The World Rally Championship will be seen in millions of households in the USA following a television deal with HD Theater, Discovery Communication's premier high-definition network, it has been announced.
The one-year partnership, with the option to extend the USA broadcasters rights for up to four years, was secured by ISC, the worldwide media and commercial rights holder for the WRC.
“This is tremendous news for the World Rally Championship and our fans in the United States. It is a ground breaking deal which means the WRC has a high-profile broadcast presence in the USA, via a hugely-respected, quality and innovative partner in Discovery Communication's HD Theater,” commented Simon Long, ISC CEO.
“We're looking forward to the opportunity to take the WRC to an ever wider audience in the significant USA market, and working with HD Theater to bring more attention to what we firmly believe is an 'epic motorsport adventure by the world's greatest drivers.'”
The WRC programming will premiere weekly on HD Theater starting in October 2009.
The agreement provides HD Theater with coverage from each of the 12 worldwide 2009 WRC race events. Additionally, race previews and short-form content featuring news updates from each day of the rally will be made available to HD Theater.
“HD Theater has been a pioneer in high-definition programming and we are excited to introduce the World Rally Championships to our American audience,” added Clark Bunting, president and general manager of HD Theater.
“This year we've seen the action go from the snow-covered roads of Norway to the hairpin turns climbing the Cordobese Sierras of Argentina, and the adrenaline-fuelled rally action will shine in high-definition and is a critical addition to HD Theater's robust programming line-up.”
HD Theater is one of the most widely distributed high-definition services available in the United States and showcases a range of compelling racing events.