The decision to approach Sky Sports TV in July for possible highlights of the British Final at Norwich this year looks set to reap big benefits for the sport - with news confirmed today that Sky Sports have upgraded coverage from Cycle Sports World to the longer established and higher profile Sports Unlimited programme.
Andy Angell took the title at the British Finals
In another highly encouraging move, talks have already been opened for regular coverage of the newly formed Elite League in 2012, provided the sport can find commercial sponsorship of some £5,000 plus to cover coverage of several top flight matches.
It comes as Sky Sports have released details of the first batch of transmission dates of the coverage of the British Finals, including a prime time 7pm slot, when Sheffield hotshot Andy Angell won a highly entertaining and emotionally charged final in front of one of the biggest crowds in years.
The dates and times of the broadcasts are Tuesday 29 November 2011 at 7pm and 11pm. The action is repeated on Wednesday 30 November at 12 noon and 3pm.
Sky Sports also confirmed they will be running almost the full 20 minute edited version of the Final, instead of the originally intended 12 minutes version. It will also appear first in the running order of the hour long programme.
Explaining the reasoning behind the programme upgrading and extra time allowance, a Sky Sports spokesman today told Joe McLaughlin, the Coventry member who originated and brokered the filming contract: "The content is excellent, exceptionally well produced and visually very impressive. It deserves a higher profile platform which we are delighted to give it."
Joe McLaughlin added: "Hopefully this extensive prime time coverage of the sport will be well received and lead to a raising of the profile of the great all action sport of cycle speedway."
In another boost to the sport, Sky Sports have confirmed they are also producing an edited version for transmission on Cycle Sports World, its original broadcast platform, as well as producing a third version for overseas airing to as many as 18 countries.