An online petition is asking fans to support Manx Radio’s coverage of the TT racing.

Thousnds of people have signed two different petitions calling for Manx Radio to be retained as the official radio broadcaster for the TT events and Manx Grand Prix.

The first petition says: ’For years Manx Radio have covered the Isle of Man TT Races with intellectual broadcasting and presenters and commentators who are up to date with all of today’s and yesterday’s TT and Manx Grand Prix riders, facts and figures.

’Their second-to-none coverage on radio and world- wide on the internet has caused the sensation that makes the Isle of Man the number one biking station in the world.

’To have it taken away and replaced by an off-island agency is both ridiculous and a major step backwards for the TT and the Isle of Man.’

No decision has yet been taken about who will provide the coverage for next year’s TT and Manx Grand Prix.

However, Manx Radio’s contract ended this year after being extended by a year from 2017.

Now the Department for Enterprise, which oversees the TT and Manx Grand Prix broadcasts, has put the contract out to tender.

The official radio coverage is provided under a separate contract and it is paid specifically for its race broadcasts. This is in addition to the £875,000 subvention Manx Radio receives annually.

A government statement points out Manx Radio has not lost the contract. Its existing term has simply come to an end.

The statement said: ’The tender will take place in September and any decisions regarding who the contract will be awarded to will be entirely dependent on that process. Any provider who tenders will need to be capable of meeting the requirements to broadcast the events on-island.

’The department would expect Manx Radio to be one of the parties wishing to enter into the tender process.’

Onchan MHK and member of the Department for Enterprise Rob Callister said all MGP and TT contracts were being put to tender in a process that had been going on for a couple of years. It was aimed at getting best value for money.

’The decision to tender is not a reflection on the current providers of any of these contracts and many of the historic providers have been successful in obtaining further contracts through this process,’ he said.

He added evidence given by the Treasury Minister recently to a Tynwald Select Committee, was that Manx Radio requested an increase in its fee in 2017, but this was declined by government. However, the fee was increased ahead of the 2018 event after negotiations between the government and Manx Radio.

Manx Radio said it was making a loss on the previous contract.

A spokesman said any radio broadcaster wishing to submit a tender would need to demonstrate they were licensed to broadcast in the island, but added there was a possibility the process could lead to a new provider to the island.

’But this is only a possibility.’

Source: IoMToday