RUMOURS that BT’s pay-tv service is set to buy the rights to broadcast MotoGP from 2014 are gathering momentum – and with both the BBC and Eurosport deals expiring at the end of 2013 there’s uncertainty over where you’ll be able to see next year’s championship.
BT Sport has already announced deals around Premier League football matches (it has rights to 38 games per year for the next three years) and a three year deal to broadcast the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Next it’s expected to make an announcement about an agreement to broadcast MotoGP from 2014 onwards.
The firm is thought to be planning in-depth coverage of all three MotoGP classes, taking inspiration from the Sky Sports F1 channel, which has proved divisive among fans. While those prepared to pay have been impressed by the depth and extent of the Sky F1 coverage – with a whole channel’s airtime to fill, it needed to show far more than just the races – many who were used to watching all the races free on the BBC have been disappointed because half the races are restricted to edited highlights on free-to-view terrestrial television.
At the moment, BT Sports has made no official statement on the MotoGP rumours, but should the deal happen as expected it’s likely that the only way to watch all the races live in the UK will be via a BT Vision box, or by subscribing to a BT Sports channel on Sky. At the moment it’s not clear whether Virgin’s cable TV will show BT Sports channels. BT Sports is expected to make an announcement on Thursday with more details of its channels’ content.