The year ahead promises to deliver more on-track action than ever before, with the new Blancpain GT World Challenge set for its maiden season of competition.
Comprising sprint-format series in Europe, Asia and America, each regional category will award its own titles while also allowing manufacturers to contest a global customer racing championship played out over 18 exciting events.
The World Challenge concept will unite the three series under a global banner. This will be instantly evident to TV viewers, with every race enjoying the same industry-leading coverage throughout 2019.
This has been facilitated by a major investment in production standards, with specialist suppliers in each region, centrally managed by SRO TV, ensuring that every event lives up to the World Challenge name.
What’s more, a new graphics package will be used to ensure a common identity for the European, American and Asian series. The American championship will also have access to on-board cameras for the first time, further enhancing the viewing experience for fans watching at home.
In turn, this global approach will see each championship expand its audience into new territories. Existing deals have been enhanced and new agreements put in place heading into 2019, ensuring that the Blancpain GT World Challenge enjoys a truly worldwide level of coverage.
In Europe, both Eurosport and Fox Sports Europe will broadcast highlights of all 18 Blancpain GT World Challenge rounds, bringining the American and Asian championships to television screens across the European continent for the first time.
America will also enjoy significantly improved coverage this year, with CBS Sports Network expanding its commitment by airing live action from all Blancpain GT World Challenge America events. There will also be as-live broadcasts from the European races and extended highlights from the Asian category, ensuring that every race is available to watch in American homes.
Fox Latin America will take its coverage to a new level in 2019. Broadcasting to viewers in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, the network will show extended highlights from all 18 races, representing a significant increase on its previous commitment.
On the Asian continent, Fox Asia will continue to show live action from its regional Blancpain GT World Challenge category. The network will also add live coverage from Europe this season, as well as extended highlights from races in the American championship.
Indeed, viewers across Europe, Asia and America will have the chance to enjoy all 18 races during the 2019 season. This approach is at the heart of the Blancpain GT World Challenge concept. Not only will it provide manufacturers with an arena in which to prove the success of their customer racing efforts, it will lead to a considerable increase in exposure for each regional series.
In addition to the extensive TV coverage on offer throughout the upcoming season, fans will have even more opportunities to watch thanks to online broadcasting. All Blancpain GT World Challenge events will be streamed live or as-live on their respective websites, as well as other online platforms across different territories.
Following its great success last year, live digital streaming will once again take the series to China, with all 18 rounds of the Blancpain GT World Challenge shown online in the country. Streamed live on multiple China-based digital platforms such as Youku, Panda TV, and Huya, the digital audience is forecast to exceed 1.5 million viewers, with several million more expected to see race highlights on China’s Travel Channel TV news and sports bulletins, as well as via non-live online viewing.
In-depth information regarding each individual series will be announced in the coming weeks. With major broadcasting agreements in place for the season ahead, fans can expect to enjoy a wealth of action as the Blancpain GT World Challenge goes global.
Photos from Paul Foster