Mar 09, 2019
Television broadcast time for the FIA World Rally Championship soared to record levels in 2018 on the back of the closest title battle in years.
The thrilling three-way fight between Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak helped lift global airtime to an unprecedented 14,208 hours across last season’s 13 rounds, according to independent analyst Nielsen Sports.
It is the first time the figure has topped 14,000 hours, climbing from almost 13,500 hours in 2017. The increase maintained the WRC’s consistent growth, which has seen broadcast time rise by more than 140 per cent from 5,900 hours in 2013.
Despite the adverse impact of February’s Olympic Winter Games and football’s World Cup in June and July 2018, the WRC’s global TV audience topped 800 million for a second year.
Nielsen’s figures show 823.79 million people watched the championship on television last season, a rise of 36 per cent compared to 2013, when WRC Promoter took ownership of the series’ commercial rights.
Announcing the figures at today’s (Tuesday) opening day of the Geneva International Motor Show, WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla highlighted several factors responsible for the consistent growth.
“In recent seasons WRC fans have enjoyed unpredictability and excitement which has generated fantastic battles for rally wins and titles, and these positive audience figures reflect that,” he said.
“Changes to the competition format, including revisions to the start order and an attractive Power Stage format, with extra bonus points available, have helped raise fan interest to new levels.
“Competition with the new-generation World Rally Cars has been closer than ever. Five different drivers won rallies last season and each of our four manufacturer teams won at least once.”
Monte-Carlo, Spain and Australia were the most watched rallies in 2018. The high-profile opening round in Monaco is a traditional audience peak of the season, but figures spiked again at the final two fixtures as the intriguing title battle came to its thrilling climax.
France, Poland, Belgium, Finland, Spain and Japan were the top six TV markets. Turkey, which hosted a championship round for the first time since 2010, immediately vaulted into the top 10.
Ciesla also pointed to the positive impact of live coverage on broadcast time.
“Since 2014 the live programmes produced for TV have doubled to 50 hours. In the same period, the total number of programme hours offered to WRC broadcast partners has increased by 38 per cent to 85 hours,” he added.
Nielsen’s figures also showed increased benefits to the car manufacturers involved in the WRC. For the first time they each enjoyed a media value of more than €100 million. The average media value to WRC’s manufacturers has risen by 70 per cent in five years.
Nielsen also reported strong digital and social media figures. There were more than 105 million video views on WRC’s official platforms and more than 1.3 billion online impressions in 2018. The number of followers on the WRC’s digital platforms topped 10 million people.
Apr 23, 2019 Comments Off on Flying start for British Truck Racing season with Smart Witness
Apr 22, 2019 Comments Off on Fortune favours the brave as BRC speeds into Kielder Forest
Apr 22, 2019 Comments Off on Holstein & Denning Star in Ford Fiesta ST Opener At Mondello Park
Apr 22, 2019 Comments Off on Breen strengthens 2019 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship hopes with Wastewater Solutions UAC Easter Stages Rally win
Comments Off on Flying start for British Truck Racing season with Smart Witness
Comments Off on Fortune favours the brave as BRC speeds into Kielder Forest
Comments Off on Holstein & Denning Star in Ford Fiesta ST Opener At Mondello Park
Comments Off on Breen strengthens 2019 Irish Tarmac Rally Championship hopes with Wastewater Solutions UAC Easter Stages Rally win
Mar 22, 2019Fresh from undertaking a successful testing session at...
Mar 15, 2019Motorsport Ireland has launched a new code of conduct...
Mar 14, 2019MANATEQ QATAR INTERNATIONAL RALLY STARTS AT SOUK AL-WAKHRA...
Mar 10, 2019*Over 500 pages – split into 1,260 sections *Compiled...
Feb 06, 2019Preparations are well underway for the 2019 Galway...
Apr 11, 2019Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Fernando Alonso has completed a two-day evaluation test of the Dakar-winning Toyota Hilux. The former Formula 1 World Champion and Indy Car driver Alonso, who currently...
Apr 09, 2019
Apr 09, 2019
Apr 06, 2019
Apr 06, 2019