Rallies told to finalise own TV deals

Autosport

World Rally Championship Commission president Jarmo Mahonen has told individual event organisers they will have to finalise their own television deals, AUTOSPORT has learned, a situation labeled totally impractical by one senior team chief.

The letter states that after being unable to conclude the agreement with Eurosport, there is no alternative to locally-sourced footage.

"Despite very lengthy negotiations with Eurosport," the letter, a copy of which was seen by AUTOSPORT, states, "we sincerely regret to have to inform you that, unfortunately, it has not been possible to conclude an agreement even when trying to give them the possibility to act as a provider of services, providing television coverage of the WRC.

"Therefore, the FIA will not be able to put in place a global promoter, or even global television coverage at this time. As a result, each WRC organiser will unfortunately have to negotiate the television broadcasting of his event."

While the television will be sorted on a local level, the letter confirms the commitment to sourcing a new global promoter.

The letter continued: "The FIA will also maintain the link between the organisers and the partners of the WRC, while setting place a plan of action to determine the best way of ensuring the promotion of the championship as soon as this can be secured."

Ford's director of motorsport Gerard Quinn said: "[Events souring their own television agreements] would be totally impractical. As a long-term solution that would not give the manufacturers, the participants, the organisers or the fans or anybody in the sport what we want."

Another team insider added: "This sends us back to the dark ages. How can the FIA ever think this is going to work?"

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