Predicting BT Sport’s MotoGP team

Back in May, it was announced that BT Sport would be taking over the MotoGP rights for the 2014 championship onwards. The move was met with mixed reaction. On one hand, BT Sport will be providing MotoGP with significantly more broadcast air-time than previous broadcasters. But, with that, the viewership will drop badly with no terrestrial coverage from 2014 onwards as I have wrote about in detail previously.

Aside from that though, there is the big question of who exactly is going to be a part of BT Sport’s MotoGP team. With that in mind, it is time for me to dive into my crystal ball, and for me to guess who will be part of that team! A disclaimer though that I have zero inside knowledge, all of the following is my own predictions and speculation.

Starting with the main figure that viewers will see: presenter. Matt Roberts deserves the role in my view, and has been a steady ship directing the BBC show in the past year or two. I’d really like him be able to do more in-depth interview or features, which a role as BT’s MotoGP presenter would allow him to do, as there would be significantly more air-time. I think Suzi Perry has to be mentioned as a possibility too, if there is an escape clause in her BBC F1 contract. I’m not sure that BBC would want two Formula 1 presenters in a row heading to BT Sport, mind! Outside of that? I don’t think Jake Humphrey is realistic, purely because it would go against everything he said when leaving the BBC F1 job. Humphrey would not want to do every race either, I don’t think, plus the fact he is BT Sport’s lead Premier League presenter I believe rules this out. Finally, Keith Huewen is a possibility. I still think Roberts will get it. There could be a complete wildcard here, but I doubt it.

Moving onto pit lane reporters, and Randy Mamola and Neil Spalding are a must for me. I missed Mamola when he left Eurosport’s coverage at the end of 2009, and would love to see him return. Spalding is great in his current Eurosport role, so I would prefer ‘both’ rather than ‘or’. Where this would leave Azi Farni I don’t know. If she is there, she is there, but it is not a deal breaker for me. Punditry is an interesting one considering MotoGP coverage in the UK has never really had pundits. BBC’s coverage relied on Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish to fill air-time in the half an hour before the race with Roberts, so no extra personnel were required. BT Sport are expected to go the extra mile with MotoGP, so I would expect a pundit or two. As it is a British audience watching, the obvious former British MotoGP riders come into mind, such as Jeremy McWilliams. I’m not entirely sure who else to suggest here, so would be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Lastly, the commentary team. I could discuss this over, but there is only one choice here: Toby Moody and Julian Ryder. Must, must, must, and I cannot emphasise that enough. It would be a near travesty if Moody and Ryder were not commentating to British audiences. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Cox and Steve Parrish’s commentary work, but I know where these things are concerned it is personal preference. For me, Moody and Ryder are leagues ahead of Cox and Parrish. I think Parrish should be part of the team maybe as a pundit though, but at the age of 60 he may want to tone down his paddock involvements. We shall see.

With that in mind:

– presenter: Matt Roberts
– pit lane reporter: Randy Mamola
– technical reporter: Neil Spalding
– paddock reporter: Azi Farni
– pundit: Jeremy McWilliams and A.N. Other
– commentators: Toby Moody and Julian Ryder

That is just my best guesses. My expertise in terms of motorcycle broadcasting is limited regarding personnel, but I thought I would throw in my two cents!

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34 thoughts on “Predicting BT Sport’s MotoGP team

  1. Using the excellent commentary which gavin emmett and Nick Harris provide for the world feed would make much more sensr. Both financially and in terms of quality of commentary.

    • that would be good but what would be the point in bt putting all the effort in only to use what was avaliable to the world anyway. there will be very little viewers anyway with no bbc fta coverage which i think will have a worse effect than the bbc sky f1 deal

  2. It’d be great to get Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder back commentating together again… Maybe Toby Moody and Matt Roberts in the pit lane (with Toby stepping in a lot with the commentary too…).. as long as it’s not cox and parrish I’m happy though… I can’t stand them!!

  3. Please, not that screeching idiot Toby Moody. His commentary is so childish, adding extra syllables to every word and uses a stupid sing song voice. I quite like Julian Ryder burbling away and any or all of the others mentioned. Toby Moody ruined the whole Eurosport Motogp experience for my wife and me and we were thank full when the BBC got the broadcasting rights. Please BT, employing Toby Moody would lend nothing to your excellent line up of commentators.

  4. Vareity being the spice of life, I have to admit that Cox and Parrish’s laconic humour and palpable enthusiasm make them possibly my favourite commentary team – they complement each other perfectly and their style really suits it. I’d be very sad to lose them, myself.

  5. There is absolutely no competition….Moody and Ryder – world champion commentators. The competition is lightweight and do not show the tremendous enthusiasm for the sport that Toby and Julian exude……please BT …..M&R…no other will bring in the viewers

  6. It has to be Moody and Ryder plus Spalding for the commentary team on the new BT coverage for 2014 anything else would be a travesty, their in depth knowledge of the sport, and Spalding’s technical knowledge are unbeatable, if BT want to draw in a big audience, then Moody, Ryder and Spalding is the formula to stick with. I will still follow the GP, but it will be with the TV on mute if the above commentary team are absent.

  7. Two tweets from Keith Huewen today make me think he will be a part of the BT Sport MotoGP team: “Farewell #MotoGP 2013 😦 The end of an era… Jeremy Burgess, Eurosport & BBC to name 3. Good luck to all & rock on 2014. Can’t wait! Nice closer @EurosportUKTV !! All good things come to an end 😦 Good luck #MotoGP team 🙂 See ya”

    And Matt Roberts‘ tweet here suggests he is not a part of BT Sport’s plans: “Enjoyed today, the end of a fantastic adventure for me! Really overwhelmed by all your messages, I’ll be reading through each and every one”

  8. Please NO WAY … to bringing on Matt Roberts … watching his “anchorage” at Silverstone this year was painful …. you want someone as fired-up as Eddy Jordan is , not a damp squid.
    If you want an enthusiast “up for the job” , accurate , clear and on the ball guy , then look to Steve Day , forget the old guys and lets get some new fresh “motorcycle racing fans” to bring the action to our televisions.

  9. It HAS to be Ryder & Moody – they have such enthusiasm with the right mix of technical knowledge thrown in along with the lovely voiced Spalders. Cox & Parrish are SO boring, waffle too much about technicalities & don’t appear to have the historical knowledge of R&M which, whilst not vital, adds extra interest. I had to suffer bbc to watch live in case of any dramatic incidents but always watched eurosport to ‘enjoy’ the race. Same pictures but you would think 2 different races !

  10. Who cares! Very few people will be watching it anyway. UK MotoGP viewership (and event attendance) will plummet in 2014. It’s a shame, because it’s been steadily growing for the last few years, but now it’ll fall back again.

  11. Ryder,Moody and Spalders. Just wouldn’t be the same without them. Would be good to see Suzi Perry back as she had a good rapport with the riders and very knowledgeable.

    • I’d LOVE to see Suzi Perry go to BT coverage of MotoGP, because I find her so irritating and would pay to have her stop covering F1. There again, I’m not entirely sure that it’s her fault. BBC coverage of F1 this year has been terrible. Waaaaaaay too much pointless gossip and not enough technical reviews. For goodness sake … what is the point of Eddie Jordan?

  12. I’ve only ever enjoyed watching MotoGP on BBC with Parrish and Cox and Co. Watched via Eurosport on a couple of occasions and it had no character. Boring, no dynamics, no fun. I don’t understand the backlash against P&C, I get the technical bit and am no techie. Great dynamics with the riders as well. I’m gutted MotoGP is going to BT. Personally I believe It’s a very great loss for the sport. Won’t be buying v. expensive BT to only watch MotoGP…

  13. Parish and whitham would my commentary pic with mamola in the patlane used to love his obsession with reading lap times on Eurosport! Toby & Jules used to be great but have really started to irritate me recently just talking nonsense!!

  14. Its bad anough that EuroSport and the BBC will no longer cover Moto GP, with the swarm of UK riders now in the paddock, but if the Eurosport team are not grabbed by BT than thats it for me. If Parish (Mr Shortshift) gets the gig, well bless him and goodbye. So come on BT invest your money wisely and get the A team in place. Mike

  15. Agree with most of what has been said regarding a Moody, Ryder and Spalding team…and with Mamola in the pits that would be an informed and solid set up. The thought of Huewen screaming “..he’s pulled the pin Julian..” Or ending every sentence with “..Ha!” would have me reaching for the ‘off’ switch faster than if Cox “went to hell in a bubble car” or Parrish’s monotone voice continued.

  16. Please do not put Toby Moody and Julian Ryder on GP commentary on BT Sport!! Gavin Emmet and Nick Harris are very good. Matt Roberts and Steve Parrish in pit lane.
    Good Luck to Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding.!!

    • Seriously!!!!!I would pay any amount of money to see Jules and Toby on bt sport,they are without doubt apart from whitham and burnicle the best double act in commentary.

  17. Good god I hope these predictions don’t come to pass. For me Matt Roberts is no good as the lead presenter. Nothing against the guy but he’s just got no confidence and just can’t carry it off, Suzi Perry did a much better job. Jennie gow was also hopeless.

    Matt would be ok as the pit lane reporter though. I’d like to see Steve parish and Charlie continue in the comms box, perfectly good to me. I’d like to see tony from Eurosport bsb coverage step up to moto gp.

  18. I don’t really care who commentates … I just wish that it was on BBC. There again, BBC F1 coverage (along with all other BBC coverage) has steadily declined over the last couple of years, so maybe it isn’t a bad idea to give somebody else a chance.

  19. No contest…Toby Moody, Julian Ryder and Spalders….unbeatable team !! Even friends have said that although they don’t follow motorsport like I do, they couldn’t help but take notice when that trio were on. Please please lets have the quality and true fun they all bring to this sport !!!

  20. COMMENTARY SHOULD BE CALM AND INFORMATIVE, MANIC COMMENTATORS ONLY RUIN THE SHOW, THE MANIC ACTION IS ON THE TRACK, WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

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