The broadcaster has announced it has exclusive live UK and Ireland coverage rights for all the events in the 35th America’s Cup

BT Sport has secured exclusive live UK and Ireland coverage rights for all events in the 35th America’s Cup (AC), starting with the opening races of the World Series in Portsmouth.

Under the agreements, BT Sport will broadcast all live stages of the 2015-16 America’s Cup World Series events, being hosted in Portsmouth in July 2015 and again in July 2016, and continuing with events around the world.

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Meanwhile, the BBC will carry highlights programming from the event after acquiring free-to-air broadcast rights.

This will include highlights from the 2015/16 AC World Series, as well as the 2017 Challenger Playoffs and Finals in Bermuda.

Excitement for the upcoming series continues to grow as Sir Ben Ainslie prepares to bring the oldest trophy in international sport home to the UK.

America's Cup broadcasting

America’s Cup commercial commissioner Harvey Schiller said: “With Sir Ben Ainslie leading the charge for Britain, and with the first event of the America’s Cup World Series taking place in Portsmouth in July this year, we know the interest level in the UK has never been higher.

“Our partnership with BT Sport as our live coverage broadcaster and the BBC for highlights programming, means we have an opportunity to reach millions of sailing fans in the UK and Ireland and engage them in the new America’s Cup, which is more dynamic, athletic and spectacular than ever before.

“Fans have a choice of watching the live programming or they can catch highlight shows on the BBC. It’s a powerful combination.”

Chairman of Teamorigin Events and founding shareholder and director of Ben Ainslie Racing Sir Keith Mills said: “The America’s Cup World Series event taking place in Portsmouth this July will be the first time a British team will compete in an official America’s Cup event in British waters since 1851.

“This is going to be an historic occasion where we expect up to 500,000 people attending the event and with BT Sport’s support as the exclusively live broadcaster, and the BBC showing highlight programming, many millions more will be engaged on TV and online.“