Unconfirmed reports tonight have suggested that BT Sport is set to takeover the Moto GP series from the BBC and Eurosport next year.
Bennetts UK have reported that Insiders say an official announcement is some way off, but it looks increasingly likely that the new rights holder will be BT Vision – the online TV provider launched by BT to rival Sky. The deal is already being talked about in whispers throughout the television industry and in the Moto GP paddock.
Bennetts believe BT’s ambition is to set new standards for bike sport, so expect fully interactive services along the lines of Sky’s F1 coverage, with possible multi-camera options, and the ability to follow different riders on-board and tailor the coverage to the MotoGP viewer.
BT has already spent big money on rights for Premier League football and Aviva Premiership rugby, among other sports which includes taking over ESPN UK’s sport portfolio. BT have also hired big name presenters too such as former BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey to head up its Premier League football and Claire Balding to work on a new show for the channel.
However the news for Moto GP fans will be disappointing for viewers, with potential loss of free-to-air coverage, after we are into a second season of shared F1 coverage between the BBC and Sky.
Moto GP has previously aired on Channel 5 before the BBC took over the coverage in 2003 with now BBC F1 Presenter Suzi Perry as host. Now fronted by Matt Roberts and commentary comes from Charlie Cox and Steve Parish. Eurosport’s coverage is led by Toby Moody (ITV’s BTCC commentator last year).
[Written by Callum Patterson]