British Eurosport to continue MotoGP coverage?

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British Eurosport has denied clinching a deal to continue showing coverage of the MotoGP world championship in 2009.

But MCN understands that a deal is close to being reached with MotoGP rights owners Dorna for coverage to continue on British Eurosport in 2009.

However, the deal is not expected to include live coverage of the MotoGP race. With the BBC having exclusive rights to show MotoGP in the UK, MCN understands as a result of that exclusivity, British Eurosport will show the MotoGP race delayed and not live.

Live coverage of the 125 and 250 races is expected to remain, as is British Eurosport’s heavy output of practice and qualifying from all three classes.

It is all part of a new deal struck by British Eurosport bosses and follows similar negotiations conducted by French Eurosport with Dorna.

But a British Eurosport spokeswoman told MCN: “At the moment there is nothing to add regarding MotoGP.”

Dorna announced last June that it would end its long-standing collaboration with Eurosport.

The decision was part of Dorna’s new strategy of working with national network broadcasters around Europe, always focusing first and foremost on free-to-air coverage to bring MotoGP to wider audiences.

That deal effectively ended Eurosport’s international coverage, but in October Dorna cut a deal to continue coverage with the French arm of Eurosport.

Dorna’s decision to ditch MotoGP provoked a flood of complaints from fans in the UK, upset at the loss of favourite commentary team made up of Julian Ryder, Toby Moody and Randy Mamola.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt