BT Sport’s MotoGP TV deal to be announced this week

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BT Sport’s successful bid for the live MotoGP TV rights in the UK in 2014 will be confirmed this week, with MCN learning the multi-million pound deal will be formally announced in London on Thursday.

BT’s new dedicated sports channel, which is due for launch in August, has beaten off tough competition from the likes of the BBC and Sky to secure the deal.

There has been no confirmation of the length of BT Sport’s contract or how the new digital network intends to cover the series but all will be revealed at an official announcement scheduled to take place in London on Thursday.

MCN understands that Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair Cal Crutchlow will be present, as will Marc VDS Racing's Moto2 title contender Scott Redding.

Another hot but unconfirmed rumour in the Jerez paddock during this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix is that North One Television, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful independent media companies, will produce BT Sport’s coverage of MotoGP.

North One is highly regarded for its Isle of Man TT coverage and has also been recognised for its award-winning Formula One coverage when working with ITV Sport.
The UK TV rights for MotoGP were up for grabs in 2014 with the BBC’s current five-year contract expiring at the end of 2013.

But with BT Sport securing the rights it means MotoGP will only be available on a pay-per-view basis for British fans from 2014 onwards.

BT Sport has already snapped up rights to show almost 40 Premier League football matches and close to 70 Premiership rugby union from 2014 onwards.

And it has signed up ex-BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey and leading sports broadcaster Clare Balding to spearheads its coverage.

In a recent exclusive interview with MCN, Dorna Managing Director Manel Arroyo said: “First of all what I want to say is a big thanks to the BBC for everything they have done for MotoGP in these last years. Clearly the popularity of MotoGP in the UK has in many ways been thanks to them and I also want to thank for them for their interest and all the things they are doing to try and extend the deal. To have the BBC telling us that for them MotoGP is a key element is something very important for Dorna and we are very proud of that. But there are other possibilities in the UK and we are discussing with everybody. I expect that a decision will be taken in a short time and we have to have a final decision soon because there has to be a point where the people involved can begin making their plans for next year.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt