Movistar Confirm Sponsorship Of Yamaha MotoGP Team As Part Of TV Rights Package

Movistar is to sponsor Yamaha's MotoGP effort. At the presentation of Movistar's broadcast plans for the Grand Prix series in Spain last week, Luis Belo, Content Director for the Spanish telecommunications giant's digital TV channel Movistar TV, let slip that the company would also be backing the Yamaha Factory team in MotoGP, Spanish magazine Solomoto is reporting. The announcement confirms rumors of a deal between Movistar and Yamaha which have been doing the rounds since December. Yamaha have yet to officially confirm the deal, but that is only a matter of time.

The deal mirrors the situation in Italy, where new pay-per-view broadcaster Sky is backing the Moto3 team run in conjunction with Valentino Rossi's VR46 merchandising brand, fielding Romano Fenati and Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia. To help promote the pay-per-view channels which MotoGP is being broadcast on in Spain and Italy, Movistar and Sky are backing major teams in the championship. This is important for the two channels, as some of the races are also being broadcast on free-to-air channels in both Spain and Italy, in some cases on a tape delay basis. Having visible exposure on the bikes helps reinforce the message to audiences.

The pay-per-view TV contracts in MotoGP's biggest markets have seen losers as well as winners and losers. In Italy, the move from Mediaset to Sky has seen Italian teams struggle to raise sponsorship, especially in Moto2 and Moto3. Similarly, in Spain, a number of major teams have had phone calls from their backers after the pay-per-view deal with Movistar was announced. Long-running sponsorship deals were penned on the basis of all three MotoGP classes being broadcast free-to-air. Once it became apparent that Telecinco was unwilling to pay the 20+ million euros per year for the broadcast rights, and Movistar stepped in to cover the shortfall, using MotoGP as a tool to expand their share of the TV, internet and telephony market, sponsors in Moto2 and Moto3 especially have reduced their funding of the teams.

The return of Movistar means the return of a long-standing sponsor in the Grand Prix paddock. Movistar, and its parent company Telefonica, have long been involved in Grand Prix racing at all levels, including backing a support series and teams in the Spanish championship that went on to produce some of the top riders currently in the sport, as well as retired greats, including Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner, Daijiro Katoh, Sete Gibernau, Marco Melandri, Julian Simon, Kenny Roberts Jr, Chaz Davies, Leon Camier and many more. Telefonica withdrew from the paddock in 2006, after losing Dani Pedrosa to Repsol. Telefonica had backed Pedrosa throughout his entire career, and had wanted to continue in MotoGP, but existing contracts with Repsol meant Honda had to choose between the two, electing instead to maintain the long-standing relationship with oil giant Repsol instead.

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the lack effort Yamaha put into their launch in Indonesia, and the dull livery the bikes were wrapped in. I always liked the old Telefonica livery... see if this linky works...

Should look good on the M1's assuming they pay enough to paint the whole bike.

Sounds better with Honda than Yamaha but same here always liked the Movistar livery hopefully it's the same or almost same as when gibernau last rode for it.

David,know anything about monster blocking the deal,will it affect the relationship between yamaha and monster?

Dorna's change from wanting to gain maximum exposure for GP via freeview to pay-per-view, probably makes sense in countries like the UK that don't supply big dollar sponsorship..having little impact on teams.

But if companies in Italy and Spain are pulling funds because they are not getting that exposure with PPV, is this not counter productive?

How much deeper is Uncle Carmelo having to delve into Dorna's pockets to bail teams and bolster grids?
Is the difference worth the narrower exposure with implications for managers trying to gain sponsorship going forward?

Good to see Telefonica back. Well done Yamaha..or should that be, well done Valentino?

David, does this mean that terrestrial TV rights in Spain will be delayed? Personally, I'm not too bothered about watching the races live, but if the delay is too long it might be a bit irksome.
Dorna seem to be hell bent on undoing all the work that has been done to get the sport into the public consciousness. It also looks like they're going to make the age old mistake of trying to promote bike racing in the same way as F1. Yes, bikesport is hugely popular in Spain, but it's no competition with the damned feet ball. You just need to go into a Spanish bar any time that there's a feet ball match and MotoGP at the same time, it's only going to be MotoGP when it's a bikers' bar. At least there's a 50% chance when it's a choice between F1 and MotoGP. In spite of the country's history of biking success, and paucity of it in F1.
It also shows the influence of F1 that Alonso won the Principe de Asturias prize having won the F1 title once while only Sito Pons has won it, in spite of the successes and contributions of so many Spanish riders.

The season hasn't even started yet and I'm already getting the same feeling about MotoGP I now get about Formula 1 with the BBC/Sky situation i.e. I don't miss it anywhere near as much as I thought I would
I used to visit Motomatters two to three times a day, now I can easily go two or three days between visits.
Never mind eh? What do I matter?