Rally Sweden in race for TV coverage solution
By David Evans Sunday, February 5th 2012, 21:06 GMT
Sweden 2011The organisers of Rally Sweden are working around the clock to try to find funding for international television coverage of the second round of the World Rally Championship.
Svenska Rally AB, the organising company, has established a deadline of midday Tuesday to conclude deals to show footage from the Karlstad-based event.
This situation arose following the FIA's decision to transfer the television rights back to individual events, in the absence of an agreement with Eurosport - which had seemed set to take over the promotion of the WRC after previous rights-holder North One Sport went into administration last month.
Rally Sweden CEO Glenn Olsson said: "Finnish company Filmworks, which has produced TV broadcasts from the WRC for five years running, is prepared to come to Sweden on short notice, but we cannot make any decisions regarding production until we have secured that the revenues are in parity with the costs."
The production firm could offer newsfeeds from every day of the event along with a daily 26-minute highlight show and a 52-minute event review show on Sunday.
The second WRC round of 2012 will be filmed and shown in Sweden by terrestrial firm SVT, but it is possible it will not be seen around the rest of the world.
ITV4 had agreed terms to broadcast the WRC in Britain, but that deal fell apart amid the North One situation.
Injured Matthew Wilson to miss Rally Sweden
Matthew Wilson has been ruled out of Rally Sweden after breaking his left ankle in a fall while training on Saturday.
The Briton fell awkwardly during a run in England's Lake District and was taken to hospital.
"It looks as though I've broken and dislocated my left ankle so, unfortunately, that means no Rally Sweden for me," said Wilson, who had started the season with a tough run to 11th in Monte Carlo.
"I was really looking forward to Sweden. We were a lot more prepared for this rally [than Monte Carlo] and we would have been looking for a good result. I'm absolutely gutted."
M-Sport will not run a substitute driver in Wilson's absence, so his team-mate Henning Solberg will be the only driver running under the Go Fast Energy Ford banner in Sweden.