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May 26, 2019

Blancpain Live On The Telly!

Blancpain Live On The Telly!

As Eurosport increases its coverage of Blancpain GT Series in 2015 to ‘full live coverage’ for the Blancpain Sprint Series and one-hour highlights packages for the Blancpain Endurance Series, in Europe at least, in Asia-Pac the offer is more limited but still an increase upon last season, SRO deserve to be congratulated. However; the perennial bugbear of geoblocking the live stream remains unclear.

the agreement with the Eurosport network will reach 146 million homes across 70 countries

Stephane Ratel

Bonzer! More power to your elbow and all that but keep going until I can stream it live from my phone. Please. There maybe hope for this season yet if the new partnership takes advantage of the Eurosport Player app.

Next season, the increased Eurosport coverage of both series will mean that viewers can follow the complete Blancpain Sprint Series live on Eurosport in Europe across 54 countries. The Main Races of the Nogaro, Moscow, Misano and the Baku World Challenge events will be broadcast on Eurosport, while Brands Hatch, Zolder and Algarve get a slot on Eurosport 2. Half-hour highlights programmes follow each Tuesday after every race weekend and an end of season hour-long season review is on the cards. Plenty for European fans of high-level GT sprint racing then. Sprint Series fans in 16 countries from the Asia-Pacific region will get more opportunities to watch on Eurosport Asia-Pacific, which will carry each of the highlights programmes three times.

The banquet is less lavish for those of us whom prefer the longer format as, no doubt, this is a harder sell; each of the Blancpain Endurance Series races gets its own hour-long highlights reel broadcast after every race on both Eurosport and Eurosport 2. Eurosport Asia-Pacific repeats its three broadcasts of the highlight programmes for the endurance races also and all three will carry an end of season review.

As regards the Total 24 Hours of Spa, ‘the jewel in the crown of the Blancpain Endurance Series’, it will have ‘extensive coverage’ as Eurosport and Eurosport 2 combine to make sure that

racing fans will not have to miss a single crucial moment of the endurance classic during the weekend of 25-26 July

Now I would take the above to mean something different from the qualifying clause that followed ‘by showing up to 3 hours of live action’. The definition of what single and crucial means aside, we can infer that up to 3 hours live and, perhaps, in race spots and/or catch-up summaries via highlights still adds up to a good slug of the action from a truly great race.

The Managing Director of Eurosport Events, Olivier Fisch, said “Motorsports is embedded in Eurosport’s DNA. We have extensive experience and a deep understanding in covering these fantastic events. We look forward to bringing all the high octane action to the fans.” Let us but hope that he continues to bear this in mind and fully leverage the motorsport lobby in the new environment occurring after Eurosport’s take-over by the Discovery Channel parent company in 2014.

Note that, at the time of writing, changes in the ‘rest of the world’ TV coverage from 2014 have not been announced and one can only assume that last year’s arrangements will be repeated. Nor has there been any announcement surrounding the conditions that broadcasters will demand as toward live streaming of races over the internet. Racing.GT have asked the ‘geoblocking’ question and will let you know the answer received after it arrives.

2015 Blancpain GT Series Calendar

11th -12th March: Official Blancpain Endurance Series Test Days Paul Ricard
17th -18th March: Official Blancpain Sprint Series Test Days Misano
4th -6th April: Nogaro (Fra) – Sprint
11th -12th April: Monza (Ita) – Endurance 3 hours
9th -10th May: Brands Hatch (UK) – Sprint
23rd -24th May: Silverstone (UK) – Endurance 3 hours
5th -7th June: Zolder (Bel) – Sprint
19th -20th June: Paul Ricard 1000 (Fra) – Endurance 1000 kms
24th June: Official Test Day Total 24 Hours of Spa (Bel) – Endurance
3rd -5th July: Moscow City (Rus) – Sprint
23rd -26th July: Total 24 Hours of Spa (Bel) – Endurance 24 hours
4th -6th September: Algarve (Por) – Sprint
19th -20th September: Nürburgring (Deu) – Endurance 3 hours
2nd -4th October: Misano (Ita) – Sprint
24th -25th October: Baku World Challenge (Aze) – Sprint

Makers of the finest Swiss watches, Blancpain, continues to be the lead Series sponsor for 2015. Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the watch brand bearing his name is the oldest in the world. Blancpain is currently engaged to the renewal of mechanical watchmaking and to passing on exceptional expertise from one generation to the next through constant investment in human resources, production facilities and research. This approach is its strength and the expression of our long-term vision, even though it goes against the tide of a certain tendency to seek immediate profit. From the creation of components through to watch design, Blancpain is distinguished by its ability to develop exceptional movements. Over the past nine years, the Manufacture has indeed developed no less than 33 new calibres.

Through its various models, Blancpain preserves its heritage of precision and elegance, while also displaying an innovative and occasionally provocative spirit. Its range encompasses the sportive L-evolution line, the legendary Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, as well as the classic Villeret collection, the high complication from Le Brassus collection and the Women models.

And Pirelli continue to supply the rubber as Official Tyre Supplier. Pirelli has a long and illustrious history in endurance racing, and has claimed a huge variety of class wins in GT racing all over the world. The design of the new Pirelli GT tyres meets the needs of GT racing while maintaining the performance characteristics that endurance drivers have appreciated in the past.The slick tyres used for GT racing are branded Zero: just like the slicks that have become a central feature of Formula One. The name P Zero is used in the highest categories of motorsport such as GT racing.

Broadcast partner Eurosport is the n°1 pan-European TV channel, broadcasting in 20 languages and reaching 136 million homes across 54 countries. Eurosport HD is the high definition simulcast of Eurosport. Eurosport 2 broadcasts to 73 million households in 18 languages across 51 countries. Eurosport 2 HD was launched in August 2009.

Eurosport Asia-Pacific reaches 16 countries in the region and launched an HD channel in September 2011. Eurosportnews is the sports news channel transmitted worldwide. Eurosport.com, Europe’s n°1 online sports destination, has up to 23 million unique users per month (comScore) across an international network of sports websites in 9 languages, including Yahoo! co-branded sites in Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK.

The Eurosport.com free mobile applications are available in 10 languages. Eurosport Player, Eurosport’s online TV service, provides LIVE and on-demand sports to fans’ PCs in 52 countries and the Player application is available for mobile, tablet and connected TV in up to 34 countries. Eurosport Events is the group’s expert division in the management and promotion of international sporting events.

About The Author

Nathan Heywood

Nathan Heywood is the Blancpain GT Series correspondent and Racing.GT's tech guru. With his iconic moustache sadly hidden from view, you will be hearing a lot of Nathan's gentle Norfolk tones behind the microphone in Racing.GT's Periscope coverage.