Spark Sport has announced today that Warner Bros. Discovery NZ will be the exclusive New Zealand free-to-air broadcast partner for the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) when it returns to Aotearoa from 29 September to 2 October this year.
Up to 80 million fans in 150 countries globally will watch live coverage of the three-day WRC Repco Rally New Zealand event in and around Auckland. It will form round 11 of the 13-round WRC season and the first time back on New Zealand’s acclaimed gravel rally roads in a decade.
Every stage will be broadcast live on Spark Sport with the final stages on each of the three days of the event live on Three and Three Now.
Additionally, Repco Rally New Zealand organisers are producing a brand-new motorsport series, “Pace Notes, the Road to Repco Rally New Zealand 2022” which will be available on Spark Sport.
Starting on Sunday 15 May, the new series will feature 12 shows hosted by motorsport commentator, Greg Rust with appearances from Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon and Rally New Zealand Marketing Director, Brendon White. The series will run fortnightly delving into the latest and greatest motorsport news from around the globe as it follows the 50th season of WRC, as well as insights into the New Zealand event.
Head of Spark Sport Jeff Latch says: “As the official New Zealand broadcaster of the FIA World Rally Championship, we’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery NZ to bring rally fans the highly anticipated Auckland edition of WRC both on our platform and through our free-to-air partner.
“There’ll be a real buzz at the Wynyard Quarter rally village come 29 September and we’re excited to bring that hype to screens all around the country both live and on-demand on Spark Sport and on Three.”
Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Discovery, Australia and New Zealand, Glen Kyne says: "Having partnered with Spark to be the free-to-air broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup later this year, we're chuffed to be adding the World Rally Championship to the schedule. Motorsport fans will be thrilled to have this event back on our shores and available to watch live on Three and ThreeNow. I've no doubt Tāmaki Makaurau will turn on a spectacular event."
Philipp Maenner, WRC Promoter’s Senior Director Media Rights says: “The WRC has been away from New Zealand for 10 years and we’re thrilled to be coming back to Auckland this season. The scenery is stunning and the action will be hot - what’s not to like! We’re delighted that New Zealand fans can watch full coverage of all WRC rounds on Spark Sport, our official WRC broadcast partner, throughout the season, and to also have Warner Bros. Discovery NZ on board as our free-to-air TV partner for Repco Rally New Zealand."
Repco Rally New Zealand CEO, Michael Goldstein says broadcast partnerships with Spark Sport and Three Sport will bring the excitement of the FIA World Rally Championship into the living rooms of all New Zealanders.
“Rallying is in our DNA. Not only will our event bring the best drivers and fastest rally cars to our famed roads, now the greatest show on gravel will be available for all Kiwis.
“We are thrilled to have both Spark Sport and Three Sport partnering with the WRC and Repco Rally New Zealand and look forward to working with all our partners to make this a truly special homecoming of the WRC to New Zealand.”