WRC takes a backward step on UK TV

What a disappointment! The DriveBlog household had become avid viewers of the WRC coverage on Dave, the TV channel. Now, as we start what could be one of the most interesting World Rally Championships for years, where do we turn?

A search of the WRC website tells us that ESPN will be giving us more than four hours of coverage for each round. But, there is no way I can justify paying £144 across the year just to watch 13 events.

Further searchings uncovered that Motors TV are doing coverage in the UK.

Citroen DS3 rally car

We probably won’t have much chance to appreciate the battle between the new Citroen DS3 (above) and the Ford Fiesta RS.

But, having watched the first one, I cannot see it being compulsive viewing, in the way Dave’s WRC coverage was.

It appears to have been put together by a rather lazy editor, whose idea of good rally coverage is to stick together long, tedious shots of the driver, or a narrow, letterbox glimpse bonnet and a little bit of road, under the sun strip on the windscreen.

There are occasional more interesting cut-aways of the cars negotiating the stages and the occasional interview. But, it ends up being a frustrating hour of TV zooming through the boring stuff in search of something worth watching.

Good television it is not. Sadly I think we shall not be watching this year’s championship.

So long WRC. Hope you come back on a TV channel I can watch, with a team that can produce an interesting and balanced programme. Until then, I – and I suspect many others – will not be among those dazzled by the performance of the Ford, Citroen, Skoda or Mini teams, or impressed by the glamour of the sponsors.

That is a shame for me. And for the sport that needs air time to sustain commercial support.
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