For World Rally Championship fans living in the U.S., it's been tough to keep up on the action, as domestic television coverage has been virtually nonexistent for some time now. That's about to change, however, as the series has inked a deal with Discovery Communications' HD Theater, a channel with an audience of 633 million. HD Theater has committed to show weekly coverage "from every round of the championship" beginning in October, and it will also air shows featuring related WRC content and news.

The adventure/technology channel already shows other forms of motorsports coverage and car-related programming that we've enjoyed, and we're particularly excited for the return of WRC, as the rallying genre lend itself particularly well to the channel's 1080i, 5.1 digital surround high-def format. After all, the races regularly take place in spectacular settings, and HD broadcasting ought to provide for a heightened level of detail in everything from flying dirt to the look on bystanders' faces as the competitors whip by. Consider us psyched.

Official press release after the jump. Thanks for the tips, everyone!

[Source: WRC | Image: Massimo Bettiol/Getty]


PRESS RELEASE:

High-definition WRC coverage coming to America

Television coverage of the FIA World Rally Championship will be available to millions of households in the USA later this year thanks to a new partnership between series promoters, ISC, and the Discovery Channel's HD Theater network.

WRC programming will be shown weekly on HD Theater starting in October. As well as coverage from every round of the championship, a range of other features and news bulletins will be shown.

Part of the Discovery Channel's range of networks, HD Theater is one of the most widely distributed high-definition services available in the United States. Specialising in adventure, technology, nature and world culture programming, HD Theater also covers a number of racing events, all of which are shown in a 1080i picture format and with 5.1 digital surround sound.

"This is tremendous news for the championship and our fans in the United States," said Simon Long, ISC CEO. "It is a ground breaking deal which means the WRC has a high-profile broadcast presence in the United States via a hugely-respected, quality and innovative partner in Discovery Communication's HD Theater,"

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to take the WRC to an ever wider audience in the significant U.S. market, and working with HD Theater to bring more attention to what we firmly believe is an 'epic motorsport adventure by the world's greatest drivers,'" he added.

Clark Bunting, president and general manager of HD Theater, said: "HD Theater has been a pioneer in high-definition programming and we are excited to introduce the FIA World Rally Championships to our American audience. This year we've seen the action go from the snow-covered roads of Norway to the hairpin turns climbing the Cordobese Sierras of Argentina, and the adrenaline-fuelled rally action will shine in high-definition."