Good news for US motorcycle racing fans at last. After it was announced that the US TV channel Speed was to be subsumed into the Fox Sports 1 network, and Fox decided to drop Formula One, there were fears that MotoGP would not be screened on US TV. Those fears were further fanned when it appeared that World Superbikes would not be on US TV, an issue that was only resolved in a last-minute deal between Dorna and beIN Sports TV.
MotoGP fans need not worry, however. Today, Fox announced that they have signed a multi-year contract with Dorna to broadcast MotoGP on Speed, and then Fox Sports 1, when the new sports channel is launched on 17th August, the day before the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway circuit. All MotoGP races are to be broadcast live on the network, with the rounds outside the US using the international commentary feed of Nick Harris and Gavin Emmett1, while the three US rounds will see a US-based team provide coverage, with veteran racing broadcaster Bob Varsha hosting, and Ralph Sheheen, Jonathan Green, Scott Russel and Greg White supplying commentary both from the booth and from pit lane.
Below is the press release from Dorna announcing the deal, and a second press release from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with more details on the agreement:
MotoGP™ signs a multiyear contract deal with FOX SPORTS
FOX Sports has signed a multiyear deal with Dorna Sports for broadcast rights to the world’s most prestigious motorcycle racing series, the MotoGP™ World Championship, with races to air on SPEED and the newly announced, multisport FOX Sports 1 in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
MotoGP, with three events in the U.S. in 2013, is highlighted during the high-profile FOX Sports 1 August launch weekend, with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix scheduled for August 18 as one of the first live events on the new network.
“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,” said 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.”
“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. Through this agreement, MotoGP will continue to be watched by our extensive American fan base, via the Speed channel 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 GP’s 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” declared Manel Arroyo, Managing Director of the Media Area at Dorna.
The season opens April 7 on SPEED with the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar. Other U.S. highlights include the second event of the season, the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas inaugural series event at newly built Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on April 21 and a return to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on July 21. Coverage from Austin includes qualifying on April 20 at 9 p.m. ET; race coverage, including pre-race activities begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on April 21. On-board camera access is available on SPEED.com for all U.S. rounds, with qualifying practice sessions on SPEED2.
The new deal, continuing a successful relationship that began on SPEED in 1997, when the series was known as the FIM World GP 500, also includes coverage of Moto2™ and Moto3™, as well as expanded digital rights.
MotoGP TO AIR LIVE ON FOX SPORTS 1, SPEED IN 2013
New multisport network to feature Red Bull Indianapolis GP during launch
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, March 25, 2013 - FOX Sports has signed a multiyear deal with Dorna Sports for broadcast rights to the world's most prestigious motorcycle racing series, the MotoGP World Championship, with races to air on SPEED and the newly announced, multisport FOX Sports 1 in 2013.
The Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Aug. 16-18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will be one of the first live events on the new FOX Sports 1 network.
"With an international event lineup that includes three U.S. stops, MotoGP brings an immediate, world-class motorsports presence to the FOX Sports 1 lineup," said 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."
Every MotoGP race will be broadcast live on SPEED until August, when coverage will move to the new FOX Sports 1 starting with the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. Moto2 and Moto 3 races also will be televised on a delayed basis. Qualifying will be available on SPEED2, the authenticated broadband network.
Expanded digital rights also will bring on-board camera to SPEED.com for all U.S. rounds, with qualifying practice sessions on SPEED2.
Two experienced broadcast teams will cover the action.
For the three U.S. rounds, including the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Bob Varsha hosts; Ralph Sheheen and Jonathan Green split play-by-play duties; Scott Russell provides analysis; and Greg White reports from the pits.
The team of Gavin Emmett and Nick Harris call international races, with Varsha, Sheheen, Greg Creamer and Dave Despain sharing the role of studio host.
American riders have won more premier-class MotoGP World Championships since 1978 than competitors from any other nation.
Three Americans will compete in MotoGP this season: 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden, with the Ducati Team; Ben Spies, with the Ignite Pramac Racing Team; and Colin Edwards, with NGM Mobile Forward Racing. Only Spain and Italy boast more riders on the MotoGP grid this season than the United States.
2013 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP event. Visit www.ims.com/tickets, call (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700 or visit the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at www.ims.com/tickets. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.