BRC GETS CHANNEL 4 AND BT SPORTS TV
The British Rally Championship will benefit from TV coverage on both Channel 4 and BT Sports in 2016, Motorsport News can reveal.
The series will host a 30-minute programme on Channel 4, as well as a one-hour highlights package on BT Sport for all seven rounds of the new-for-2016 championship.
The organisers have struck a deal with Worcestershire-based Hayfisher productions, which is responsible for a number of motorsport TV packages, such as Formula E and the Blancpain GT series. The company has also worked in rallying before.
“We are delighted to be involved with the relaunched BRC and to have Channel 4 and BT Sport on board is a real coup,” explained Richard Hay, boss of Hayfisher Productions. “We have worked previously with British and World Championship rallying and it is great to be back involved with the sport once again. Rallying in Britain is on the up and it is fantastic to have the Championship on terrestrial television for the new-look 2016 season.”
The deal comes at a strong period for British rallying, with Channel 5 announcing over 100 hours of WRC coverage earlier this month, including an extensive Rally GB package for the October-based event.
The BRC has had a number of homes in the past, including on Grandstand and Top Gear on the BBC, plus appearances on Sky Sports.
Ben Taylor – managing director of championship promoter, International Motor Sports – believes that the TV announcement is a key step forward for the series.
“Achieving this fantastic broadcast package with Channel 4 and BT Sport is another important development for the championship,” said Taylor. “The BRC is looking fantastic for the new season, with a great variety of cars, drivers and nationalities, and this TV deal underlines the strength of the series. The buzz is really back now and we can’t wait to get started in March.”
Channel 4 is the new terrestrial home of Formula 1 in the UK in 2016, meaning more motorsport fans are likely to be viewing the channel’s programmes. BT Sports already shows the WRC, national rallying, and elements of circuit racing.
The exact time and day of each show is still under review, but is expected to be announced by mid-february.