Fox Sports Media Group announced it has signed a new multi-year agreement with Dorna Sports for the U.S. broadcasting rights to the MotoGP World Championship. The agreement will see the 2013 season continue to air on Speed before the channel gets rebranded as Fox Sports 1 on Aug. 1. The series will then air on the new channel.
The future of televised motorcycle racing in the U.S. was left in some doubt when Fox announced it would replace Speed with Fox Sports 1. The new channel focuses on more non-racing sports, securing rights to air UEFA Champions League soccer, Major League Baseball and UFC. The announcement followed news of the World Superbike Championship moving from Speed to the BeIN Sport Network, leaving some to wonder if Speed would also lose MotoGP.
Speed will air the first nine rounds of the 2013 MotoGP championship, including the April 21 Grand Prix of the Americas and the July 21 U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. The subsequent rounds, starting with the Aug. 18 Indianapolis Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will air on Fox Sports 1.
“With an international event lineup that includes three U.S. stops, MotoGP brings an immediate world class motor sports presence to the FOX Sports 1 lineup,” says Bill Wanger, EVP Programming & Research for FOX Sports. “Having the race from iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway fall on our FS1 launch weekend is a bonus, and one of which we plan to take full advantage.”
The full broadcast schedule for the 2013 MotoGP season has yet to be announced, but Speed has confirmed the opening April 7 round at Qatar’s Losail circuit will air live at 3 pm ET. The Moto2 round at Qatar will air on a two-hour tape delay at 3 pm while the Moto3 race will air a couple of days later on April 9 at 1 pm.
The inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will air April 21 at 2:30. The Indianapolis Grand Prix will also be broadcast live, becoming one of the first live sports events to be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. On-board camera access will be available for all three U.S. rounds on Speed.com while qualifying and practice sessions will be available on the Speed2 authenticated broadband network.
“We’re very proud of this new agreement with FOX Sports and we are looking forward to being part of this huge project that is Fox Sports 1,” says Manel Arroyo, managing director of the media area for Dorna. “Through this agreement, MotoGP will continue to be watched by our extensive American fan base, via SPEED until August and from then on, via the new FOX Sports 1 channel. Our 15 year partnership is arriving now to a very exciting MotoGP season with 3 GPs on U.S. soil and the promise of some thrilling action on track. We will deliver the very highest standard of TV coverage of the Championship, using the latest production technologies, which is what our fans in the U.S. and around the world and also our Global media partners like the FOX Sports Group, deserve.”
[Source: Fox Sports]