It has been announced that British Eurosport will
continue to broadcast MotoGP in 2009, but will not show live coverage of the MotoGP races.
Intended to 'compliment' the BBC's service, British Eurosport will air all practice and qualifying sessions live from the Friday and Saturday of each grand prix weekend, followed by live coverage of the 125cc and 250cc races on Sundays. The MotoGP races will be available on the channel on a same-day-delayed basis.
The MotoGP races will only be shown live by the BBC, whose viewers can also watch MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc qualification, as well as 125cc and 250cc races, live via the 'red button' service.
"We are delighted to be offering more than ever of the world's leading motorcycle series,” said Philip Bernie, BBC, Head of TV Sport Editorial. “Our coverage of MotoGP, the 250s and 125s means that BBC viewers will be able to get the most comprehensive view of this spectacular sport. Combined with our new F1 contract, this means the BBC is now showcasing fully the best motor sport on both two wheels and four wheels.”
The announcement of British Eurosport's return comes eight months after MotoGP commercial rights-holder Dorna Sports revealed it would end coverage on the channel:
"Coverage of the MotoGP World Championships will no longer be available on Eurosport from the 2009 season," due to “Dorna's new strategy of working with national network broadcasters around Europe, always focusing first and foremost on free-to-air coverage to bring MotoGP to wider audiences. This means that in the UK, the BBC will enjoy exclusive coverage of MotoGP next year...”
That announcement was met with anger and disappointment by a substantial number of fans, many of whom feared the loss of extensive live coverage and the popular British Eurosport commentary team of Toby Moody, Julian Ryder and Randy Mamola.
Whilst the BBC assured viewers that it will show all MotoGP races live in 2009 and would be increasing its coverage - albeit using the 'red button' and with its previous commentary team - comments left in the Crash.net
forum and elsewhere on the internet indicated that many loyal MotoGP fans remained deeply unsatisfied.
Meanwhile, for fans of Moody, Ryder and Mamola, presenters and commentators are yet to be confirmed.
The 2009 MotoGP season starts at Qatar on April 12