FIA World Rallycross Championship promoter, IMG, has released figures for the past twelve months, which show huge growth in the coverage and popularity of the sport. Total television audience numbers for last year show an increase of more than 550% in dedicated coverage (live, as-live or highlights) compared to 2013. Broadcast hours reveal a 444% increase with TV stations broadcasting 3,982 hours of World RX coverage throughout the season.
The figures come from a report that was carried out by sports marketing research company Repucom, in conjunction with IMG. In addition to the increased broadcast hours, the figures also reveal a sharp increase in TV figures across all regions. Pan-regional broadcasters such as FOX Sports in South America and BeIN Sport across the Middle East and America covered World RX for the first time last year, helping to open up the sport to a host of new territories. As a result, combined household reach nearly doubled in 2014 as the number of broadcasters covering World RX rose to 58.
World RX of Sweden attracted the largest global audience with 3.3m viewers watching the event’s TV coverage around the world, followed by Turkey which amassed an audience of 2.5m people viewing the event’s dedicated broadcast. Europe proved the biggest continent tuning into World RX last year with 11.4m viewers watching the dedicated coverage across all 12 rounds.
The Championship has also witnessed huge growth via its social platforms with Facebook likes showing a percentage increase of 348% over a 12 month period. Twitter saw a 202% increase in followers, while Instagram proved to be the biggest growth platform with a 900% rise. Overall, the average reach across all social media platforms per event rose from 430,000 in 2013 to 6.7m in 2014.
Live event attendance was another success story with a 130% increase in fans attending races in 2014. Driver entries rocketed with 112 different Supercar drivers competing throughout the year. Media interest also rose with an 80% increase in accredited members of press attending World RX events.
Another indication of growing economy in the World RX paddock is the increased sales of official merchandise onsite with a 190% rise in combined sales through 12 events.
“The latest World RX figures demonstrate rapid growth across the board and some of the percentage statistics, especially our digital platforms, are remarkable,” said World RX managing director for IMG, Martin Anayi. “We have seen a sharp increase in broadcast figures in only 12 months too but increased coverage on more widely available TV channels is going to be our main target for 2015. We’ve had to think outside the box over the past 24 months and mix coverage on our traditional broadcast partners as well as use other platforms such as Livestream, Facebook and YouTube to reach our fans in territories which don’t have dedicated World RX TV coverage. These latest TV figures are a great start but we’ll continue to work on developing the Championship’s profile even further.”