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Repco rally big on world stage

Spectators line the road for the first Repco Rally in the Kyogle Shire last September. Television figures show the rally was watched by more than 53 million viewers worldwide.
Spectators line the road for the first Repco Rally in the Kyogle Shire last September. Television figures show the rally was watched by more than 53 million viewers worldwide. Cathy Adams

REPCO Rally Australia organisers are claiming another victory for the event, which was held on the Northern Rivers last September.

Television audience figures released by organisers have revealed the rally was watched by more than 53 million people.

The rally was shown on 264 channels worldwide and featured in 862 individual broadcasts, of which more than half were longer than 30 minutes, according to rally organisers.

Rally Australia board chairman Alan Evans said the rally was a great medium to promote the beautiful surroundings of Northern NSW, and Kyogle and the Tweed in particular.

“We are also delighted at the number of countries where the programs were broadcast, and especially the duration and the time slots achieved,” Mr Evans said.

“The majority of programs went to air in popular timeslots and were of significant duration.”

Within Australia the event received five-and-a-half hours of coverage on Network Ten, an additional five and a half hours of coverage on One HD, one hour on SBS and three 30-minute segments on Fox Sports, according to rally organisers.

Supporters of the rally haveargued the event will bring exposure for the region to an international audience, which would lead to more tourism.

However, Peter Lanyon, spokesperson for the group Seventh Generation, which is opposed to the rally, said he questioned the logic.

“Just because people watch the Northern Rivers on TV, it does not follow that they will travel here,” Mr Lanyon said.

“Those watching are not eco-tourists, they are motor enthusiasts.”

But the audience figures supplied by International Sports World Communicators are impressive, ranging from China to Europe and the Middle East.

About 19 hours were shown on Chinese Star Sports Station, with an estimated audience of 17,527 for each 30-minute block.

The Japanese Sports Channel J Sports broadcast more than 24 hours of Rally Australia to 74,160 fans, while Eurosport televised the race into the homes of an average of 194,000 Europeans for about three hours.

Interestingly, Arab network Al Jazeera broadcast more than three-and-a-half hours of the rally to an estimated audience of 750,000 per 30 minutes.

The broadcasts were also popular in the United States (77,500) and the United Kingdom (61,900).



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