Sport1 retains World Rallycross in wide-ranging IMG motorsports deal

German sports broadcaster Sport1 has acquired a suite of motor racing rights from the IMG agency in a deal headlined by the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Sport1 has retained the World Rallycross Championship rights from 2020 to 2022. The broadcaster has secured exclusive platform-neutral rights in Germany and Switzerland and co-exclusive rights in Austria.

Exclusive rights to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix (until 2021) and Australia’s Supercars Championship (until 2022) have also been acquired by Sport1.

In a separate agreement, IMG has sold World Rallycross Championship highlights rights in Austria to A1now, the over-the-top streaming platform of telco A1 Telekom Austria.

Sport1 will show all stages of the 2020 World Rallycross Championship season either live or delayed on its pay-television channel Sport1+. There will also be a selection of races shown on its flagship free-to-air channel, including Germany’s Nürburgring race in August. Highlights clips from the series will be shown on Sport1’s digital platforms.

The broadcaster came on board midway through the 2018 season to show the elite rallycross series in German-speaking countries. At the time, Sport1 took over from commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 in a contract covering the rest of the 2018 campaign and the 2019 season.

Daniel von Busse, Sport1’s chief operating officer, TV, said today (Tuesday) that the broadcaster will also “accompany World RX on its promising path to an electric series”.

Paul Bellamy, IMG’s senior vice-president of motorsports events, said: “The agreements with Sport1 and A1now strengthen our presence across Germany, Austria and Switzerland and underline World RX’s increasing appeal among broadcasters. We expect heightened interest from German fans in 2020 with the seventh round of World RX taking place at the iconic Nürburgring – a brand new venue for the championship.”

IMG distributes the worldwide media rights to the World Rallycross Championship, which was created in 2014. Along with the live rights, the agency also distributes a total of eleven 48-minute highlights programmes.

Sport1+ will air all FIM Speedway Grand Prix races either live or delayed. The race in Teterow, Germany, the second stop on the 2020 calendar, will be shown on the free-to-air Sport1 channel.

IMG distributes the live rights to ten three-hour Speedway Grand Prix programmes, plus ten 48-minute highlights programmes.

The 2020 FIM Speedway Grand Prix season begins on May 16 in Warsaw.

Meanwhile, selected races from the Supercars touring car series are to be shown live on Sport1+ as part of the rights agreement with IMG.

The agency sells the Supercars broadcast rights worldwide (excluding Australia and New Zealand). Live rights are sold to 28 races across 14 rounds, plus 24 one-hour highlights programmes and a 52-minute season review programme.