Scheduling: The 2014 Qatar MotoGP

A new dawn begins this Thursday as BT Sport’s live coverage of MotoGP begins, having secured the rights from BBC and British Eurosport. Whilst it means that MotoGP is not live on terrestrial television, the news is not all negative: last week this blog broke the news that ITV4 would be screening highlights on Monday evenings. Even now I’m still miffed and confused as to why it happened in the way it did (why was ITV’s deal not announced earlier?), why BT Sport promoted their coverage as exclusive (without the ‘live’ addendum), but it is what it is.

So, who is on BT Sport’s team? The bad news is that it is not Toby Moody alongside Julian Ryder. The good news instead, harking back to their Sky Sports’ days in the mid-1990s, is that it will be Keith Huewen alongside Ryder. Neil Hodgson and James Toseland will analyse and give their opinion on the action, with Matt Birt and Gavin Emmett also taking part in proceedings. Presenting it, a surprising name: Melanie Sykes. In a poll conducted on this blog, the response was negative, however a lot of people were willing to give it a chance before forming an opinion on the line-up. It looks like BT will have formal presentation on each day, although on what scale is unclear, whether we will see the line-up before and after every session or just around the MotoGP sessions and at the start of each programme. The same applies to ITV4’s highlights programme, no idea at this stage if it is just MotoGP or whether Moto2 and Moto3 will be covered too.

In terms of viewing figures, time will tell just how much MotoGP stands to lose from the deal. I know those in the paddock will argue that this deal is good because of the increased revenue teams will get as a result. For me, personally, yes, of course, quality plays a part, but you need to have bums on seats. If that isn’t happening, you have to question the entire logic of the deal. Personally, I think ~200k on BT Sport and ~500k on ITV4 would be great numbers, and definitely something I will be basing my Qatar viewing figures post on. I do wonder why the opening race is on BT Sport 2 though. If you want to reach the biggest amount of viewers, you put it on the main channel, even if it does mean a channel switch beforehand. The jury is still out on whether this really is good news for motorcycle racing, as you risk making it a niche sport again instead of having that terrestrial television platform to reach out to the masses. Hopefully with the addition of ITV4’s highlights we have the right mix for the deal to succeed. We’ll see what happens.

What I think needs to be said is that BT have a fantastic line-up of shows heading into Qatar, with a lot of MotoGP films on offer. I don’t know however if they are BT created films or Dorna created films. The reason why I say that is obviously when comparing with Sky Sports F1, Formula One Management have not created any documentaries for them, so it would be interesting to compare. As for the here and now, below are all the scheduling details you need for Qatar. I don’t plan to do the MotoGP schedule for each race, but given that this is the start of a new broadcasting era, it is definitely worth detailing what BT have in store for viewers. For the classic MotoGP details, please click here.

Monday 17th March
22:00 to 23:00 – Films: MotoGP 2013 Review (BT Sport 2)
23:00 to 00:00 – Films: Moto2 & Moto3 2013 Review (BT Sport 2)

Tuesday 18th March
15:30 to 16:45 – Films: Head to Head (BT Sport 2)
16:45 to 18:00 – Films: The Route to Glory (BT Sport 2)
18:00 to 20:00 – Films: A Decade in MotoGP (BT Sport 2)
20:00 to 21:00 – 2014 Season Preview (BT Sport 2)
21:00 to 22:30 – Films: Great Moments (BT Sport 2)
22:30 to 00:00 – Films: Jorge (BT Sport 2)

Wednesday 19th March
16:15 to 17:30 – Films: The Age of 27 (BT Sport 2)
17:30 to 19:00 – Films: Rookie 93: Marc Marquez Beyond the Smile (BT Sport 2)

Thursday 20th March
15:00 to 19:45 – Practice (BT Sport 2)
– 15:00 – Moto3 – Practice 1
– 15:55 – Moto2 – Practice 1
– 16:55 – MotoGP – Practice 1
– 17:55 – Moto3 – Practice 2
– 18:50 – Moto2 – Practice 2

Friday 21st March
14:50 to 19:00 – Practice (BT Sport 2)
– 15:00 – MotoGP – Practice 2
– 16:00 – Moto3 – Practice 3
– 16:55 – Moto2 – Practice 3
– 17:55 – MotoGP – Practice 3

Saturday 22nd March
14:30 to 19:00 – Practice / Qualifying (BT Sport 2)
– 15:00 – Moto3 – Qualifying
– 15:55 – Moto2 – Qualifying
– 16:55 – MotoGP – Practice 4
– 17:35 – MotoGP – Qualifying

Sunday 23rd March
15:00 to 17:15 – Moto3: Race (BT Sport 2)
17:15 to 18:45 – Moto2: Race (BT Sport 2)
18:45 to 20:30 – MotoGP: Race (BT Sport 2)

Monday 24th March
20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

As always, I will update the schedule if anything changes.

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3 thoughts on “Scheduling: The 2014 Qatar MotoGP

  1. Pay per view has spoilt boxing and the same will happen to moto gp. I have watched this class of sport since the early 90’s, Doohan etc. The best coverage was Eurosport because you could see all the classes. Then it was spoilt when they did not show the moto gp race but, you could watch it live on the BBC so it wasn’t so bad.
    Now it appears that apart from Marquez there is a change afoot which will make the racing more exciting but, alas you have to buy another subscription on top of the TV licence, Sky subscription, Sky HD £10 now BT want money for taking moto gp from the aforementioned platforms, thanks for that I’ll be sure to never buy into that platform because of this greed.

    It’s a crying shame really because Jake helped Formula 1 return to a channel that didn’t put an advert on and miss the thrilling end of the Imola GP like ITV managed to. Of course it was helped in the first year when unexpectedly Jenson had a great car that he managed to become world champion with. All this and it was included with the licence fee that you have to pay before watching any platform on T.V.

    I wonder what the viewing figures will be for B.T Sports Moto G.P?. I can say this for sure they are 1 viewer down. R.I.P Moto G.P, the most exciting motor sport I have ever watched but the wallet just says I can’t afford it,

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