

Shane Glynn, BBC NI Editor of Sport added: "When we secured the rights to the North West 200, we pledged to provide fans with the most innovative, creative and in depth coverage of the races and the week leading up to them. I hope we've delivered on that promise.

"Our partnership with Mervyn Whyte and his team is very strong, and we're looking forward to working together at the North West until 2014, and hopefully beyond.

"The profile of the North West has risen tremendously, and we're delighted to be involved in what has established itself as one of Ireland's top sporting events.

"We will be working hard with Mervyn to see how we can further improve and develop our coverage."

Mervyn Whyte
NW 200 Clerk of the Course Mervyn Whyte is delighted by the new deal

North West 200 clerk of course Whyte said that the partnership with BBC NI has "achieved so much over the past three years".

"We are completely delighted that we have been able to secure a further five years with BBC Northern Ireland," added Mr Whyte.

"To be able to continue this relationship is the icing on the cake for the competition.

"The coverage across TV, Radio and online has been second to none and the NW200 are excited about the relationship going from strength to strength in the next five years."

BBC Sport NI will continue to provide a dedicated website with live race streaming, practice, interviews and results.

The site will also allow fans to post their views, comments and pictures.

BBC Sport NI's Ceefax service will also provide the latest news and information during the NW 200 festival week.



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see also
Dunlop's son races to NW 200 win
17 May 08 |  MotoGP
Tributes paid to bike star Dunlop
16 May 08 |  MotoGP
Dunlop dies after motorbike crash
16 May 08 |  MotoGP
Dunlop death stuns motorcycling
16 May 08 |  MotoGP


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