In 2018, the first race of each World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) event was broadcast live on Facebook, however this will no longer be the case during the upcoming 2019 season.
Instead, Eurosport and selected other regional TV outlets will be the sole live broadcaster of all WTCR races in 2019. This comes after WTCR Promoter, Francois Ribeiro, labelled the championship’s Facebook live-streaming venture as a “huge disappointment”.
Explaining further, Ribeiro said: “It’s very difficult. Facebook is a media, but how it works for live broadcast, and the best way to experience how it works, is to experiment with it. I heard ‘Francois, if you put this on Facebook you will have one million viewers’.
“The truth is, we have done very creative stuff, with clips with the drivers as the promoters of the championship, and we’ll continue to do this, but the live broadcast has been nowhere near our expectations, so we have decided to stop this.”
“We’ll keep going with the practice and the qualifying, that’s fine, but the three races will go back to linear transmission, as I can’t explain to teams, sponsors and manufacturers why I have to penalise them when we have 50 million viewers per event on TV, and then give them a maximum of 100,000 live on Facebook. So from 2019, we’ll use social media for the narrative of the championship, but not the live broadcasts.”
As he briefly touched upon there, the WTCR practice and qualifying sessions will continue to be shown live on Facebook however, along with other features and clips for fans to view and engage with throughout the season.