World Rally Championship promises record live TV coverage in 2014
|By David Evans||Friday, November 22nd 2013, 12:10 GMT|
The 2014 World Rally Championship will offer more live television and internet coverage than ever before, according to organisers.
Promoter Oliver Ciesla has targeted a global TV audience of 1.2 billion people by the end of 2016, double what the WRC is currently receiving.
The intention is for every round of the WRC to finish on a Sunday with a live television powerstage, with the programme starting at 1200 CET.
"We need to make habits," said Ciesla, "and the way to do this is to make a regular slot for the WRC. This is why it is so important that rallies will end at the same time and on the same day of the week."
Unfortunately, the first three rounds of the series will not conform to this, given that the itinerary for Monte Carlo and Sweden is already set and for Mexico, the six-hour time difference would mean running its final stage at 0600 CET.
Ciesla added that the hour-long show would not be completely live, but would set the scene from the event for the first half before heading into the powerstage for the live action.
He reported an encouraging appetite for a live WRC show at the recent Sportel media sports sales convention in Monaco.
"We understand the importance of live," said Ciesla. "And we are confident in the market for it. We are talking with different broadcasters in Britain right now, but I believe it will shown live on every Sunday of a WRC round."
Beyond the television improvements, Ciesla wants to make the service park into more of a hub for the events.
"We want to improve the service park experience," he said. "When the cars aren't there, we want the people to come and sit in the service park, take a beer and a burger and watch the stages on the big screen.
"We will take this footage and run it live on wrc.com from the first round in Monte Carlo."