People/Biz

Pilgrim, Digital Circus secure first-time live rights to “Isle of Man TT” races

Emmy-winning producer and CEO of Pilgrim Media Group, Craig Piligian (pictured, left), and Clark Bunting (right), former president and general manager of Discovery Channel and founder and CEO of new media company ...
October 31, 2018

Emmy-winning producer and CEO of Pilgrim Media Group, Craig Piligian (pictured, left), and Clark Bunting (right), 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” (Tourist Trophy) races.

The deal will see Pilgrim and Digital Circus collaborate to develop a range of original content for TV, film, streaming, and gaming/esports platforms, including the first-ever live broadcast of the iconic event, an open road motorcycle race staged on the British Isle of Man “widely believed to be the most dangerous motorsports event in the world,” according to a press release.

For two weeks across May and June in 2019, the independent Crown Dependency will host its 100th races. Any broadcast rights to the races must be negotiated with the Isle of Man government, and this is the first time such a deal has been made.

The deal was brokered by Isle of Media, the on-island media inward investment agency 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,” said Piligian, in a statement. “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 maximize the event and its potential.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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