Rally fans tune in by the millions to watch Coffs Coast
THE figures are in, confirming a growing global TV audience for Coffs Harbour's round of the World Rally Championship.
Viewing of the September event jumped 64% on last year, with sport marketing research company Repucome reporting 46.34 million people around the world tuned in to catch all the action of the 2014 Coates Hire Rally Australia.
This number represents an increase of 18 million viewers on the 2013 event. The 64% rise in viewer numbers was almost double the average audience rise of 35% measured by Repucom across the first 10 rounds of the 2014 season from Rallye Monte-Carlo to Coates Hire Rally Australia.
The event enjoyed almost 684 hours of broadcast coverage, while its audience total outstripped those of Argentina and Italy and came close to matching Sweden's.
Most regions saw notable audience increases in comparison to 2013, including Central and South America (+155%) and Europe (+34%).
The managing director of the Munich-based championship organiser WRC Promoter, Oliver Ciesla said the upward trend was "hugely encouraging" and maintained the excellent progress in growing WRC's media audience across all platforms.
"Increased broadcast hours confirm broadcasters' appreciation of the WRC programs we produce and demonstrate we're meeting the demand for live sport in HD format," Ciesla said.
"The figures show our emphasis to deliver live stages at regular times, such as the Power Stage at midday on a Sunday and Thursday evening city stages, are welcomed by viewers and attract new fans."