The wrong promotion
The WRC has everything. From driving on ice and snow at speed in excess of 200 km/h to the roughest of mountains of Argentina to the Army areas in Germany. It has cars that look like the neighbor’s one and some of the most spectacular scenes and drivers and at the next round in Sweden we will have 3 world champions. So why does this Sport’s rating still drops in comparison to many years ago?
This year’s Rally Monte Carlo was amazing. It had everything: close battles. amazing cars, strategy and mistakes. However, one thing it didn’t have is someone broadcasting it as it should. At just the second stage of the Rally, the only place where you can see the Rallies, WRC+, the channel had a problem and there was no way of seeing the entire Rally. Only the Radio was available. The next day of the Rally the same happened again and again there was no possibility of seeing the Rally at all. The way the WRC is broadcasted has been problematic now for many years. Imagine that you are watching an F1 race and suddenly, at the middle of the race the only channel that shows the Sport collapsed and there is now way of seeing the race and you just missed the entire race. It will drop the viewing percentage of the Sport massively. And that is the problem with the WRC right now. While Motorsports like Formula E, Nascar,DTM or Endurance races can be viewed in many ways weather it’s YouTube, Streaming or a TV channel, they can be seen everywhere in comparison to the WRC that has two channels: the official one and Red Bull TV that shows only very small parts of the Rally. And that isn’t the only reason why the WRC’s rating is dropping
The People who actually broadcast The event’s
I don’t have a personal issue with the people who are currently broadcasting the WRC+ channel. They do it very well and it’s nice to hear them. But I can’t say that they know something that me in my 12 years of watching Motorsport know that I don’t. Sky Sports F1 would have Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, 2 former F1 world champions in their lineup for the races this year. In the WRC they almost never do such things and surely drivers like Marcus Gronholm or Carlos Sainz or even Sebastien Loeb can come from time to time to the events and bring the viewer some new things that he can’t see. And even if they can’t, seeing a world Champion broadcasting an event would give a much higher rating than some fans of the Sport (this is something actually that has been done in the Red Bull TV, but also not too often)
And can you actually call it a World Championship?
I said earlier that the WRC goes from Argentina to Australia. But this is pretty much it. This season, out of 14 events just 5 are outside Europe and the events that are in Europe are all at the EU countries which means that at least when it comes to the market, there is no real difference. You don’t discover new markets unless going to places like in F1 with controversial regimes. Recently I wrote here how much I hated seeing politicians in Sport events. But if I need to choose between that or the Championship going in some ways to the same event 9 out of 14 times I would definitely pick the first option. It may be hard to accept it, but there are markets today that are worth going to as much if not more than the European one. It will be better to have a Rally in India who has 1,3 Billion people and would surely have more people interested in the Sport and the Manufacturers would surely be able to sell there more cars than or example in Portugal that is barely a city in India. Yes, Portugal’s government is slightly better than the one of India. But if you need to sell something, at least this days India would worth a lot more than a 1x1 centimeter’s country on the map. Okay, you may give up on one of the classic events like in F1 but the good thing in Rally in comparison to F1 is that you can go to a different country and still find the Rally nice because of what’s around the stages for example. However, the classic event’s also matter and the fact you don’t have today events like Greece or the Safari that would bring a smile on the face of the older viewers is also an issue that needs to be managed which sadly is not done well in the WRC. You need to have both new places and classic ones and sadly in the WRC currently it is or that or that.
And the biggest problem? they don’t won’t to be better
As the quote says: “You can bring a horse to the water. but you can’t force him to drink”. And in the case of the WRC it seems like they don’t won’t to as well. Drivers in the WRC like to drive there because none recognizes them on the street and the teams want the Championship to stay in Europe as much as possible and not they don’t want to grow, recently we heard that they want in the near future to make the cars hybrid or electric and as we saw in F1, it made things a lot worse. I am a hater of dictators, but in the case of the WRC they need to have one like Bernie Ecclestone was in F1 because that the teams do whatever they want pretty much and that is not healthy for the Sport. I am now an editor for over 2 years at a local rally page (I will put the link for it later) so if you ever hear that the WRC wants to get better, call me please, I do have some experience.