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Greater exposure for privateer competitors will be among major enhancements to television coverage of the Australian Rally Championship when it returns to Network Ten this year. One-hour programs for each of the six rounds of the ARC, which starts with Rally Tasmania on 13-15 February,

Coverage will be shown on Ten’s new all-sports free digital channel One HD and simultaneously on its analogue equivalent, Channel 12. Announcing the new Ten deal, Ben Rainsford, Chairman, said privateers were for the first time being invited to invest in the coverage – and had jumped at the opportunity.

“Television in the past has been funded by the manufacturer teams, which therefore enjoyed the bulk of the coverage,” Rainsford said.

“The recent departure of Toyota, as supporter of Neal Bates Motorsport, allowed us to create a new funding model that I’m confident will be the way of the future, regardless of any eventual manufacturer’s engagement.

“It is now open for any competitor to secure a piece of the television program and in these times nothing could be more valuable in obtaining sponsorship.”

The teams’ contributions are being coordinated by Melbourne Mitsubishi Lancer Evo driver Justin Dowell, who explained that he had responses from 7 leading crews..

“This is a very positive step for the ARC and particularly the privateers who are the bedrock of the series,” Dowell said. “Every privateer I’ve spoken to says it’s a fantastic opportunity because it gives them something positive to take to their sponsors.

“The deal will also allow much broader coverage of each event and make a better show for TV viewers. There are always great stories happening back in the field and now we will get to see them.”

The Championship has appointed Black Magic Media director Paul Mullan as the Executive producer of the Championship,

Mullan is a well-known producer of motorsport programs, including most recently V8 Xtra and V8 Supercar support categories . The company also has created programs for Classic Adelaide, Targa West, Targa New Zealand and the NZ Silver Fern Marathon and Otago Classic rallies for nearly ten years.

“This new Ten deal is good for the ARC. One HD will be promoted hard by Ten and should expose rallying to a bigger audience of sports fans,” Mullan said. “You also have the advantage of rounds being shown on digital and analogue networks simultaneously and the probability of repeats to compound the exposure value.”

The broadcast schedule for ARC rounds is expected to be announced shortly.

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