The World Rally Championship will continue to be broadcast live in the United Kingdom until 2024 as a new deal has been signed with its current broadcaster BT Sport.
The subscription service has been showing every WRC rally in full since 2014, and will now do so for an additional three years beginning with the 2022 season that features the debut of the hybrid Rally1 regulations as the world championship’s top class.
As part of the new deal, ‘a pre-event magazine show, daily highlights and a post-rally review programme’ will be included in addition to the live coverage of every stage.
“British rally fans have celebrated some stellar moments over the years, cheering on as they watched television coverage of Colin McRae and Richard Burns bringing WRC championship glory to their shores,” said Philipp Maenner, WRC Promoter’s media rights director.
“Now a new generation of British drivers is focused on emulating those amazing achievements. I’m delighted that, as the WRC travels the globe to compete in picture-postcard locations and gruelling conditions, BT Sport will continue to screen the thrills and spills from every round.
“The introduction of sustainable hybrid technology next year for the WRC’s headline category marks one of the biggest milestones in the sport’s history and this extension means British fans will be right there from the beginning.”
BT Sport also broadcasts the top level of electric motorsport in single-seater and motorcycle racing, and so the WRC’s hybrid move has been particularly attractive to the broadcaster as motorsport has to justify its portion of the production budget more than ever while an increasing amount of money goes into securing broadcasting rights for football contests and major tournaments in other sports.
“BT Sport is passionate about sustainability and we aim to become one of the greenest broadcasters globally, so we welcome the chance to showcase WRC’s landmark hybrid evolution from 2022,” said the company’s sports rights director Rachel Knight.
The WRC has its own ‘All Live’ service which is also available in the UK and provides full coverage of every event.