The World Rally Championship (WRC) motor racing competition has 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 next year and will provide coverage of every stage and race for all WRC competitions live and on-demand, as well as exclusive content.
The WRC has said new features including the 24/7 channel will be continually implemented throughout 2023, leading up to the launch of the Rally.TV platform mid-year.
Rally TV will replace the competition’s WRC+ All Live subscription platform, launched in 2018, which offers comprehensive coverage of both the WRC and the European Rally Championship (ERC) after WRC Promoter acquired the rights in July last year.
That medium provides coverage of every stage of each rally from those two championships and also features behind-the-scenes content such as interviews with key personnel.
The new platform will give users access to all championships including the WRC, ERC, and World RX.
The WRC said annual and monthly passes for Rally TV will replace existing WRC+ packages and will become available from December 2022, with prices to remain the same.
WRC Promoter first mooted the 24/7 channel earlier this year.
At the time, managing director Jona Seibel said the channel would be the next milestone for the promoter, adding: “We want to reach new markets, we want to enter new markets and implement in new countries, so this is our plan to develop the TV, so we are very very confident.
“We have an ambitious agenda, so let’s do it.”
Last year, WRC Promoter was confirmed as the new promoter of the World and European Rallycross Championships.
Later in the year, it added the European Rally Championship to its portfolio, replacing Eurosport Events, the events arm of the pan-European broadcaster, after it ended its contract one year early to facilitate the deal.
Eurosport Events had managed the commercial rights to the ERC since 2013, and did have a 10-year contract running to 2022, but withdrew early to focus on its all-electric GT and touring car categories and promoting the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup.
Meanwhile, the WRC has unveiled its 2023 calendar, which features a new event that will take place across three European countries and a return to North and South America for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Next season’s schedule, signed off by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) governing body, remains at 13 rounds but includes several alterations from last year’s calendar.
The season will start in Monte Carlo, Monaco from January 19 to 2022 and will finish with the return of Forum8 Rally Japan after a 12-year hiatus on November 16 to 19.
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 2023 calendar, which runs from January to November, features several regular rounds 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.
Simon Larkin, WRC Promoter senior director of events, said: “We were absolutely determined to get the WRC calendar to where it was pre-Covid, with a good spread of events inside and outside Europe.
“There was very high demand for the limited number of slots on the calendar, but we’re pleased with the range and variety of events we have.
“They will provide a great sporting challenge for the competitors, as well as providing the highest-profile events in each country.”