MotoGP »

BBC to BT 'is like 500cc to MotoGP'

“500cc was fantastic for decades, but there is a moment when you need to move to other possibilities” - Carmelo Ezpeleta.
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta thanked the BBC for its MotoGP TV coverage over the past decade, but says the sport needs to move on, just as it did in switching away from 500cc machinery.

The BBC has broadcast MotoGP since 2003, gaining exclusive UK rights from 2009 onwards.

However, despite the BBC submitting a 'competitive bid' to continue, Dorna has decided to move MotoGP from free-to-air by signing a five-year exclusive contract with BT Sport.

“The BBC has been very good for us. The UK is a mature market and now with the possibilities we have in our TV production, BT Sport can give to us what I think the British fans and everybody needs,” said Ezpeleta.

“I want to say thank-you very much to the BBC. They helped us to grow in recent years. But now is a new moment. It is the same as when we changed from 500cc to MotoGP.”

The premier-class used 500cc two strokes from its inaugural 1949 season until the end of 2001, when the new four-stroke 'MotoGP' machines made their debut.

“500cc was fantastic for decades, but there is a moment when you need to move to other possibilities. Exactly the same,” continued Ezpeleta. “We think right now, in the UK, we need something that can grow with us. We saw from the beginning in our conversations with BT Sport that they are committed…. We are very happy [to move to BT Sport]. But we always say thank you to the BBC who has helped us a lot in the past ten years.”

BT is yet to launch its new sport channels, which will be free for its broadband customers and cost £15 a month for non-broadband customers. Nevertheless, Ezpeleta has no qualms about the quality of the future coverage.

“We think we are making the right move. We are so committed with this sport to do as much as we can. They [BT Sport] will do the same,” he said. “This is a big corporation. We are not talking about a small broadcaster! They are with the Premier League and the Rugby as well.”

Like the BBC, British Eurosport currently has access to live race weekend coverage, with the exception of the MotoGP race. The satellite channel also looks to have been left out in the cold.

One question unanswered during Thursday's announcement was the identity of BT Sport's MotoGP presentation, commentary and analysis line-up. Some of the existing BBC and Eurosport members are tipped to be signed, while BT made clear it wants at least one former racer on board.

“I'd say it's pretty key,” confirmed Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail. “I can't guarantee anything. We're going to look at all possibilities, but clearly from our announcements around Football, Rugby and Tennis you can see we look at people who have played at the highest level.”



Tagged as: BT Sport , Dorna , Eurosport , BBC

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
TV camera, French MotoGP 2011
Ezpeleta, Qatar MotoGP 2012
BT Sport TV , Emmett and Redding, Grand Prix of The Americas, 2014
BT Sport TV , Emmett and Redding, Grand Prix of The Americas, 2014
Dorna TV camera, Grand Prix of The Americas, 2014
Hodgson BT Sport TV McPhee, Moto3, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Hodgson BT Sport TV McPhee, Moto3, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Sky Sports TV, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Sky Sports TV, Qatar MotoGP 2014
BT Sport TV, Kent, Qatar Moto3 Race 2014
Hodgson and Crutchlow, BT Sport TV, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Ezpeleta and Alonso, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Dorna TV camera, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Gavin Emmett BT Sport TV presenter with Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Gavin Emmett BT Sport TV presenter with Smith, Qatar MotoGP 2014
BT Sport Tv presenter Neil Hodgson, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Hodgson, BT Sport, Qatar MotoGP 2014
Alex Marquez, Sky sports TV, Qatar Moto3 2014

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


terry - Unregistered

May 10, 2013 7:41 AM

Well stuff you and BT Internet there is no way will I go back to them and for £15 quid a month they can whistle It's bloody blackmail, BT supply all the other broadband providers at a cost which we pay so why should we have to pay anymore Greedy load of gits

skally - Unregistered

May 10, 2013 7:52 AM

It appears somebody has misrepresented the quality of BTs service probably fine if you live in a major city but outside its cr4p slow speeds poor lines download speed disappearing at busy times yep this is going to be great I hope dorna leaves Eurosport alone



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.