LÉquipe, the French free-to-air digital terrestrial channel, will continue to air motor racing’s iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans event until 2025, and has also picked up rights to the FIA World Endurance Championship, after renewing its domestic broadcast partnership with organizer Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO).
LÉquipe has held domestic rights to the race in France since 2021, under a three-year agreement that ended after this year’s centenary edition. Before that, public service broadcaster France Televisions was the long-standing rightsholder of the race from 2008 to 2020.
As part of its two-year extension with ACO, LÉquipe has also secured broadcast rights to all eight races during the top-tier FIA World Endurance Championship until 2025.
LÉquipe said it will air all WEC races live on its digital channels in 2024 and 2025 and increase its coverage of the events on its website and app through real-time results, rankings, editorials, and clips.
The deal was secured with the help of Infront, the international sports marketing agency that is the media rights partner of the full series.
ACO president Pierre Fillion said: “In this new golden age of endurance racing, it is crucial to offer our fans and manufacturers as much coverage as possible. LÉquipe is a high-quality broadcaster which allows us to offer everyone to experience the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the best possible conditions.”
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Frédéric Lequien, FIA WEC chief executive, added: “It is our goal to make the WEC as accessible as possible for our fans, and being able to watch the events from home is key. LÉquipe’s impressive household reach and high-quality media coverage can certainly help us achieve this goal in France.”
Media giant Warner Bros. Discovery holds the rights to the WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans in more than 100 markets around the world under a five-year agreement struck in 2021. Under that deal, races are shown on WBD’s Eurosport, MotorTrend TV, Velocity, and Discovery+ platforms in Europe, North America, and Asia.
The 2024 season of WEC starts in Qatar on March 2, while the next 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place across June 15 and 16.
The deal comes on the back of several partnerships recently secured by sports marketing agency IMG for the Le Mans race, including with motorsport safety equipment firm Racing Force Group, Italian sportswear brand Kappa, toy manufacturer Silverlit, and fashion brand Bershka, among others.
IMG has been the licensing partner of the ACO, the race’s organizing body, since 2008, with the pair extending their agreement in 2021 to run until after the 2024 edition.
During the partnership, the ACO has been keen to capitalize on its licensing program to generate year-round attention and develop its revenue streams.
Read more: Beyond 24 Hours: How Le Mans' licensing program keeps the midnight oil burning.