2016 World Rallycross Championship to be shown live on UK terrestrial TV

by Phil Kinch

The FIA World Rallycross Championship has confirmed that 12 events in the 2016 season will be shown live on free-to-air television channel QuestTV with a highlights package also confirmed to be shown on both ITV4 and on satellite channel Eurosport.

Since the championship began in 2014, Eurosport has shown highlights programmes for the series, however QuestTV began broadcasting a highlights show in 2015 and broadcast the championship finale in Argentina live. The move to Quest showing all events live this year is a big boost for the championship along with ITV4 showing WorldRX coverage for the first time.

This adds to the motorsport portfolio ITV4 has including live coverage of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship & Formula E as well as highlights of WRC, TOCA Support Racing & MotoGP coverage. ITV4 will show a highlights programme on Tuesday nights whilst Eurosport will also show a Highlights programme to be confirmed at a later date.

Simon Downing, SVP Head of Channel Quest, is very excited about the commitment: “It is incredibly exciting to bring live coverage of the entire World RX season to Quest in 2016. The championship has proved increasingly popular with our viewers. Adding comprehensive coverage of all the action this year ignites our sports offering yet further.”

Quest is available on Freeview channel 37, Sky on 144 or Virgin on 172.  ITV4 can be viewed on Freeview channel 24. Eurosport 1 is available on Sky channel 410, Virgin Media 511 and BT TV 412. Eurosport 2 is on Sky channel 411, Virgin Media 525 and BT TV 413. The move to showing an FIA World Championship on Free-T0-Air TV has been a welcome one amongst fans on Social Media, at a time when most World Championships are looking to Pay-Per-View, Satellite/Cable Channels or Internet coverage as broadcast options.

Niall Sloane, ITV’s Head of Sport also expressed his enthusiasm for the move, “Bringing the best of the FIA World Rallycross Championship action to our viewers free to air in a lively highlights show is another exciting addition to our portfolio of motorsports on ITV4.”

“We are delighted that two separate broadcasters are taking our rallycross coverage in 2016 – the appetite for free-to-air broadcasters who are keen to televise our sport is clearly growing.” added Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG.

“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.”

The 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship begins in Portugal on 15-17 April.


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