MotoGP series organizer Dorna appears to be pursuing a new strategy in its agreements with TV broadcasters. Where previously, Dorna had been fixed on securing deals with free-to-air broadcasters, recent deals have seen them agree terms with pay-per-view channels, in pursuit of higher revenues.
Spain is the latest market to see this development. The existing deal with Telecinco has been blown open, with Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica taking over some of the broadcasting from Telecinco. Telecinco will show 9 races live, and a further 10 on a delayed schedule. Meanwhile, Telefonica's special digital channel Movistar TV will show all races live, complete with six extra camera angles which users can select, along similar lines to MotoGP.com's online video streaming package.
The new deal has been reached as a result of Telecinco's desire to reduce the amount it was spending on MotoGP, according to Spain's leading daily newspaper El Pais. The joint deal means that the contract sum of just over 20 million euros will be shared between Telecinco and Telefonica in the final year of Telecinco's TV contract. Telefonica is expanding its broadcasting, with a focus on motorsports, having picked up rights to both the Formula One and MotoGP.
It is reminiscent of the deal struck in the UK with BT Sport. Both BT Sport and Movistar TV are broadcasting arms of large telecommunications companies, expanding their traditional services into the area of television. The telecoms giants can afford to pay much larger sums for TV rights for sports, as the sports are used to sell their broadband services and expand their customer base. Though the switch to pay-per-view platforms means losing a wider audience for MotoGP, the increased money on offer means that Dorna can invest more heavily in the championship, paying teams and riders more and improving TV coverage.
With MotoGP now on pay-per-view channels in Spain, Italy, and the UK, three major TV markets, this strategy is likely to be expanded. All forms of sport are increasingly disappearing behind decoders, with broadcasters regarding sport as a premium entertainment product, which audiences are willing to pay for.
Below is the press release from Dorna on the deal:
Mediaset España, Telefonica and Dorna Sports make initial agreement on 2014 MotoGP™ season broadcast
- Telecinco will show every World Championship race this year: 9 live Grands Prix and 10 delayed broadcasts
- Movistar TV will broadcast the entire MotoGP™ World Championship live in an innovative, unique and never-previously-seen format in Spain. Up to six additional camera angles will be available during Grands Prix
- This joint sports broadcast rights agreement combines the strategies of delivering mass interest events to audiences on a free-to-air platform with the broadcast of specific exclusive events on subscription based channels, as is commonplace throughout Europe
Mediaset España, Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holders of the MotoGP™ World Championship and Telefonica, on their subscription based audiovisual platform Movistar TV, have made an initial agreement on shared broadcast rights for MotoGP™ in Spain in 2014.
Both media companies will offer full MotoGP™ Grand Prix coverage: Telecinco will show races live from nine Grands Prix and will show 10 events via delayed broadcast. Meanwhile Movistar TV viewers can view every Grand Prix live, including practice and qualifying sessions, via a new dedicated channel which will bring viewers all the latest on and off track news and action. The new Movistar TV channel will include multiscreen broadcast, historic Grand Prix action, documentaries, films and additional World Championship programming.