The FIA World Rally Championship will be broadcast on ITV during 2004 in the UK, following news that Channel 4's agreement has been cancelled by mutual consent.

ITV will show only a one-hour highlights programme on the Sunday of each of the 16 rounds, where as Channel 4 featured a show at the end of each leg.

ITV's controller of sport, Brian Barwick, told Ananova: "We are delighted to become the new home of the World Rally Championship - a year-round white-knuckle ride in some of the most exotic locations in the world, featuring the ultimate test of both driver and car against the elements.

"We hope by giving it a regular Sunday afternoon slot we can attract not only the committed rally fan, but also bring a wider audience to the sport."

Channel 4's decision to axe the WRC a year early, is believed to be due to the fact that there will be no top-line British driver competing this coming season, following the exit of Colin McRae and Richard Burns, the latter due to illness, and the former as he failed to secure a drive.

Although Britain will be represented in the Junior and Production Car categories, Channel 4 obviously felt this wasn't sufficient, hence their decision to pull out of covering it.



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