World Rallycross Championship makes free-to-air breakthrough in UK market

Motor-racing’s World Rallycross Championship will this year be broadcast live and in full for the first time on free-to-air television in the UK and Ireland after series operator the IMG agency secured new rights deals.

Free-to-air DTT channel Quest has secured a deal to broadcast all 12 Championship rounds from the 2016 season live on Sunday afternoons. In addition, the World RX highlights show will be available to watch on ITV4, the free-to-air digital channel of commercial broadcaster ITV, the following Tuesday evening. Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport has also committed to broadcast World RX highlights for the third year in a row.

Last year Quest broadcast highlights on Monday evenings with the final round in Argentina shown live on the channel. ITV4 has not shown rallycross previously.

Paul Bellamy, World RX managing director for IMG, said: “The appetite for free-to-air broadcasters who are keen to televise our sport is clearly growing. Having had a regular highlights slot on Quest last year, we were pleased to see the growth in viewing figures as the season progressed. To have ITV4 and Eurosport take our highlights package is excellent as it allows fans to watch delayed coverage if they miss the live broadcast.

“Swedish public-service broadcaster SVT has already committed to showing World RX live and it’s fantastic that the UK and Ireland have now followed suit and are also showing rallycross on free to air TV.  We expect to announce some more terrestrial TV deals in the upcoming months.”