The FIA World Rally Championship is continuing to grow and prosper according to the latest statistics released by ISC [International Sportsworld Communicators Ltd], the global media and commercial rights holders for the series.

Last year there was apparently a 40 per cent increase in the amount of dedicated broadcasts, 20 per cent more hours broadcast and a further 10 million viewers (almost 1.5 per cent) tuning in to sport around the world, something that demonstrates a strong year-on-year improvement.

"These latest statistics are a tremendous reflection of the continued global and local appeal of WRC in what is an incredibly competitive and fast changing marketplace," said Simon Long, CEO of ISC.

"They are also testament to the enthusiasm and creativity of everyone involved in staging the extraordinary spectacle which is the WRC.

"All things considered, we can now look forward to another year of healthy development as we leave no stone unturned in our efforts to promote WRC to an ever wider community of fans."

Rally Ireland meanwhile was the most watched round in the championship last year with 62 million viewers in over 180 countries tuning in to see the WRC's inaugural visit to the island.

"Rally Ireland was a tremendous addition to the WRC Calendar and clearly demonstrated the value of introducing new locations to the Championship," Long continued. "With 62 million viewers tuning in to watch from all over the world, Rally Ireland was undoubtedly a major success - both at home and abroad.

"From a TV perspective, the jewels in the crown of Rally Ireland were the spectacular two live stages in Stormont Castle, Belfast and Mullaghmore, Sligo.

"This proved the value of a close collaboration between ISC, the host broadcaster, RTE, and the Promoter of Rally Ireland. It also set the benchmark for other WRC Events to follow."

Rally Ireland deputy chairman, Trevor Ringland was delighted with the results: "The value of all these viewers cannot be underestimated and I believe everyone should be proud of what Rally Ireland achieved in its first year in the World Championship," he added.



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