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BT Sport reveals MotoGP TV line-up
14 February 2014
BT Sport has announced the presenters, commentators and programme details for its new MotoGP TV coverage.
BT has acquired exclusive live UK broadcasting rights in a five-year deal starting this season, which replaces MotoGP coverage on the BBC and British Eurosport.
Unveiling what it says will be the most extensive MotoGP coverage ever seen in the UK, BT's race weekends will be presented by Melanie Sykes, alongside Neil Hodgson and James Toseland.
After appearing in Boddington's beer advertisements during the 1990s, Sykes has gone on to present a wide variety of TV programmes and award ceremonies. British stars Hodgson and Toseland are both former MotoGP racers, as well as World Superbike champions.
In the commentary box, BT Sport will be reuniting Julian Ryder and Keith Huewen. Ryder has been Eurosport's MotoGP commentator for more than 14 years, alongside Toby Moody, but previously worked with British champion Huewen at Sky Sports. Dorna presenter Gavin Emmett will be BT Sport's MotoGP reporter.
The channel's new MotoGP coverage launches on March 18 with a special preview show, featuring interviews with all the top riders and action from the pre-season tests.
For each of this year's 19 races, BT Sport will show practice and qualifying sessions live, plus full coverage of the Moto2 and Moto3 races as well as the elite MotoGP class.
It will be hosted on-site at each event with additional studio coverage from BT Sport's state of the art facilities at the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. Award winning production company North One Television will produce BT Sport's coverage.
A new hour-long programme, MotoGP Tonight, will be broadcast at 8pm on Tuesdays, after every grand prix weekend. This will be presented by Craig Doyle and former Olympian Iwan Thomas. The pair will be joined by an array of guests from the motorbike world.
“It's really exciting to be launching such a thrilling new sport on BT Sport, with a tremendous new team and what we believe will be a fresh approach to MotoGP and some fantastic new shows,” said Simon Green, head of BT Sport.
“MotoGP is the top, two-wheeled motorsport. It's massive in the UK and we're heading into it at full throttle and following every second of the action. We're sure we'll appeal to committed fans, but we also think we will win over and welcome new fans to the sport.”
Manel Arroyo, managing director of Dorna Sports, added: “I'm pleased that MotoGP is 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 so that British fans can follow the fortunes of British riders in the Championship.”
Live race weekend coverage on BT Sport will usually start on Friday mornings and include all practice sessions and races throughout the weekend, with around five hours of coverage each day.
The special four-night season opener in Qatar will be an exception, with coverage starting on Thursday March 20 from 3pm to 7.45pm.
BT Sport is also creating a second screen MotoGP experience as part of the BT Sport app.
Users will be able to watch the main coverage and choose from seven other camera views, including four fitted to bikes, a helicopter view plus live timing and tracking screens.
Full races and highlights, including interviews and features, will also be available to watch on the app.
BT Sport is free to BT broadband customers and available on subscription for non-broadband customers. The channels can be accessed via Sky, BT TV or online.
BT Sport's 2014 line-up leaves no place for former BBC commentators Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox. Eurosport's Toby Moody had already announced he would not be part of the BT coverage.
BBC MotoGP anchor Matt Roberts is moving to Eurosport, where he will present the channel's WSBK and BSB coverage.
Pictured Left-Right: Gavin Emmett, Craig Doyle, James Toseland, Mel Sykes, Iwan Thomas, Neil Hodgson, Julian Ryder.