World Rally Championship unveils ‘pioneering’ broadcast plan

The World Rally Championship motorsport series has launched a new live streaming service as part of what it claims is a “pioneering” overhaul of its broadcast strategy.

The details were revealed today (Thursday) at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England.

As part of the new WRC All Live service, for the first time in the championship’s history every special stage from each round will be shown as it happens. Additional live coverage will include the opening and podium ceremonies, press conferences and driver autograph sessions.

WRC Promoter, the championship’s commercial rights holder, will offer more than 25 hours of coverage from each rally as a continuous live stream, including expert analysis from the WRC’s television studio and breaking news, interviews and reactions from across the service park.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said: “WRC fans now have the choice and flexibility to join the live action at any time during a rally weekend. Fans can choose to watch the stages they like best and enjoy unprecedented live access to the service areas, whenever they want and from wherever they are.”

Numerous stageside and onboard cameras, helicopters, drones and a production team of almost 100 people will provide coverage of the WRC, with the 2018 campaign due to commence in Monaco later this month.

WRC All Live will be available in English on the championship’s www.wrcplus.com subscription channel.

“With WRC+, All Live can be watched anywhere, anytime and on any device – computer, laptop, smart TV, smartphone or tablet,” Ciesla said. “Fans won’t have to miss a thing as all stages can be watched live or on demand and an interactive programme guide will provide information to steer fans easily through each day.”

WRC All Live will begin with a live stream from the opening two stages at Rallye Monte-Carlo on January 25.

Ciesla added: “WRC All Live is the logical development of WRC+. A continuous live stream is the appropriate format for an endurance sport that runs for two-and-a-half days. It will also become an important new tool for journalists, teams, rally organisers and safety delegates working in the WRC.”

Popular existing features such as live maps, exclusive onboard videos, and on-demand daily highlights shows are included in the WRC All Live offer, which costs €8.99 ($11) per month or €89.99 for an annual subscription.

The WRC+ basic package, containing of live coverage of a Saturday afternoon test and Sunday lunchtime’s rally-closing Power Stage alongside the above features, remains available as a starter bundle.