ITV4 wins rights to screen MotoGP highlights

ITV4 is to screen MotoGP highlights throughout the 2014 season, The F1 Broadcasting Blog can confirm.

The channel, beginning with Qatar, will be screening highlights shows from Monday 24th March at 20:00. This will continue throughout the remainder of the season, with the highlights shows also being uploaded to the ITV Player. The announcement bolsters ITV’s motor sport portfolio even further, from the Isle of Man TT, onto the British Touring Car Championship and now MotoGP. I assume this will be a package provided by Dorna, a bit like the World Rally Championship, rather than an ITV created package.

Last May, BT Sport were announced as the exclusive rights holders to screen the MotoGP World Championship from 2014 through to and including 2018, along with the feeder Moto2 and Moto3 series’. On several occasions, I pressed Dorna, asking why they were, in my opinion, “shrinking the audience by potentially 75 percent if not more” with no free to air coverage. Interestingly, the latest BT Sport announcements last month concerning MotoGP still contained this: “BT Sport has a five-year deal with Dorna Sports for exclusive rights to televise motorcycle racing’s premier contest.”

I have no idea what has prompted an almost 180 degree u-turn from Dorna on their stance. Whether this was always the plan, I do not know, however it looks suspect to me that the word ‘exclusive’ is mentioned in every BT Sport announcement, yet that won’t actually be the case. It is great news for the MotoGP fan that cannot afford BT Sport, as it means that there will be some form of free to air coverage available, almost a ‘shop window’ for the championship is the best way I could describe it. Yes, it is not live coverage, but it is better than nothing at all which is what the reality was going to look like.

A statement from ITV will be added to this post either today or on Monday, with hopefully more concrete details.

Update on March 10th – In a statement to The F1 Broadcasting Blog, ITV said “Although we can’t give out schedule information, I can confirm that we do have the rights to the [MotoGP] highlights.” For all MotoGP fans, this is fantastic news, and also welcome news. I would be surprised if we don’t get a press release in the next few days, but we shall see.

Update on March 21st – Press release from ITV can be found here. ITV’s Director of Sport Niall Sloane said: “I’m delighted we will be able to bring viewers live coverage of wheel-to-wheel racing in the world’s most famous cities in Formula E, and the high-octane action of the MotoGP circuit. These new deals, along with those for domestic events, highlight the importance of motorsport to ITV4 and add to the wealth of free to air coverage we’re able to bring motorsport fans throughout the year.”

Update on March 24th – ITV are taking BT’s commentary from Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder, with Gavin Emmett doing voice over. They’re also taking BT Sport’s interviews. The show structure appears to be extended MotoGP highlights for the first 40 minutes, with shorter Moto2 and Moto3 highlights. The programme was indeed a BT Sport production.

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26 thoughts on “ITV4 wins rights to screen MotoGP highlights

  1. So this is all just based on a listing from the Digiguide website and hasn’t actually been confirmed by MotoGP or ITV themselves?

    Shouldn’t you have waited for an official announcement or for that ITV statement you’re seemingly after before pressing publish on this? You say there has been an announcement, when actually so far nothing has been confirmed!

    • I’ve had confirmation off someone in the know, hence the article.

      Plus, it is not the first time I have published before the mainstream press i.e. Georgie Thompson leaving Sky and Gary Anderson leaving BBC.

  2. I always find the phrase ‘Wins right to…” very funny, it’s as if they’re not having to pay for it, as if they haven’t bought it.

    You see it a lot in football, a broadcaster pays £80 million more than the next bidder, and the footie fans say the broadcaster has ‘won the right’ to show it … They bought the rights to show it, they didn’t submit an answer to a tie-break question and won a prize, they paid for it, and ultimately their customers end up paying for it … You never pay for something you win.

  3. This is great news and presumably Dorna have at last got the message that viewing figures will crash in the UK if a free to air highlights package is not made available. You say that this is good for people who can’t afford BT Sport, but I feel that’s missing the main issue. I’ve got BT Broadband, but I live in an area where speeds are so slow, live streaming is just not impossible and this still applies to large areas of the UK.

  4. @SiBorg7of7

    No, like everyone else I just paid the most, they only use the word ‘win’ to make it sound less like something is being bought ans paid for.

  5. well thats great news for us that have gone hammer and tongs to change our provider especially for motogp. its cost a lot of people lots of money to get bt sport in one way or another, to get motogp. then they tell us this. wankers

    • At least you get the full package including moto’s 2&3. ITV may present 30 minutes of banal shite like last years classic tt cover.

  6. i have been thinking about getting bt at home mainly because of the broadband. been put of this by helping my neighbor sort is email out. First person i got to tall to was English the next two where Indian and useless and only the last person i spoke who was also Indian sorted it for us.

    4 people to get an email address create ridiculous.

    Seen the latest moto gp rules about different classes i think i will stick with motors tv on freeview and euorsport superbikes thanks.

  7. I cannot find any evidence, other than 3rd party articles, that ITV will be showing motogp at all. There is nothing at all mentioning motogp in any form whatsoever on any of the ITV websites. I would be interested to find any such evidence. If ITV were to show motogp, wouldnt they be bragging about it by now, unless part of the deal is not to do so until the season starts perhaps?

  8. i watch highlights of motogp on itv last night (24th 8pm). I don’t think i will be bother again. Seems to be adverts every 10 minutes and cuts to either crash or over takes but with no explanation on how they caught up or lost ground

  9. I agree with Paul the coverage was very poor at best ,jumping laps , adverts we don’t need Not everybody wants or can afford the extra channels Give it back to BBC. They did a far superior job.

  10. I’m over the moon, not everyone can afford Sky. I followed Moto GP on BBC until they lost the rights to show it. Well done ITV4!

  11. We’ll I’ve watched two ‘highlights’ program’s on itv4 and am not impressed.
    Commentary is ok, do nt know which ( jules?) from Eurosport knows his stuff but the editing needs to be done by someone who’s interested in the race!
    For instance. I watched the Jerez highlights tonight.
    9 laps to go, Rossi 2nd then Lorenzo and Pedrosa.
    Following a commercial break we are now 5 laps to go and we see Pedrosa now third and chasing Rossi down.
    No mention from the commentary team, no replay of the overtake. Nothing! wtf?

  12. well half way into the season and still not a happy bunny with what ITV4 have done to MOTP GP 😦 please BBC get the rights back and let us watch MOTO GP the way it should be seen, the riders deserve more support than what they are getting, considering every other sports are still being viewed on all channels cheers for nothing 😦 one unhappy massive MOTO GP supporter Bridget 😦

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