Belfast Telegraph

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Circuit of Ireland stream proves to be worldwide hit

By Sammy Hamill

Published 21/04/2016

Winners: Craig Breen and Scott Martin
Winners: Craig Breen and Scott Martin

Who knew there were Circuit of Ireland Rally fans in Azerbaijan and Bahrain. Or in New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean, or in any of the 130 countries around the globe who logged on to watch the live TV streaming of the event on the internet.

The Circuit was the first rally anywhere in the world to attempt continuous live coverage and figures released by the organising team showed it was a huge success, more than 100,000 people watching for a total of almost two million minutes on computers, tablets and smart phones.

"Streaming was something that I pushed hard to do, and I really believe that it is the future of rallying," said Rally Director Bobby Willis.

"No one else has attempted this, partly because of the costs, but also because of the logistics.

"It was a huge independent undertaking and the backroom team who made it happen were all local people."

Streaming of sports events is increasing rapidly but rallying has struggled to follow suit because events are spread over large areas.

"I think we have raised the bar to new heights in the coverage of rallying and it is astonishing to realise how far the Circuit name has spread," added Willis.

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