Almost one million viewers have watched the live web-streaming coverage of the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship over the last two years, with the audience figures growing and the service set to expand in 2020.
Filmed and broadcast by Special Stage, the streaming service attracted an audience of 458,000 in 2018 and 479,800 in 2019, making a total of 937,800 viewers – by far the largest on-line audience of all British national rally championships.
In a survey exclusively carried out for the Asphalt Rally Championship, the live action web-streaming from specially selected and accessed points on the side of the stages, with expert commentary and analysis from regular and guest pundits, came out on top, followed by edited event review highlights. By popular demand, the live action will be expanded next year, while more on-board footage will be edited into the highlights programmes.
A significant number of people said that they had attended events after watching rounds of the Championship on-line, while a substantial number of people said that they had gone on to look up or use a sponsor that they had seen on the on-line Championship coverage.
The coverage was viewed all over the world, with the UK audience being the largest. The second biggest audience was in Ireland and the third was Spain – with Portugal, Belgium, France, Italy, the USA and Australia all featuring inside the top 10 countries that viewed the footage. The on-line coverage reached a predominantly male audience (90%), with the 25-34 age group the most prevalent (32%), followed by 35-44 year olds (25%).
The Championship’s official website, asphaltrallying.com – which is regularly updated with previews, reports, points, photographs and over 80 news stories per year – was also a hit with fans, with almost 100,000 views over the last two years. The record number of hits the website received in a single month was 14,700.
The UK was again the country where the most website visitors came from – although asphaltrallying.com received visitors from a total of 92 countries, including the USA, Finland, India, China, Japan, Barbados and the United Arab Emirates.
Jane Evans, Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship Co-ordinator, said: “I am pleased that we were able to introduce the live streaming to the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship as the figures that have been produced show that Britain’s premier Tarmac rally series is growing in popularity with the numbers of viewers that want to see the live action, but who can’t necessarily attend the event. From these results, Wayne [Goldring] and his team are looking at how they are able to fill in the gaps to cover viewer demands with new and exclusive content. It is also great to see the number of countries that we are able to put the live streaming into. As a team we really enjoy reading the comments on the live stream from those countries that are watching.”
Wayne Goldring, MD of Special Stage, said: “The success of the live web-streaming coverage has showed that people’s viewing habits have changed in recent years and it’s great that the Asphalt Rally Championship share our vision of getting quality coverage out to the viewers as soon as we can. For 2020 we will continue to bring live stage action from all rounds of the Championship as well as expanding the coverage to include more video content being uploaded before, during and after the events.”
For 2020, the BTRDA organised Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship will have an exciting seven event, eight round format, beginning with the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally on Saturday 21 March.
The 2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship Sporting and Technical Regulations will be available soon on asphaltrallying.com.
2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship
20/21 March….Legend Fires North West Stages
11 April….Rallynuts National Tour of Epynt
15/16 May…. Manx National Rally
30/31May….Jim Clark Rally
18 July….Tyrone Stages Rally
6 September….Hills Ford Three Shires Stages Rally
27 September….Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally