Broadcast boost in USA

WRC Promoter has strengthened its FIA World Rally Championship TV coverage in the United States after confirming agreements with two broadcast networks.

ELEVEN SPORTS and ESPN3 will both screen live action and highlights from the 2017 championship, which is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and wide open title fights in recent years.

The former will provide coverage on its authenticated linear network, while ESPN will stream live action and highlights on ESPN3.

ELEVEN SPORTS becomes the WRC’s exclusive pay TV partner in the USA. It is available in 50 million homes through carriage deals with networks including AT&T, DirecTV, Verizon, Charter and NCTC.

It has acquired a number of other leading sports rights in recent months as part of ambitious growth plans in the USA and will also screen the WRC’s pre-event magazine programme.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, which delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices through WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

It owns exclusive digital rights for live WRC action and will also show mid- and end-of season review programmes as well as event highlights.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the agreements were a major boost to the championship’s expanding portfolio.

“USA is, of course, a huge market and our new agreements will increase the WRC’s audience by delivering increased coverage and exposure to sports fans there.

“ELEVEN SPORTS is a fast-developing player in televised sport which caters for a young demographic. ESPN needs no introduction as one of the most powerful brands in the USA’s sports media landscape,” he said.

WRC will generate more TV content than ever this season, exceeding last year’s figures in which more than 12,000 hours were broadcast globally to a cumulative audience of over 700 million people.

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