EXCLUSIVE: Fast N’ Loud and American Chopper producer Pilgrim Media Group has teamed up with Digital Circus, run by former Discovery Channel President Clark Bunting, to produce a range of programming around the Isle of Man TT, often called the most dangerous motorsports race in the world.
Craig Piligian’s and Bunting’s new media company, which produced HBO doc The Cold Blue and Nat Geo’s Yellowstone Live, are to develop TT race-driven content for TV, film, online streaming and gaming platforms after striking a deal with the Isle of Man government which operates the race.
British broadcaster ITV has previously aired the event in the UK, but this marks the first time that a live and all-media programming rights deal has been struck. Piligian and Bunting have established Global Motorsports Ventures, an Isle of Man company operating out of the small tax-generous island off the coast of the UK, North Hollywood and Detroit. 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.
2019 marks the TT’s 100th races and will see motorcycles blasting around the 37-mile road circuit, which includes steep seaside hills with tight corners and woodlands dotted with historic castle ruins, at close to 200mph. Nearly 150 people have died since the first race in 1907.
Piligian said, “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. With the proliferation of entertainment and sports platforms, this is the global moment for the TT.”
“The 100th TT is a momentous event and Craig and I are enormously proud that the IOM chose Pilgrim and Digital Circus to bring it to the world through this unprecedented, trans-media development opportunity,” said Bunting. “The Isle of Man TT offers riveting storytelling and jaw-dropping visuals unlike any other sporting event on the planet. The international assembly of racers who participate in the TT walk the line between extreme bravery and disaster – you have to see it to believe it.”
Minister for Enterprise, Laurence Skelly, whose department promotes the event, said, “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. The individuals involved in this project have a proven track record – within Hollywood and globally – and we look forward to working with them to maximise the event and its potential.”
Dr. Richard Arning, chairman of national development agency Isle of Media, added: “Having supported this new venture from the very beginning, we are absolute excited by working with those at the top of the entertainment field, and for the prospects this brings to our island. It will boost further our profile in global motorsports productions and distribution.”