BBC Snags MotoGP World Championship

By Kevin Hilton SVG Europe editor

The BBC may have steadily lost its grip on televised football in recent
years but has balanced this by acquiring the rights to major motor
sports events, the most recent being the MotoGP World Championship.
This marks the first time the event will be shown by the public
broadcaster after it signed an exclusive deal with Spanish licensing
and production company Dorna Sports to cover races from 2009 to 2013.

agreement follows the announcement in March that coverage of Formula 1
will return to the BBC beginning next year. Under this latest deal the BBC
will show all races, including the 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP events, as
well as the qualifying rounds. These will be live on the broadcaster’s
main terrestrial and simulcast digital channels, with the qualifiers on
the interactive red button service and through the internet. If viewers
miss a MotoGP race they will be able to watch it using the BBC iPlayer
view again facility.

Dorna is the host broadcaster for the
MotoGP Championship and the other events it licenses, providing a
variety of cameras, including high frequency and on-bike units, plus
coverage of the paddock, aerial shots and, graphics, which make up the
international programme feed. Right now all Dorna’s TV productions are
being distributed as a SD feed, to which the BBC will add its own
presentation and interviews.

BBC Sport’s director of sport
rights, Dominic Coles, says, “We are delighted to have secured,
for the first time, fully exclusive rights to the world’s premier and
most watched motorbike competition. Alongside our recent acquisition of
Formula 1 BBC Sport has become the home of motor sport in the UK, a
one-stop shop for fans of the very best two-wheel and four-wheel sport
action across TV, radio and online services.”

While the BBC has
built up its portfolio of televised motor sport in recent years it has
lost out on football to commercial rivals. Earlier in the year ITV and
Setanta scooped up the terrestrial and satellite rights respectively to
the FA Cup and England’s home international games in a four-year deal
worth 425m. This means there is a possibility the BBC will have no
football coverage from 2010 onwards after its contract for Premier
League highlights expires.

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