Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man TT radio contract will go out to tender

Classic TT Image copyright Stee Babb
Image caption The contracts for the TT, Classic TT and Manx Grand Prix are up for grabs

Next year's TT festival may not be broadcast on Manx Radio after the government decided against automatically renewing its contract.

The station has provided coverage of the annual festival for 54 years.

The government said the decision was not a "reflection on the current providers" but a way of guaranteeing the best "quality and value for money".

More than 10,000 disgruntled fans have signed a petition in favour of retaining Manx Radio's services.

A Department for Enterprise spokesman said he expected the broadcaster to be one of the parties bidding for the contract when the process begins later this month.

But he also said it was possible that, subject to licenses, an off-island provider could be considered.

The government said: "Following a number of years of temporary contract extensions, all TT and Festival of Motorcycling related commercial contracts are being reassessed.

"Many historic providers have been successful in obtaining further contracts through the process."

Manx Radio managing director Anthony Pugh said: "Manx Radio is committed to delivering the best commentary for the TT and Festival of Motorcycling.

"We are disappointed that as a long-standing official partner, the Department has failed to engage with us and discuss the future."