MUNICH – The global television audience for this year’s Coates Hire Rally Australia round of the FIA World Rally Championship grew by more than 64 percent, or 18 million viewers, according to new research.
Sports marketing research company Repucom reported 46.34 million viewers watched the 11-14 September event on the New South Wales Coffs Coast, a staggering jump from 28.23 million last year.
The increase was almost double the average audience rise of 35 percent measured by Repucom across the first 10 rounds of the 2014 season from Rallye Monte-Carlo to Coates Hire Rally Australia.
The research revealed global demand for the WRC’s spectacular images from events in Europe, Latin America and Australia grew substantially from 2013 to 2014.
The total audience across the 10 rallies rose to 581.81 million viewers, while broadcast time increased by 70 percent to 7275 hours.
Rally Australia enjoyed almost 684 hours of broadcast coverage, while its audience total outstripped those of Argentina and Italy and came close to matching Sweden’s.
Most regions saw notable audience increases in comparison to 2013, including Central and South America (+ 155 percent) and Europe (+ 34 percent).
The Repucom report was announced by Oliver Ciesla, managing director of the Munich-based championship organiser WRC Promoter.
He said the upward trend was “hugely encouraging” and maintained the excellent progress in growing WRC’s media audience across all platforms.
“Increased broadcast hours confirm broadcasters’ appreciation of the WRC programmes we produce and demonstrate we’re meeting the demand for live sport in HD format,” he said.
“The figures show our emphasis to deliver live stages at regular times, such as the Power Stage at midday on a Sunday and Thursday evening city stages, are welcomed by viewers and attract new fans.”
Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford congratulated WRC Promoter on the big increase in the WRC’s television popularity.
“Since it took on the management of the championship from the start of the 2013 season, WRC Promoter led by Oliver Ciesla has been working hard to increase the television, on-line and social media audiences. The Repucom report shows its strategies are succeeding,” Mr Rainsford said.
“This huge additional TV exposure is invaluable to Rally Australia and our partners.
“Combining the most spectacular action images in world motorsport with WRC TV’s dedicated daily event coverage showcases our Coffs Coast region of New South Wales with an effectiveness nothing else can achieve.”
Established in 1973, the WRC is widely regarded as the most challenging motorsport championship in the world. It pits divers and production-based cars against some of the toughest and most varied conditions on the planet.
WRC Promoter GmbH licenses WRC TV Rights worldwide to national and international broadcasters.