Eurosport Events, the promoter of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, has announced that more than seven million different viewers tuned in to Eurosport to watch the 77th Monte Carlo Rally, which was broadcast on a live basis from the stages.
Over the three days of the competition, the opening round in the 2009 IRC, a total of seven stages were shown live - a first in the history of rallying, including uninterrupted coverage from the last four stages, the legendary 'Col de Turini' night tests.
In order to deliver this highly challenging live TV production, Eurosport Events used 10 on-board cameras and several fixed on-site cameras as well as one on a helicopter overflying the route.
These multiple camera signals were relayed live through a combination of light aircraft and satellite.
In total, more than six hours of coverage were broadcast on both Eurosport and Eurosport 2 throughout the Monte Carlo Rally, which is well-known as the oldest and most prestigious rally in the history of the sport.
"We are very happy with our landmark live coverage of this epic event, which marks a world premiere in the way that the sport of rallying is broadcast,” said Géraldine Filiol, Managing Director of Eurosport Events.
“We are also delighted that over seven million television viewers caught up with the live action on Eurosport, in addition to the many thousands of fans who joined the action on-site.
“These unprecedented figures reinforce the appeal of the IRC to a global television audience. It also confirms the value of the IRC, which intends to bring rallying closer to the fans through innovative and dynamic television coverage.
“I'd like to thank the Automobile Club de Monaco for a great partnership, enabling such a historic operation. We look forward to continuing our development and innovative approach over the rest of the season."
The IRC will now continue to break new ground by visiting South America for the first time, as the second round of the series will take place in Brazil with the Rally Internacional de Curitiba running from March 5-7.