World Rally Championship looks to exploit opportunities in the New Media arena

MUMBAI: The UK based broadband and mobile sports and entertainment content business company Premium TV has signed a deal with International Sportsworld Communicators (ISC).

The aim is to co-exploit the new media rights for FIA World Rally Championship (WRC). The deal will focus on maximising the new media platform for WRC and its users through the creation of new WRC broadband, mobile and commercial website products.

In India viewers can catch WRC action on AXN. The deal enables Premium TV to expand its horizons as it accelerates its business beyond UK football to the global sports and entertainment stage. Together Premium TV and ISC will develop a global distribution strategy to enable the delivery of a content-rich multimedia WRC showcase including the creation of broadband and mobile products.

As part of the partnership, Premium TV will revamp the existing website, build a new broadband subscription website and develop new mobile phone products aimed at WRC's global core audience of 800 million TV viewers and its millions of event spectators. The website and products will launch in January 2005 in English and French, with further international language versions set to roll out throughout the year.

The new broadband subscription service, called WRC+, will feature video stage highlights, driver interviews, exclusive in-car footage, virtual spectator coverage, real-time results, live streamed audio of all rallies, plus a searchable video archive of classic rally action.

The WRC+ mobile content offering features video footage of stage highlights and exclusive tailor-made driver interviews to be sold territory-by-territory. Other mobile products under development include a news and results SMS service, wallpapers and subscription service for GPRS / 3G-enabled handsets.

Additionally, Premium TV will create a number of exclusive advertising opportunities that will sit across offering brands the opportunity to partner with a major global franchise. WRC claims that its website already attracts more than 10 million page views per month.

Premium TV CEO Rod Henwood said, "This deal marks the first step in Premium TV's post-turnaround expansion strategy. WRC is a global sports entertainment franchise that rightly has its eye on broadband as a key future broadcast delivery system to millions of fans. Motorsport is perfect for broadband and mobile platforms thanks to its passionate international following."

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