Desborough backs ITV deal

WRC television presenter Jon Desborough believes that the sport's shock switch from Channel 4 to ITV for this season is fantastic news, especially because it has been guaranteed peak-time slots on Sunday afternoons

Speaking at AUTOSPORT International today (Friday), Desborough praised the support and coverage that Channel 4 has given the championship over the past two seasons, but reckons that the WRC's new home could open the sport up to a wave of new fans.

"That afternoon slot is the thing we've all been waiting for more than anybody else," said Desborough. "The thing we missed most on Channel 4 was the fact that we wanted to broadcast in clothes, not pyjamas! But give credit to Channel 4: they provided cutting edge footage that was very exciting. They were brave enough to take it on in the first place, and to turn over what were great spots on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays to it - until Cricket got in the way.

"We've all enjoyed working with them, and I believe that Channel 4 would say that they've enjoyed having the WRC, but the one thing we missed was that regular spot on Sunday afternoon - and now we've got it."

ITV also broadcasts Formula 1, and this year will show selected BTCC races live. Desborough believes that the strong line-up of motorsport assembled by the channel will be beneficial to the WRC.

"I think that ITV is beginning to kick back against the domination that Football has had over the last ten years. They're starting to assemble a lot of motor racing coverage on a Sunday afternoon, and I think it's fantastic that the WRC will be a part of that.

"I think that rallying is a sport that lots of people outside of motorsport will be genuinely interested in, because of the places that we go to. I'm desperate to put it in front of people who don't watch much motorsport, and who maybe think that F1 is getting a bit boring."

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