*First four rounds of 2017 deliver huge viewer number rise
*Cumulative audiences for four-event period up from 30,156,000 in 2016 to 43,585,000 in 2017
*Fans in 88 markets tune in to all-action ERC coverage
The revamped FIA European Rally Championship has not only experienced a big upturn in interest from drivers and teams in 2017, it is also experiencing a big increase in television audiences.
Analysis undertaken by Nielsen Sports on behalf of ERC promoter Eurosport Events following the first four rounds of the 2017 season, has revealed the following:
*45% (13.4 million) cumulative audience increase compared to 2016 (43,585,000 up from 30,156,000)
*Broadcast hours up from 234:16 in 2016 to 241:14
*Coverage on 41 channels in 88 markets
*Rally Islas Canarias achieves top round audience status with 15.341 million viewers
Other highlights include:
*Audience increases in Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain, with the latter enjoying a cumulative audience rise of 9.6 million following new broadcast agreements
*Expansion into new markets including Australia (Eurosport), India (Neo Sports) and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through OSN Sports
*Overhauled ERC All Access programme experiences a cumulative audience increase from 700,000 in 2016 to 1,200,000 in 2017
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “The huge cumulative audience increase is fantastic news for the ERC and for everybody who is playing a part in its on-going success. In an increasingly digital era, we are delighted that television not only remains and extremely important medium, it’s also an expanding one given the level of interest. In addition to the fresh and dynamic social media strategy introduced at the start of the year, the 45 per cent TV audience increase recognises all the effort made to upgrade the TV content of the ERC programming and serves as another boost in terms of media exposure, which remains one of the strongest assets of this championship promoted by Eurosport Events.”
The race for ERC glory heads to Italy next for Rally di Roma Capitale from 15-17 September. A new addition to the European championship for 2017, the event features all-asphalt stages in and around the Italian city.