The third season of the popular China Endurance Championship will get underway on August 14 at Ningbo International Speedpark in south-eastern China, the first of four events for 2020 in a season which will see a departure from the formats utilised in the past, the Championship hosting 150-minute races at each round as opposed to longer races contested in previous seasons.
One thing though which won’t change, is Beijing-based China Television Service Co. Ltd. as the production company tasked with the LIVE streaming of the event on networks across China, a relationship which has proven more than successful in past years, attracting an online audience in the tens of millions for each event.
“LIVE productions for motorsport events across Asia has been a mainstay for CTVS for more than ten years,” CEO Gernot ‘Berti’ Kuntze explained. “We’ve produced events for manufacturers like Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, plus events like DTM (German Touring Cars in China), GT World Challenge, Carrera Cup Asia, Asian Le Mans and more, including three seasons now of the China Endurance Championship [CEC].
“Like the other championships we have produced, CEC have a particular set of deliverables that are unique to their championship, notably extensive reach within China, whilst unlike many of the other championships we produce, exposure to markets outside of China is not a priority.”
Based in Beijing, CTVS have a strong relationship across the Asian region, understanding the intricacies and specifics of each individual zone, something which has seen them emerge as the leading provider of LIVE motorsport events across multiple time-zones, however it is their foundations within China that made them the ideal choice for the organisers of CEC when they began planning their endurance events in 2017.
“The online television market is rapidly changing, perhaps more-so in China than anywhere else in the world,” Kuntze added. “To be able to understand and move with each of those entities as they change can really only happen if you are embedded in the market as we are. There are so many different online groups providing access to the Chinese market with reach in the tens and hundreds of millions, and at times those providers merge and alter their model weekly, and that’s where we’ve been able to provide our clients significant value in moving with those changes – that issue has only become more prevalent with the onset of Covid-19.”
“For us, working with a Chinese-based company with great experience in motorsport was exactly what we needed,” Ray Jia the organizer of the China Endurance Championship said. “Whenever you can involve an experienced operation in a new project, you know that you can leave them to do what’s needed, allowing you to then focus on the management and operation of the event, and that’s important for the long-term success of the series.”
With many live sports postponed or cancelled, and the majority of international events within China called off for the remainder of 2020, audiences have been turning more and more to home-grown events for their sporting fix, something which Kuntze believes will have a significant impact on valuable viewing figures for events like CEC.
“The bottom line for any event is audience reach – that’s where the money comes from – the bigger the audience, the more financially beneficial it is for the promoters, which is why they are so focussed on ensuring the reach of their media programs. With access to platforms like CCTV, Tencent, Youku, Douyu, Huya, Phoenix Auto and Autohome to name but a few, we can provide significant reach right across China.
“As much as it has been a setback, CEC is also likely to see a benefit from the restriction of international travel, with teams very likely to only feature local drivers and not some of the international drivers that have competed in the past, allowing the Chinese audience to enjoy watching the local stars feature more prominently, and that will create a big positive for the Championship moving forward.
“Unlike Europe and America, motorsport is in its infancy in Asia, and more particularly China, however it is growing at a fantastic rate with strong support from fans, and the best way to build a stronger fan base, is to build it around the local drivers, and I think this year will really lay some strong foundations for Chinese motorsport for many years to come.”
About China Endurance Championship:
The China Endurance Championship was launched in 2018 and this year features GT3, GTC (older generation GT3 cars), GT4, TCE (Touring Cars) and prototype cars (Production) competing across a series of 150-minute races at each round, with all cars competing under a standardised set of rules that meet internationally recognised regulations for each class.
- 2020 China Endurance Championship – calendar
- Rnd#1, 14-16 August – Ninbgo Speedpark, Ningbo (China)
- Rnd#2, 11-13 September – Shanghai International Circuit (China)
- Rnd#3, 16-18 October – Zhuhai International Circuit (China)
- Rnd#4, December [TBC] – Wuhan Street Race (China)
Established in 2004, CTVS has been operating from the Sanlitun district of Beijing ever since, providing a range of television and production services to media outlets worldwide, whilst also building a strong reputation for providing world-class services to the motorsport industry.
That experience, in what has been an ever-changing market, together with their ability to quickly activate and provide services on the ground, has seen CTVS emerge as the most sought after service provider in the industry for this specialised work.