MotoGP: Opening night on Channel 5 draws nearly half a million

Published: 29 March 2017

The opening night of Channel 5’s new deal to show highlights of the 2017 MotoGP season drew in record crowds of nearly half a million, according to industry blog F1 Broadcasting, helping last Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix to the highest ratings since 2015.

The Monday night highlights show, broadcast less than 24 hours after the end of the race, drew average viewing figures of 486,000 people, a market share of 2.7% at primetime. That trumps the figures of ITV4’s highlights show last year, which averaged 285,000 across the season.

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However, while that helped boost overall ratings to 662,000, the highest since 2015’s dramatic season finale in Valencia, it also comes at the expense of host broadcaster BT Sport, whose viewing figures continue to sink.

They drew only 175,000 for Sunday’s live coverage of the race, down 13% on last year’s opening race and their lowest figures for the first race since taking over the deal from BBC Sport.

The news comes as the BT Sport deal comes up for negotiation, with rumours continuing to circulate that Sky Sport are in the market for the deal. Already the main broadcaster in Italy for the series and title sponsor of Valentino Rossi’s Moto2 and Moto3 team, it remains to be seen if they’ll make their move ahead of the current deal ending at end of the 2018 season.

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