IT’S been confirmed that BT Sport will have the rights to MotoGP coverage next year – leaving existing channels and their viewers potentially out in the cold.
As we suggested here http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-racing-news-moto-gp/no-more-motogp-on-the-bbc-or-eurosport/22736.html, the deal will see Eurosport and the BBC lose their rights to live MotoGP coverage for all three classes. And it means unless you’ve got access to BT Sport – either through BT Vision or Sky, although Virgin is also expected to do a deal – there may be no way of watching live GP coverage. Whatever your solution, it’s unlikely to be free.
Here’s BT Sport’s official line:
The five-year agreement will see MotoGP in the line-up of top sports on the new BT Sport channels. Motorcycle racing’s premier Championship will be part of BT Sport alongside other great sport, including Barclays Premier League and Aviva Premiership Rugby.
MotoGP fans won’t miss a minute of the action as race weekends will be covered in full starting from the free practices on the Friday and including full coverage of Moto2 and Moto3 as well as the elite category MotoGP.
Coverage will be hosted on-site with additional studio coverage from BT Sport’s state of the art facilities at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.
Fans will also be able to see races from the riders’ perspective and with more interactive features showing off the most technologically advanced bikes, giving UK fans a whole new MotoGP viewing experience, immersing them in every aspect of the Championship.
The MotoGP line up will also feature additional motorcycle-related programming in between Grand Prix weekends.
BT Vision and YouView viewers will be able to catch up on any live action they miss as BT Sport will make the programming available on demand, on television and on digital.
Manel Arroyo, Dorna Sports, Managing Director, said: “We’re proud that MotoGP will be part of such a huge and exciting project as BT Sport.”
Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, added: “The agreement with MotoGP is really exciting. We want BT Sport to offer a wide range of sports that appeal to many different audiences and MotoGP is a thrilling sport with a massive and committed fan base in the UK and Ireland.”
This is British Eurosport’s reaction to the deal:
British Eurosport is disappointed that MotoGP series rights holder Dorna has decided to change its strategy from 2014 onwards in the UK
We are proud to have covered MotoGP for many years and thank our respected commentary team of Toby Moody, Julian Ryder, Neil Spalding and Steve Day along with the team behind the scenes for making that coverage so popular with bike fans.
At British Eurosport we are passionate supporters of motorcycle racing and it continues to be a cornerstone of the channel's output. In 2013, we added the Speedway European Championships and FIM Speedway Grand Prix to our offer of the MCE British Superbikes and World Superbike Championship. We will show every round of these four series live, in full and in HD until at least 2015 and we hold the exclusive live rights to those series in the UK.
The BBC said:
We believe that we have brought the sport to a new, wider audience. We would like to thank our production teams for the contribution they have made in raising the profile of the sport in the UK.
We are very proud of our Moto GP coverage and submitted a competitive bid to retain the broadcasting rights beyond our current contract. We will continue to bring great content to our audiences for the rest of this season.