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BT Sport has won exclusive rights to broadcast the MotoGP World Championship in a five-year deal starting from the 2014 season.

The agreement with promoter Dorna Sports will see MotoGP programming at the forefront of a quality line-up of top domestic and international sports on the new BT Sport channels, but means the championship loses free-to-air terrestrial coverage.

BT outbid strong competition from current rights holders BBC and pay-TV rivals Sky Sports.

Motorcycle racing’s premier class will be part of this exciting new venture and will join other headline properties such as Premier League football and Aviva Premiership Rugby.

MotoGP fans will not 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 MotoGP category.

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.

BT Sport will create an exciting second screen experience, giving fans the ability to see races from the riders’ perspective and with more interactive features showing off the most technologically advanced bikes.

This will give the UK audience a whole new MotoGP viewing experience, immersing them in every aspect of the Championship.

The MotoGP line-up will be further enhanced by 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.

BT Sport will be heading into the world of MotoGP at full throttle, with extensive promotion across all media outlets including outdoor advertising, newspapers and magazines, as well as cross-promotion during its flagship football and rugby coverage.

The on-air line-up and presentation team will confirmed later this year.

Manel Arroyo, Dorna Sports Managing Director, commented: “We’re proud that MotoGP will be part of such a huge and exciting project as BT Sport.

“I’m sure that BT Sport will provide the in-depth coverage that MotoGP deserves and in turn MotoGP will provide the sporting drama and excitement to help launch BT Sport as a major player in the TV market.

“Our new partnership comes at the perfect time, with British riders flourishing in the Championship, and we look forward to our British fans being able to follow every single minute of the action.”

Simon Green, Head of BT Sport, said: “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.

“We believe existing fans will be thrilled with our comprehensive coverage and how we intend to develop the MotoGP brand and think we can also help the sport win many new fans.”

BT Sport football presenter and former BBC F1 host Jake Humphrey wrote on his website: “As a motorsport lover I was also so excited when I knew we might be able to pull off quite a coup and beat a number of other broadcasters to bag exclusive rights to Moto GP from 2014. 

“I am certain we will give you the commitment, consistency and creativity you deserve from the sports’ broadcaster, and I think there is so much we can do to give you a better insight into Moto GP than you’ve ever had before.

“The way F1 is covered has changed beyond recognitionin the past few years and it’s time to bring much of that to Moto GP.

“Insight, analysis, breaking down the technical barriers, getting to know the riders – I think it can all be better and we’ll work really hard to make it the most comprehensive coverage you’ve ever had.

“Moto GP is so compelling, so exciting, and after 4 years in the F1 pit lane I know it deserves the best possible coverage.

“We are also well aware how much passion there is for bikes in this country and I want you to trust that we will do you, and the sport you love, justice.

“It was particularly great to have Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow at our launch and he is really enthused about what BT Sport can bring to the table, as am I.”

BT Sport will be available for free for BT Broadband customers or for £15 to non-BT customers.

The BBC’s free-to-air coverage for the remainder of the 2013 season will be unaffected, with all races and some qualifying sessions available on either BBC One and BBC Two or the BBC Sport website.

Having regain the rights to the championship back in 2003 from Channel 5, the BBC has gradually increased its MotoGP coverage year-on-year.

Live qualifying sessions were introduced in 2005 via the Red Button, with further coverage of Moto2 (250cc) and Moto3 (125cc) classes in following years, along with more promotion and publicity for the BBC’s coverage.

British Eurosport has also screened MotoGP several years with the popular team of Toby Moody and Julian Ryder providing commentary. 

After the series promoters attempted to secure exclusive free-to-air broadcasts in key territories, Dorna said in a statement that they would “always focusing first and foremost on free-to-air coverage to bring MotoGP to wider audiences”.

BT’s five-year deal results in the loss of MotoGP coverage on terrestrial television for the first time since 2000.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are very proud of our Moto GP coverage and submitted a competitive bid to retain the broadcasting rights beyond our current contract.

“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 will continue to bring great content to our audiences for the rest of this season.”

Former BBC MotoGP producer Belinda Moore commented on Twitter: “I was lucky enough to spend many years as Series Producer on MotoGP for BBC Sport and want to pay tribute to a truly fantastic team.

“Very proud of all BBC Sport MotoGP Team: @matt77roberts, @AziFarniBBC, @Stavros6, Charlie Cox, @gavinemmett, @suziperry. You were great, thank you.”

Refering to the new BT Sport deal, the BBC’s Formula 1 presenter Suzi Perry, who fronted MotoGP coverage for a decade, also briefly commented on Twitter: “It’s all a great big shame for fans and ultimately the sport…”

British Eurosport’s contract with Dorna meant they showed all Moto3 and Moto2 races live with a delayed running of the MotoGP race.

An official statement from British Eurosport said: “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.”

MotoGP’s commercial chief Carmelo Ezpeleta previously stressed the importance of retaining free to air exposure for the championship, but said BT Sport was better positioned to bring viewers an increased level of coverage and interaction.

He told Autosport: “We were looking for a partner to increase the visibility of our sport, and I think BT is the best place to develop in the future.”

“The market has changed, and the possibilities with BT are amazing.

“A big audience used to be the most important factor. Now customers want more.

“The BBC were very good to us, but this is exactly like the switch from 500s – we need to have something capable of growing with us.”

For more information on BT Sport visit: btsport.com

22 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Rubbish!

    The only people this is good for is Dorna! You will kill MotoGp in the UK.

  2. Stacy says:

    Not pleased at all!!
    I have to pay extra now and will miss the Eurosport commentry. Very dissapointing!!

  3. David Newton says:

    Not happy at all I’m not paying any more money for another channel as sky sports cost enough.
    I will miss watching motogp as I have been a fan of eurosport since the1990’s and the BBC when they got the coverage.

    Thanks for nothing Dorna

    • drumwrecker says:

      Well that’s me finished with MotoGP, I have been watching it on Eurosport since Waldman was racing 250’s. Wouldn’t it be good if people stayed away from the races in droves.

  4. Dave G says:

    Such a shame for the dedicated UK fans of MotoGP feels like we’ve been robbed

  5. Anonymous says:

    We pay enough already in the uk for television and I can’t even get BT broadband where I live. No more moto gp for me next year.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely appalling news! WTF were Dorna thinking other than money! This will kill MotoGP in the UK! Even as a die hard fan I will not pay to watch it! Money grabbing trolls!

  7. Andy Walters says:

    Disgusted. No BT broadband access and already paying too much to Sky for the “privilege” of suffering endless adverts on how “wonderful” Sky is. FUDorna. FUBT. RIP MotoGP.

  8. Spenner says:

    Btbroadband was crap when I had it. Not paying £180+ on top if what I already pay for my tv. I’ve followed this class of racing since the early eighties but that’s me done. Can’t afford the price. bye bye Moto GP

  9. doug says:

    If BT think they can blackmail me into paying for the privalage, according to them, of watching MotoGP or signing up to one of their rubbish broadband contracts they can think again. I hope the whole thing comes crashing down around them and their greedy and grasping ways.The same goes for Dorna.

  10. andrew says:

    This way forward is criminal. Out of principal I will not pay. Been in motorbike racing since a child. Now at 50, I will stop watching. It is a very sad time.

  11. Richard says:

    I’m so pissed off I can put it into words. I would rather roll around in my own s*** than pay BT a penny!!
    Bye bye moto GP :-(

  12. pete says:

    BT, they have ripped brits off for years with high prices, and I will not pay them one penny for moto gp, bt and dorna I hope you the fall, erosport has the right coverage for it, and as for the bbc jeez I turned the commentary off.

  13. unhappy says:

    been watching motogp since 1989,no moto gp next year for me can`t afford to pay another tv subscription out thnx Dorna ,NOT

  14. Kevin says:

    Boo Hoo ho my look at all the moaners who left BT to save money when really they still own the telephone network.well now’s it’s pay back time and if you don’t want to pay good riddanceto bad rubish.

  15. rubbish says:

    total rubbish, i have watched motogp on eurosport since it started and loved there coverage and you cant beat Toby Moody and Julian Ryder commentating the races!! i cant watch the bbc mob and dread to think if there fronting the new move over……rubbish

  16. Motogp is basically Spanish championship anyway for a are clueless rule changes that never do any good honda have to much clout Rossi,best days are gone only3 riders can realistically win dorna and bt stick it where the sun don’t shine

  17. A Hellier says:

    Thanks bt you’ve just screwed us who can’t afford to pay to watch sport I’ll be switching from your fine line as it’s crap anyway what next darts then snooker and all the other sports we do pay for with our licence fee you greedy sob’s you make me sick as do sky

  18. Mr Ad says:

    Greedy Moto GP, greedy BT, and thanks greedy BBC for stealing all our licence fee to pay yourselves fat wages. Goodbye Moto GP you will die a death in the UK. So sad!!

  19. Al says:

    scandals, football and now moto gp, you will loose all GB support. we will not even buy tickets for matches or races as we left BT 4 years ago over their scandals charges.

  20. Steve says:

    Ha Ha!!,,the public have spoken…its gonna flop spectacularly…that’s what you get when you bite the hand that feeds you…R.I.P. Moto GP…its been a blast..ill just have an extra run on my bike when id normally be sitting watching GP…so every cloud I guess.. :)

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