The 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) has reached a new record in TV ratings, according to the recent study published by the German independent Institute IFM. The study showed that an impressive cumulative global audience of over 300 million viewers watched the twelve events of the WTCC series' fourth season.

This equates to a 20% increase of the year-on-year audiences compared to 2007; a clear demonstration of the WTCC's growing worldwide popularity. The series' increased popularity also resulted in an increase in worldwide press, web and TV coverage and event attendance. The WTCC is now covered by 75 TV networks over more than 160 countries and average on-site attendance has increased by over 5% (674,000 spectators in 2008 compared to 640,000 in 2007).

Jacques Raynaud, Vice-Chairman of Eurosport Group and Eurosport Events commented: "We are extremely satisfied to see that the WTCC's popularity is growing steadily and that the event continues to break audience records season after season. The figures speak for themselves and prove that WTCC is a compelling and powerful motorsport event that appeals to large, diversified audiences. This success is a result of the event's excellent production and high standard television broadcast. We are extremely satisfied with the evolution of the WTCC and will continue to innovate in 2009."

The 2009 WTCC season will be marked by several major commercial and broadcast developments. WTCC will be the first FIA World Championship produced in native HD. The event will travel to Africa for a new spectacular race in Marrakech. The series welcomes LADA, a new manufacturer, as part of the competition. Finally, in 2009, the WTCC will also become more environmentally friendly through the adoption of second generation bio-ethanol fuel.

-credit: fia-wtcc