ESS gets World Rally Championship rights

MUMBAI: With a view to being the home of Motorsport, ESPN Star Sports (ESS) Asia has signed a deal for World Rally Championship (WRC).

The deal sees ESS make a four-season commitment to WRC, up to and including 2008/09. Fans of the sport will be able to enjoy more action, news, thrills and spills than ever before. ESPN Star Sports will deliver extensive WRC coverage on Star Sports. The channel also airs Formula One.

Broadcasting daily news and highlights from each of the 16 rounds of the WRC, ESS will also deliver the best action from the two support series', the Junior and Production car World Rally Championships, as well as mid- and end of season reviews.

From 2007, viewers will also be able to watch the Rally Magazine show, featuring highlights of the best footage from the world of rally including national and regional championships, such as the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship. In addition to the daily programmes, WRC fans will also be able to watch a 52-minute highlights show for each rally.

ESS Asia MD Jamie Davis said, "Our successful acquisition of the FIA World Rally Championship sees us continue our winning streak of securing top flight motorsports programming to satisfy the growing passion for the sport across Asia. Together with Formula One, A1 as well as MotoGP, there is no sports broadcaster in the region that delivers as much motorsport coverage as we do."

ISC managing director Simon Long says, "Asia is the fastest growing region in the world for WRC as well as a crucial market for car manufacturers and advertisers. We are very excited to be entering into this pivotal agreement with ESPN Star Sports which will allow more fans than ever to watch the adrenaline-fuelled action of WRC."

The agreement was jointly put together by ISC and International Sports Media, which represented WRC TV rights in the region until the end of 2005. Regional WRC TV interests are now being managed by Total Sports Asia.

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