WRC Promoter will outline TV proposals for the FIA World Rally Championship at this week’s Sportel business convention in Monaco.
Senior management will meet executives from the global sports media industry at the four-day event to present the championship’s programmes and broadcast content ahead of the beginning of an exciting new WRC era in 2017.
Sportel is acknowledged as the must-attend convention for sports media industry leaders. WRC Promoter will explain broadcast plans to sync with the introduction next year of more powerful and dynamic World Rally Cars, alongside the return of Toyota.
Highlights of the 2017 broadcast plans are:
• More programmes available to broadcasters, including more and regular live action shows.
• Extended coverage of the victory podium following live screening of Sunday’s rally-closing Power Stage.
• Increased analysis and behind-the-scenes insight, featuring interviews with drivers and experts.
• Additional news content, particularly for the WRC 2 and Junior WRC support categories, with tailor-made programmes for broadcast partners to cover national interests.
Live WRC returns to free-to-air TV in Britain
Fans in Britain have the opportunity watch live action from this week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27 - 30 October) on both free to-air and pay TV networks for the first time in more than a decade.
BT Sport and terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 will both screen extended coverage from Sunday’s (30 October) rally-concluding Brenig Power Stage, which starts at 12.08 GMT.
The Channel 5 network will also show daily highlights of Friday and Saturday's action from the 12th and penultimate fixture, as well as a post-event round-up show. BT Sport wil broadcast highlights from all three days and a post-event package.
New TV agreements in Japan, Russia and Czech Republic
Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi will screen highlights from all 2017 rounds, as well as the final two rallies of 2016. Its free-to-air coverage will supplement the extensive content the WRC already enjoys on J Sports.
Buoyed by the anticipation of Toyota’s return to the WRC after a 16-year absence, J Sports will also host a Japanese language version of wrc.com, the official website of the FIA World Rally Championship.
In Russia, NTV Plus has recently added the WRC to its portfolio on the Match Arena channel while Czech channel O2 has extended its partnership into 2017.
Rising TV audience in powerhouse countries
Big audience increases in important TV markets during the opening half of 2016 have been reported by independent research agency Repucom.
The largest growth, compared with the opening half of 2015, was in Japan (127 per cent), primarily due to a big rise on the J Sports 3 channel.
Germany showed an 89 per cent increase thanks to growth on Sport 1. Coverage on Channel 5 helped Britain’s viewing figures move up by 44 per cent, while Sweden’s audience rose 22 per cent due to substantial growth on SVT1.
The Asia Pacific, African and North and South America regions also showed notable upsurges during the period, with Mexico’s audience increasing by 81 per cent.