Warner Bros. Discovery New Zealand (WBDNZ), the regional arm of the global media giant, has secured exclusive domestic rights for international sailing series SailGP’s upcoming fourth season.

The agreement will see WBD provide coverage of all 12 SailGP events via its free-to-air linear channel Three, as well as its streaming platform ThreeNow, starting with this weekend’s (June 16 to 17) Rolex US Sail Grand Prix in Chicago, US. Delayed coverage of the race will be aired on Three later in the day of each event.

Juliet Peterson, senior director of content at BVOD for WBD Australia and New Zealand, said: “We are proud to celebrate our exclusive partnership with SailGP, bringing more sporting coverage to Kiwis and simultaneously making it as accessible as possible.

“We know our audiences are passionate sports fans and we are delighted to continue bringing key sporting moments to ThreeNow and Three.”

The new rights agreement comes after a record-breaking third season for SailGP last year, reaching more than 117 million people – three times more than the previous year.

Over 400,000 people in New Zealand tuned into the inaugural New Zealand Sail GP leg at Christchurch, which was also shown on Three and ThreeNow, as well as pay-television operator Sky New Zealand.

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Karl Budge, SailGP’s Asia-Pacific commercial director, said: “We’re delighted to announce WBD as the new home of SailGP in New Zealand, the spiritual home for sailing.

“For us, the alignment was natural. Their broad network provides the ideal platform to help grow our dedicated audience and bolster our established fan base in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, UK commercial broadcaster ITV has also secured rights to the upcoming season, which it will part-broadcast across its ITV1 and ITV4 linear channels, with nine events to be shown exclusively on the ITVX streaming service.

A full highlights show of the season’s grand final in San Francisco will be aired on ITV1, while highlights programs for all other events in the season will be shown on ITV4.

Niall Slone, ITV director of sport, said: “We hope viewers will enjoy being able to watch, live and free to air, one of the most exciting and glamorous events in sailing.

“With live overage across 18 days throughout the season, coming from fantastic locations across the world, available on ITVX as well as highlights on ITV4 and ITV1, there is an opportunity for our audiences to engage with all the action and we’re delighted to be partnering with SailGP to bring viewers each event, starting this Friday in Chicago.”

The new deal adds to ITV’s growing sports portfolio, which includes Six Nations rugby, the Rugby World Cup, England Women’s soccer matches, the UEFA 2024 European Championships, English soccer’s FA Cup, Spanish soccer’s LaLiga, cycling’s Tour de France, American football’s NFL, motor racing’s Extreme, MotoGP, and the British Touring Car Championships, and rugby’s Champions Cup.

Elsewhere, US technology giant Oracle has extended and expanded its partnership with SailGP until the end of the 2026 season.

The deal builds on the pair’s commercial agreement that started with the inaugural 2019 season and will see Oracle become the title partner of the inaugural Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix on July 22 and 23.

Starting with this season, SailGP will also use Oracle Customer Experience technology to power its new fan engagement platform The Dock – a web3 free fan loyalty program that will allow fans to access and engage with exclusive SailGP content and earn points that can be redeemed for rewards, including VIP access to events, signed merchandise, and experiences with teams and athletes.

Under the program, the more fans interact with the platform, the more points they will earn.

Warren Jones, SailGP’s chief technology officer, said: “Oracle’s cloud technology is at the heart of everything we do at SailGP, and this partnership extension reflects the power and results of our collaboration.

“We have no doubt Oracle will take our fan and athlete experience to even greater heights in the seasons to come and The Dock is a great example of this.”

SailGP has utilized Oracle Cloud Infrastructure since its 2019 inaugural season to deliver real-time data to each of the league’s national teams and its global broadcast partners.

Last week, the series announced a significant extension of its commercial tie-up with Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Mubadala, becoming a global series partner through the end of 2026.

It also brought on board Apex Group, a global financial services provider, as a new sponsor ahead of the 2023 season.