The deal for television rights to the round the world race could be the key to new sponsors

A deal between BT and production company United Sport will mean major television coverage for next year’s BT Global Challenge. United Sport will produce daily news, weekly editorials and programmes about the race, the technology and the business aspects to be distributed to Meridian, CNN, CNBC and others.

The company will also make a series of eight one-hour documentaries which will be pitched to UK broadcasters.

It is likely that the contract for TV rights to the Challenge will now tempt companies who have been evaluating the benefits of sponsoring a boat in the race to commit themselves. At present, there are five sponsors for the fleet of 12 boats: a consortium of IT companies under the banner of Team SpirIT, the Isle of Man, Logica, CGU and Compaq.