When the engines rev up for the opening event of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) this month, viewers worldwide will tune in to discover who will triumph in the iconic motorsport destination of Monte Carlo.
From January 20-23, a global audience will capture the action from the heart of the French Riviera via broadcasters and media platforms that are receiving satellite signals from thousands of miles above the Earth’s surface, thanks to Sportradar’s support.
A year ago, Sportradar processed 500+ bookings for satellite-delivered content surrounding and during the WRC Monte Carlo Rally at the start of a championship in which more than 5,000 client requests were handled and across the 12 events.
A huge number of broadcasters use Sportradar’s audiovisual distribution service for the Championship every year. In addition to the WRC and the six events of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, this year, for the first time, Sportradar will also manage the distribution of satellite signals for the eight events on the FIA European Rally Championship calendar.
“Rights-holders and broadcasters alike know that we have garnered significant knowledge and experience of the distribution of audiovisual signals,” says Christian Högg, Head of Broadcast Distribution at Sportradar.
“Some rights-holders across different sports will consider booking distribution in-house, but we have the knowhow and contacts to make the process seamless and ensure that any issues that may arise are resolved swiftly. Our clients know that we can take away a pain point and can act as a buffer for them if there are technical queries.”
Sportradar’s audiovisual distribution capabilities date back to the company’s 2016 takeover of the Sportsman Media Group, which had amassed expertise in such matters over more than a decade.
Last year, Sportradar’s dedicated department managed the TV signal production and distribution for more than 15 different sports and leagues, spanning approximately 1,500 matches and events.
“We book the satellites and then liaise with the broadcast partners so that the selected feeds are delivered to them,” Högg adds. “These different feeds can be for news, highlights and magazine programming, as well as live coverage.
“Our customer service and support includes a helpdesk, as well as coordination of distribution details, and if available the provision of additional information such as scripts, line-ups and running orders. These details will help the broadcaster to know when key events are going to take place during the coverage.”
Sportradar’s customised online booking tool enables clients to reserve the feed signals – if allowed under their rights deals – up to one week in advance of the event.
This centralised hub, which also provides further information-based tools to support the coverage, lists available projects and signals, dates and start times covering all feeds and programming options, with a straightforward booking button.
For the campaign-opening WRC event in Monte Carlo, various shoulder programming, news and highlights will support the live coverage to give fans the full perspective of a weekend of thrilling rally driving from motorsport’s spiritual home.
However, further top events await on the 2022 WRC calendar, with rallies across Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania running through to November – and Sportradar will be on hand to assist broadcasters seeking a seamless way to offer their viewers the best of the action on behalf of WRC Promoter.