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World Rally Championship Television Coverage in the U.S.


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#1 LaRascasse

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:28

Am I mistaken, or is there no coverage of the World Rally Championship in the United States?Speed Channel used to cover it, which I really enjoyed. Why would the series permit the U.S. market to go uncovered?

I realize this may be a better topic for the RC Forum.

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#2 frogeye59

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 13:22

Derek,

Its a bit of a worry all round, its dissapeared onto a lesser channel here in the UK also, I fear the star of Rallying is fading for TV company's. :( :(

Such a shame, I love rallying, but have to admit the coverage is very samey these days and not as appealing as in the past.

A real surprise given the man at the helm is David Richards, not a man used to faliure and former World Champion Rally Co-Driver.

The whole thing needs a shake up.
David

#3 LaRascasse

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 15:06

Yes, that Richards is in charge is what makes this all the more confusing and disappointing.

#4 CJE

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 01:07

It's very disappointing to not have WRC coverage here in the States! I must say, however, that the last couple of seasons' coverage were not well-produced. The shows were obviously compilations of the weekends events but were quite disjointed and somewhat difficult to follow. It seems that a well-produced TV program would be very popular, even if it were tape-delayed 1 week to allow proper editing. I recently attended a 'Rally America' event and was struck by how young most of spectators were - under 30 for sure. And every other car on roads near the rally were, of course, WRX's!!

#5 sterling49

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 11:14

Originally posted by LaRascasse
Yes, that Richards is in charge is what makes this all the more confusing and disappointing.


UK perspective.

It's fast going the same way as F1, cordoned off areas, media friendly events, all about making money now, rather than the grass roots sport from whence it came, when you could as a spectator, get a map and a thermos and adventure off into the forests, see some great cars and action, visit a service halt and soak up the atmosphere.......David Richards should remember this, if no one else does :eek:

I usually "chance" upon TV Rally coverage now, whereas it used to be a "must" see for me. Old R.A.C. audiences in the forests were phenomenal, but I for one, won't be parting with my money to watch the modern day version, which probably translates into viewing figures as well.
To walk into Forestry Commission land used to be a free facility, but they now want your hard earned!

Sterling

#6 jgm

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 15:03

In the UK you can get coverage of the WRC on ITV4 (Sky 120) on the Sunday evening of the event, 1800-1900.

#7 JSF

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 15:26

It's very samey these days because all the events are very samey. They turned a marathon into a sprint and instead of using the stages once, now are using the same stage upto 4 times per event. The events themselves are short in terms of stage mileage too, it's basically a 2.5 day rally now, with mostly no running in the dark, so very little real time competing. Monte this year was the first dark stage for a few years now.

The lack of spectators on the ground is deliberate, it was an aim of the people running the show to reduce spectators for health and safety and event management reasons, because the events are so compact now natural dispersion of bodies doesnt exist.

The real killer in terms of giving the TV producers something to show, was when the FIA mandated a max of 2 drivers per works team for the 2004 onwards seasons, prior to that you had upto 4 works cars running per team. This rule put a lot of top drivers out of a job, it coinsided with the demise of some of the works teams too, so you went from 20 top cars to 6 overnight.

I think the WRC now needs a major overhaul of the regs to get some manufacturers involved again, they tickled with the regs by banning Active front/rear diffs last year, but that hasnt saved any money really.

I have been involved in the rally scene and been to every Rally GB since the GroupB cars, up until 2005 when i gave it up as a waste of time and money trying to spectate at Rally GB. In 2003 i spent the year on many WRC events around the world as a tour guide, i did it for free because i loved the sport so much and wanted to see these events whilst they still had some value. It sadens me greatly to see how far it's apeal has dropped in the last few years. It could be fixed, but it requires a major overhaul of the rules and the event structure to find some of it's old apeal.

#8 sterling49

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 16:49

Originally posted by JSF
It sadens me greatly to see how far it's apeal has dropped in the last few years. It could be fixed, but it requires a major overhaul of the rules and the event structure to find some of it's old apeal.



Perhaps you can get an idea of how some "senior" enthusiasts feel, I spectated on Rallies, National,International and Restricted from 1970 onwards, I know, a long time ago. The modern day format holds almost no interest to me. So many lost unique events, the East African Safari, R.A.C Rally of Great Britain, not Wales :rolleyes: and so many others, it seems they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

#9 LaRascasse

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 21:04

That is all quite sad. I just started to watch rallying near the beginning of this century, and part of its appeal was that it seemed so pure -- pure racing competition in some very beautiful and interesting settings. It has been a loss to me that I am now unable to watch it regularly, save the news clips.