Max Sport, the Bulgarian pay-television broadcaster, will continue to broadcast the World Rally Championship (WRC) motor racing series domestically after extending its rights agreement for another two years.
Under the deal, Max Sport will air all 13 races of the WRC on its Max Sport 1 channel in the 2023 and 2024 seasons, starting from the 2023 season’s first rally in Monte Carlo on January 19.
Max Sport, which is owned by Bulgarian telecoms operator A1, has held the rights to the WRC since 2020.
The 2023 calendar will return to North and South America for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The season will start in Monte Carlo, Monaco from January 19 to 22 and will finish with the return of Rally Japan after a 12-year hiatus from November 16 to 19.
Several regular rounds have been scheduled including a return to Mexico (March 16 to 19) and Chile (September 28 to October 1) for the first time since the global outbreak of the pandemic.
Austria, the Czech Republic, and Germany will host the new Central European Rally from October 26 to 29, with the asphalt rally to be staged in the German city of Passau.
The new Central European Rally replaces Rally Spain, a traditional stop on the WRC calendar since 1991 which did not renew its contract with the organization.
The rights add to Max Sport’s motoring content which also includes motorcycling’s MotoGP and Nascar stock car racing series. The broadcaster also has extensive soccer rights that include Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s LaLiga, Tuesday matches of UEFA’s Champions League, the Europa League, and the Conference League, as well as the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana South American club tournaments.
Other rights include the ATP men’s tennis tour, the National Basketball League, European basketball’s EuroLeague, the athletics Diamond League, and volleyball tournaments organized by the FIVB, as well as ice hockey’s National Hockey League, American football’s National Football League, and mixed martial arts promotion UFC.
The rights deal comes two months (November 29) after the WRC announced it will launch its dedicated streaming platform that will replace its WRC+ subscription platform.
The Rally.TV platform will become the new ‘home of rally’ starting this year and will provide coverage of every stage and race for all WRC competitions live and on-demand, as well as exclusive content.