World Rallycross set for UK free-to-air deal
By Florence Lloyd-Hughes
A free-to-air television deal in the UK for motor racing’s FIA World Rallycross Championship, the series promoted by IMG, the international sports and entertainment agency, is close to being signed, Sportcal can reveal.
Sportcal understands that one of the major UK free-to-air broadcasters will pick up highlights to the series and could also acquire some live rights.
The series is presently without a pay-TV or free-to-air rights deal in the UK following the expiration of a highlights agreement with Sky. The pay-TV giant was showcasing coverage on its Sky Sports Mix free-to-view channel.
Last year, the series was also shown on Motorsport.tv, the pan-European internet television channel which is available in the UK.
In 2016, ITV, the commercial free-to-air broadcaster, showed highlights of the series on its ITV4 channel, while Quest, the Discovery-owned free-to-air channel in the UK and Ireland, aired live footage from every round of the series.
World Rallycross is also looking for a live broadcaster in USA after its streaming deal with Ford Performance, the US automotive manufacturer, ended last season. Ford had been live-streaming events on its Facebook Page.
It is understood that talks are underway to secure a linear live TV deal or a streaming agreement.
CBS Sports Network, the US broadcaster’s cable and satellite channel, is in the second term of its four-year World Rallycross highlights deal. That agreement covers highlights from every round of the series.
The 2018 World Rallycross Championship gets under way in Barcelona, Spain on 14 and 15 April.