The forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race looks set to achieve record numbers of television viewers

The Volvo Ocean Race, (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) which starts from Galicia in Spain, this November, looks set to achieve record numbers of television viewers.

With distribution agreements for more than two dozen countries, including major broadcasters in all the stopover territories, it is expected that a cumulative audience in excess of 1.5 billion viewers will tune in to see what promise to be unique pictures, beamed from the Southern Ocean, following the lives of nearly a hundred of the world’s top sailors as they battle their way around the planet.

The weekly coverage of the race will be transmitted by ITV in the UK, TVE in Spain, NOS in Holland, Channel Ten in Australia, TV3 in New Zealand and TVGlobo in Brazil, among others. In addition, programming made by the UK’s Sunset Vine, will be seen by viewers in the USA through ABC, ESPN and CNBC and in South Africa on Super Sport.

Each of the boats in the race, which starts in Vigo, Galicia, on 12 November, will have 10 on-board cameras with direct satellite links back to the race headquarters in Portsmouth, UK, where the weekly programmes will be produced. Mark Howell, Head of Broadcast for the Volvo Ocean Race said: “Wherever possible, this time, we are working with free-to-air broadcasters, as we recognize that in most countries broadcasters still have a broader reach and higher ratings than many pay TV channels.”

The public can also catch the action through the radio coverage around the world provided by the Broadcasting Company and on the official event website –