Canal Plus, the prominent French pay-TV broadcaster, has extended its broadcast rights deal covering motor racing’s World Rally Championship until the end of 2030.
The deal, which represents the longest media rights extension in the sport’s history, was struck with WRC Promoter, the vehicle that has owned and controlled the championship’s commercial rights since January this year.
The current arrangement between the two, struck in 2018, was due to expire at the end of the 2022 campaign, so the new deal, announced earlier today, represents an eight-year renewal.
Before 2018, digital French sports broadcaster L’Equipe held rights (with that deal also covering Myanmar and Vietnam).
Phillipp Maenner, WRC Promoter’s media rights director, has said: “As the WRC approaches its 50th season, its legacy developed over half a century, combined with a sustainable future strategy, has captured broadcasters’ imagination right around the globe.
“Our environmentally-friendly future … was a key factor in sealing not only this Canal+ deal but also those we recently signed in the UK and Greece.”
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Over the last couple of months, WRC Promoter has secured extended deals for the championship with BT Sport in the UK and with Cosmote in Greece, with both pay-TV promoters extending existing agreements.
Cosmote has struck a one-year extension, while BT Sport has retained its rights for another three seasons.
The 2022 campaign, which will be the WRC’s 50th season, will start with the prestigious Monte-Carlo Rally from 20 to 23 January in the French Alps.
Canal Plus, meanwhile, has been busy in terms of motorsport renewals in recent days, having earlier this week extended its agreement to cover the prestigious Formula 1 series until 2024.
The broadcaster, which first covered Formula 1 in 2013, will now continue to so up until the end of the 2024 campaign, showing every Grand Prix live, as well as all the action from the practice and qualifying sessions before each race.
The channel will also show dedicated post-race highlights, as well as analysis programming and weekly magazine-style shows after each Grand Prix.
The last deal between the series and Canal Plus, struck in January 2020, was due to cover the 2021 and 2022 seasons, so this latest agreement represents a two-campaign extension.
Canal Plus has also extended their coverage deal for the MotoGP World Championship until 2029, having shown that series since 2018.