Scheduling: The 2016 Qatar MotoGP

After a titanic battle between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo last year, with Marc Marquez getting involved at the end, the 2016 MotoGP championship has a lot to live up to. Unusually, the action gets underway on the same day as the start of the Formula One season in Australia, the first time that has happened since 1995 – back then it was Formula One in Brazil and MotoGP in Eastern Creek, Australia.

The main news over the Winter is that Suzi Perry will be part of BT Sport’s MotoGP team for the 2016 season, presenting alongside Craig Doyle. Perry last presented MotoGP in 2009 with the BBC. Presenting duties have since travelled past Jennie Gow, Matt Roberts, Melanie Sykes and more recently the aforementioned Doyle. Perry and Doyle will be joined by Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder, now in their third season as commentators on BT Sport.

BT Sport’s 2016 coverage kicks off with a preview show live on Thursday afternoon from Qatar. Doyle presents the programme, with regular MotoGP faces Gavin Emmett and Neil Hodgson alongside him. BT’s post-race show, The Chequered Flag returns for a second year. Notably, in the past few days, Iwan Thomas has been removed from the description for that show. I don’t know his or Abi Griffiths’ status with regards to BT’s MotoGP coverage this year, but I will update this site if we get any updates on that front.

As has been the case since this deal came into effect, ITV4 will again be screening highlights every Monday after a race weekend which is good news for those of you that do not have access to BT Sport. BT Sport reaped the rewards of a fantastic MotoGP season last year, and they will be hoping that viewing figures continue to increase as year three of their coverage gets underway. In the next few days,

MotoGP – Qatar (BT Sport 2)
17/03 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Preview
17/03 – 15:00 to 19:45 – Practice
18/03 – 14:45 to 19:00 – Practice
19/03 – 14:30 to 18:30 – Qualifying
20/03 – 14:45 to 19:00 – Races
=> 14:45 – Moto3
=> 16:15 – Moto2
=> 17:45 – MotoGP
20/03 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Qatar (BT Sport Xtra)
20/03 – 12:45 to 14:45 – Warm Up

MotoGP – Qatar (ITV4)
21/03 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights

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

Update on March 16th – Perry has confirmed that she will not be in Qatar. Her first appearance with the BT team will be in Jerez. Furthermore, both Thomas and Griffiths are no longer part of BT’s team.

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4 thoughts on “Scheduling: The 2016 Qatar MotoGP

  1. The Clash between F1 and MotoGP frustrates me, I cannot be bothered to get up for the race, so will be watching C4 highlights, but it looks like i’ll have to record the remaining 1hr and a bit of the race because i have to watch Moto3 LIVE, as i will be unable to record BT Sport.
    On another note, hopefully the contract will change again soon, so that at least there will be some races on FTA TV. even if it is just Race 1, Britain and the final race. having it exclusively on BT is killing the sport.

  2. In terms of contracts for MotoGP, if they are money grabbers they will stay PTV, if they’re aiming for an audience I think there will be a split, similar to the current F1 format. I think BT would show all races and all sessions live and ITV or even Channel 4, would broadcast 9 weekends live, with primetime highlights of the rest. If Channel 4 opted to share, it would mean that F1 commitments were also shared, so they could work out a format. ITV and BT split in 2019 is my Prediction, F1 exclusively live on Channel 4 in 2019, after a £65 million pay-out, including all support racing (Super-Cup, GP2 & GP3).

  3. I think BT will keel the rights in full, with ITV showing delayed-as-live Qualifying and every race live (including Moto2 & 3). This would give FIM PTV money and Sponsorship money from Free-to-air viewers.

    ITV times (based on European event):
    Saturday:
    19.00 – 22.00: MotoGP Qualifying (ITV4)

    Sunday:
    09.30 – 12.45: Moto2 & Moto3 Races [Live] (ITV4)
    12.45 – 14.30: MotoGP [Live] (ITV)
    19.00 – 20.30: MotoGP [Highlights] (ITV4)

    Tuesday:
    17.30 – 19.00: MotoGP [Highlights] (ITV4)

  4. Looking at the current format, it’s working for FIM and MotoGP as a sport. It seems to be going down hill in terms of UK viewership. I would like to see it back on the BBC, but that won’t happen. ITV4 will be the only Channel to bring it back Live and Free-to-air, after they scrap Formula E. The format could run in the vein of the split format, 9 weekends each.

    The simple fix for BT and MotoGP is to broadcast most races live on BT Showcase, including Britain, Season Opener and Season Finale. Then, all early morning races could be given a delayed-as-live broadcast, plus highlights of MotoGP qualifying on Saturday night, unless it is a race in the Americas.

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