24h of Le Mans expands broadcast reach for 2018 edition


New agreements broaden reach in growing motorsport market

Zug, Switzerland – The FIA WEC Super Season reaches one of its peaks this weekend with the iconic 24h of Le Mans due to begin in France.

This year, 30 broadcast partners will ensure the event receives global exposure, with new agreements in China as well as the Baltics, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and USA expanding TV viewership beyond its traditional base.

Former F1 world champions highlight field

A highlight of the motorsports calendar, the race enjoys a rich heritage and is regarded as a true test for any racing driver.

This year's edition will attract further attention with two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso making his debut at the track alongside fellow first-timer and former world champion Jenson Button.

Alonso is swapping his normal McLaren F1 team for Toyota Gazoo Racing this weekend, with the team widely looking to claim a maiden win after falling short in 2017 thanks to mechanical problems. It is not the first time the 36-year-old Spaniard has raced in a different series midway through a F1 season in his personal ambition to become only the 2nd driver ever to win all 3 Triple Crown events in motor racing, having competed in the 2017 Indy 500 with a strong performance before engine failure ended his race early. He also took part in – and won -- the FIA WEC's 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.

Britain's Button will be driving for Russian team SMP Racing. The 38-year-old won the 2009 F1 World Championship with Brawn GP before stepping away from the sport at the end of the 2016 with McLaren. Since then he has competed in the 2018 Super GT season for Honda.

Other former F1 stars set to race include Juan Pablo Montoya with United Autosports and Kamui Kobayashi with Toyota.

Global coverage around the clock

Infront will be delivering the event across the whole weekend to fans around the world. Over 30 media rights licensees will broadcast the race either live or through highlights on both television and online streaming.

In a move that reflects the growing motorsport fan base in the country, three Chinese OTT channels – Douyu.com, Wuhan TV Station & Chinese City TV Stations Union and Future Media Racing – will also show the race.

Furthermore, Abto Nahoc will deliver highlights to the Baltics, Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia for the first time.

For a complete overview of the different broadcasters for each territory, click here.

Part one of two

This year the FIA World Endurance Championship moved from an annual race calendar to a season format. The first season is also a Super Season as opposed to a regular one, meaning it will last 14 months and feature eight different races.

This is the first of two 24h of Le Mans races that will be staged during the course of the championship, with the second acting as the final act of the season in June 2019.