It was announced last week, in the final week of the Manx Grand Prix, that there’s a possibility Manx Radio TT may not return next year.
The Manx Radio TT posted an emotional farewell announcement, complete with a picture of the team on their Facebook page.
Naturally, the motorbike fans on the Island and further afield have been up in arms, and there’s a petition circulating on social media boasting nearly 10,000 signatures, asking for Manx Radio to remain as the broadcaster of choice for both the TT and the MGP.
But what are the facts here?
In a press release from the IOM Government, the Department for Enterprise (DfE) wanted to clarify the situation, and respond to the comments on social media, suggesting MR have lost the contract which is ‘being awarded to an off-Island organisation’.
In short, this is incorrect.
It’s simply a case of the radio broadcasting contract with MR coming to an end – and as with any Government contract, it will now be subject to a full tender process.
We Manx struggle not to get emotional about anything TT related…
Remember the last time something similar happened and everyone was full of kick-off? When Bushy’s lost the Bottleneck? As a result, Bushy’s TT Village was born; which solidified TT 2018 as one of the best most can remember.
According to multiple comments on social media, Manx Radio were paid just under £100,000 this year to provide 4 weeks of coverage, when both the TT and MGP were taking place.
In our personal opinion, the Manx Radio TT jingle is worth that alone!
*MANX RAY-DEE-OH TEE TEE*
In all seriousness, it’s clear people love the coverage Manx Radio provides.
Nearly 10K signatures on an online petition? That’s approx. 9,700 more people than Gef got when we DEMANDED all 10 seasons of Friends were put on Netflix for the people of the Isle of Man! (You can legit thank us for that happening. It was all us. All of it)
We Manx also want the best bang for our buck…
Some social media commentators champion the tender process. At a time when the Island faces economic challenges, it is important that taxpayers receive the best value for money.
The Department for Enterprise refer to their responsibilities to the taxpayer in their pr;
“It is Isle of Man Government’s policy that all commercial contracts are market tested through open procurement processes wherever possible, to demonstrate value for money;
Following a number of years of temporary contract extensions, all TT and Festival of Motorcycling related commercial contracts are being reassessed and re-tendered with many tenders completed since the middle of 2017”
So what’s next?
The TT & Festival of Motorcycling radio broadcasting contract is up for tender this month.
Any radio broadcaster wishing to submit a tender through the process will need to demonstrate that they have both the spectrum and appropriate licences in place to broadcast on the Island, or be able to demonstrate that they can obtain these before next year’s events.
As part of this process, the Department has clarified with the Communications Commission the terms upon which a new licence could be awarded, and therefore there is a possibility that the process could lead to a provider new to the Island, but this is only a possibility and will depend on the submissions received.
Manx Radio, along with other existing Isle of Man radio stations and off-Island providers may wish to tender, and a decision based on value and quality will be made in due course.
The full section criteria hasn’t yet been released but we will follow this story with interest.
What are your thoughts? Let us know at [email protected] or in the comments on social media.
After this article was published, Manx Radio have issued a statement; (04/09/2018)
‘Today, Manx Radio has had a meeting with the Department for Enterprise. We talked about the arrangements, including the contractual arrangements, which have enabled us to work together successfully in the past on the TT and Festival of Motorcycling. This current contract came to an end at the finish of this year’s Festival of Motorcycling.
Both parties put their positions forward in a forthright manner and have agreed to review the situation.
Manx Radio would like to clarify that over the years, a number of proposals have been offered to the Department to cover various levels of broadcast involvement in these motorcycling events. However, Manx Radio has never received the large sums recently mooted.’