The FIA World Rally Championship promoters have announced that a minimum of 26 special stages from the 2015 season will be broadcast live.
The opening weekend for the championship will see the launch of the coverage on Thursday 22 January at Rallye Monte-Carlo covering the 21.31km Alpine test from Entrevaux to Rouaine at 19:00 GMT (20:00 CET).
Two further shows over the weekend will be based at the 10.16km Col St Jean – St Laurent test on Sunday 25 January with the first programme starting at 08:30 GMT (09:30 CET) with the second show at 11:00 GMT (12:00 CET) when the stage is driver for a second time, becoming the rally-closing Power Stage.
Live coverage from Rally Sweden (12-15 February) will kick off once again on the Thursday evening on the opening super special stage in Karlstad which sees cars go head-to-head around an ice covered horse track. Further coverage for the weekend will come from the Saturday morning Vargåsen test, featuring the spectacular Colin’s Crest jump, named in honour of 1995 world champion Colin McRae. Sweden’s live coverage finishes with the 15.87km Värmullsåsen Power Stage at Sunday lunchtime.
Rally Guanajuato Mexico (5 – 8 March) will see the opening stage in the former mining tunnels of Guanajuato on Thursday evening before both Saturday and Sunday’s El Brinco stages in the mountains arebroadcast.
Fan-favourite super special stage in Villa Carlos Paz kicks off the Rally Argentina coverage on 23 April plus the Sunday Power Stage through El Condor on Sunday lunchtime (local time).
Confirmed coverage for the rest of the year will see the rally-ending Power Stage broadcast on all 13 rounds
All live stages will also be available via the championship’s interactive WRC+ digital service at www.wrcplus.com (where available), plus regional TV coverage (some TV deals are still being finalised, keep a look out for a full list of broadcasters soon).
“There is a growing demand for live sports in HD quality in general, and our broadcast partners are asking for more live WRC coverage. That’s encouraging, especially for our fans who can see more of the drama and action from the championship on television as it happens.” said Oliver Ciesla, Managing Director of WRC Promoter.
“The excitement of the Power Stage, featuring the rally’s finale and podium, will be broadcast live from every round on Sunday lunchtime.
“Fans can make an appointment with the WRC at the same time for each round, knowing they can watch and enjoy the final outcome live. It’s the must-see programme of a WRC weekend,” added Ciesla.
Broadcast hours for WRC have continued to rise and were up 57 per cent in 2014 compared with the previous season. The average TV audience grew to more than 60 million per rally.
|Rallye Monte-Carlo||22 January||SS1: Entrevaux – Rouaine||20.00 – 21.00|
|25 January||SS13: Col St Jean – St Laurent 1||09.30 – 10.30|
|25 January||SS15: Col St Jean – St Laurent 2||12.00 – 13.00|
|Rally Sweden||12 February||SS1: SS Karlstad 1||20.00 – 21.00|
|14 February||SS14: Vargåsen 1||10.30 – 11.30|
|15 February||SS21: Värmullsåsen 2||12.00 – 13.00|
|Rally Mexico||5 March||SS1: SS Guanajuato||03.00 – 04.00|
|7 March||SS15: El Brinco 1||19.00 – 20.00|
|8 March||SS15: El Brinco 3||19.00 – 20.00|
|Rally Argentina||24 April||SS6: Parque Tematico||22.00 – 23.00|
|26 April||SS12: El Condor||17.00 – 18.00|