SPORT1 to show FIA World Endurance Championship 2017 live in Germany


Infront brokers extended coverage of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2017 by leading German live sports TV channel SPORT1 ahead of season-opening race at Silverstone

Zug, Switzerland – SPORT1, the leading German free-to-air live sports TV channel, will broadcast live coverage and highlights from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2017, while also streaming full races live on their website alongside selected broadcasts on their pay-TV channel SPORT1+. Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, is handling the worldwide media rights distribution of the FIA WEC 2017 season after three years of continued partnership following their appointment in 2015 by Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and FIA WEC.

Full racetrack coverage across continents

SPORT1 can rely on extensive HD programming and full racetrack coverage from all eight events staged across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East, with the only exception being the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Live coverage from qualifying and races are complemented by appealing programming formats, featuring circuit presentations, race highlights, driver analysis, podium coverage and interviews.

The FIA WEC 2017 season, which runs from April to November, will be broadcast by SPORT1 across all platforms, free-to-air and via SPORT1.de. Additionally, highlights and clips from all races will be shown on SPORT1.de, the SPORT1 apps and SPORT1’s social media channels.

Gérard Neveu, CEO of the World Endurance Championship: "SPORT1’s announcement today about their live, free-to-air broadcast coverage of the FIA WEC races is very good news for the passionate and knowledgeable motor sport fans in Germany. As our visits to the Nürburgring in 2015 and 2016 have shown, there is a strong following for endurance racing and - within our WEC family - we have not only famous German manufacturers but also other global brands with a powerful presence in the country. We are delighted about this TV partnership, and look forward to working with the channel to expose the WEC for a fascinating 2017 season.”

Rainer Marte, Director Motor Sports at Infront, outlined the remarkable editorial competence of SPORT1 across various races adding that they live up to their claim of being the "Home of Motorsport": "This competence is complemented by the comprehensive and wide range of sports properties on SPORT1. It was these aspects, among others, that convinced FIA WEC and its partners to hand the TV rights of the 2017 championship to the Munich broadcaster. What makes SPORT1 a strong choice for the eight-race series is its position as the leading 360° free-to-air sports platform in Germany. For fans of the FIA World Endurance Championship and friends of sports car racing in Germany, the races on SPORT1 will be a motor sport festival. Especially the "6 Hours of Nürburgring" on German home soil on 16 July."

Olaf Schröder, COO Sports of Constantin Medien AG and Chairman of the Management of Sport1 GmbH: "The FIA WEC has developed into one of the most prestigious racing series worldwide with the commitment of renowned premium manufacturers, which is now enriching our top-class portfolio in the "Home of Motorsport". As the leading 360° sports platform in Germany, we will also be presenting the entire season of the FIA World Endurance Championship in addition to the regular live-TV coverage on our extensive digital channels online, mobile and via social media."

Stephan Herth, Executive Director Summer Sports at Infront, further commented: “We are delighted that SPORT1 will show the FIA WEC 2017 on all their platforms, beginning on Saturday with the first race of the season in Silverstone. SPORT1 is able to leverage motor sports, which is among the fastest-changing and most progressive segments of the sports industry. The fascination for the FIA WEC and the unique characteristics of endurance racing is now brought to fans across the German, Swiss and Austrian market in a 360° coverage by SPORT1."

Nine epic races in 2017

The FIA World Endurance Championship, introduced in 2012, is organised by the Automobile club de l’Ouest (ACO) and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). It features four categories competing in endurance races, including Sports Prototypes and Grand Touring cars. All races are six hours in duration, with the exception of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the World Championship titles awarded to the top scoring manufacturers and drivers over the season. In 2017, the championship will visit nine tracks including the legendary Silverstone circuit in Great Britain, Nürburgring in Germany and Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

Overall, the 2017 race calendar features:

  • 16 April / 6 Hours of Silverstone, UK
  • 06 May / WEC 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
  • 17/18 June / 24 Hours of Le Mans, France (Highlights on SPORT1)
  • 16 July / 6 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany
  • 3 September / 6 Hours of Mexico, Mexico
  • 16 September / 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas (Austin), USA
  • 15 October / 6 Hours of Fuji, Japan
  • 05 November / 6 Hours of Shanghai, China
  • 18 November / 6 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain

About FIA World Endurance Championship

The WEC is the most successful and fastest growing sportscar championship in the world, offering motor manufacturers a real-world relevance to advances in road car design and crossover technology, performance and safety. Strong, stable regulations allow for complex yet beautiful sports prototypes featuring the latest in hybrid technology, independent chassis and engines suppliers competing at the highest levels, and the world’s leading luxury car marques going head-to-head in the GT categories. Up to 30 cars are on track at the same time, leading to action, excitement, endless passing and entertainment for fans worldwide.

The WEC offers teams, drivers, partners and stakeholders a unique stage on which to compete, at premier race circuits around the world. Ranked alongside the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the soccer World Cup, the cornerstone of the WEC remains one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June each year. The championship contests a 9-round calendar across Europe, North and Central America, Asia and the Middle East – a true World Championship. All races, except the 24 Hours of Le Mans, are 6-hours in duration and three rounds race into the night.

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About Infront Sports & Media

Infront Sports & Media, a Wanda Sports company, is one of the most respected sports marketing companies in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production, event operation and digital solutions – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with close to 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.

About Wanda Sports

Wanda Sports is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & Vice Chairman Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.