Dorna Press Release: Thrilling Season Opener Sends TV Audience Figures Through The Roof

The 2013 MotoGP season opener can be reckoned a success. Today, Dorna issued a press release reporting a massive rise in TV viewing numbers. Some key figures: Spain saw a rise of 44.6% compared with last year, in Italy, 5.28 million viewers watched the races, while in the UK, audience numbers were up by 75%, due in no small part to the success of Cal Crutchlow.

Below is the press release from Dorna with more detail on TV audience numbers:

MotoGP™ draws vast audiences after Qatar thriller

As the 2013 MotoGP™ World Championship kicked off last Sunday at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar with a sensational race that was won by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo, followed by teammate Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda Team rookie Marc Márquez, audiences in numerous key markets reached some noteworthy numbers.

Adrenaline packed racing saw Lorenzo put on a dominant display for the win, as Rossi, Márquez and Repsol’s Dani Pedrosa put on a brilliant show for fans across the world as they scrapped it out for second place, along with the likes of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl.

Spanish TV saw its Tele5 broadcast increase by a whopping 44.6% over last year’s audience for the race with 4.5 million viewers, with a peak of 5.2 million, taking a 25.2% of the country’s audience share. Meanwhile, Italian television, bolstered by the highly anticipated return of Valentino Rossi on his beloved Yamaha M1, saw audiences go up to 5.28 million – peaking up to 6.63 million - for the race under the floodlights with a 17.5% broadcast share.

Cal Crutchlow’s early pre-season form looked to have triggered a humungous increase in British audiences, as nearly 75% more people tuned in over the previous year, with 1.7 million viewers witnessing the action, during which figures peaked at 2 million. Germany turned up in force once again as well, as 410,000 MotoGP fans saw their local hero Stefan Bradl unfortunately crash out after the tough battle with nine-time world champion Rossi.

In addition to the regular TV broadcast, the MotoGP season-opener was also available on over 40 planes featuring Sport24, the 24/7 live sports channel produced and distributed by IMG Media exclusively for the in-flight and in-ship markets, bringing MotoGP Live coverage to selected flights operated by Gulf Air, Lufthansa, Emirates & Turkish Airlines.

And with the next round in Austin, Texas, at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas promising to be yet another nail-biting affair, with the likes of Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi, Márquez, Crutchlow, Bradl and many others vying for the number one spot, TV audiences around the globe will be in for a treat once more.

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The fact that this could be finally an exciting season .... it's not a secret apparently. :)

UK viewing went up also due to VR being on a competitive bike. Without his performance, it wouldn't have been dull by any means as the battle for 2nd was tight, but it wouldn't have been the same. Exciting racing is what the sport needs badly.

Imagine having appropriately hyped this race and then watch the protagonists deliver in awesome style while giving this race away for free. I have to think subsequent subscriptions would have increased significantly.

Awesome race but an opportunity missed?

DORNA has always posted videos on their channel, that was never in question (I belive), but it is their active policing of YouTube where they take down videos that fans have posted. My opinion is that viral video is often created by a user because there is genuine excitement to be found when someone not a part of a corporation or organization goes out of their way to post it.

Soaring viewership in Spain, UK and Italia.Absolutely understandable. What about the rest ? I'm listening.
What do we have here ? Spain/George/Dani/Marquez...Italy/Valentino 10 x CH/? and UK naught since King Kenny crossed the pond.

For what its worth.

BrickTop,props mate. Confessional. He (Valentino), has undoubtedly proved himself competitive on a competitive bike.He still is,much to my chagrin. Sadly he never could prove it the other way around. And that is just a bloody fact no matter which way you paint it

I reluctantly paid for the Qatar race from My broadband wouldn't do the race live but just managed it delayed. It appears that sky's failure to negotiate a deal for motogp will see us miss out on Superbikes as well, as Espeletas mob now controls that as well. I have followed motorcycle grands prix since the early eighties when I had to wait 2 weeks for Aussie Motorcycle News to find out what happened and now subscribe to Sky especially for Motogp and WSBK. It would be easy to blame Sky, but I smell the stench of Dorna greed here!
Cheers, Mike.

The only channel in the states that ran real motor racing was Speed. They had F1, motogp wsb, AMA racing, vintage sport cars, can am, world rally, and everything but NASCAR.

Now they have no motorcycle racing--except they just picked up motogp only. The rest of their programming is crap "reality" shows, and nascar related garbage.
DORNA had nothing to do with it. Motorcycle racing doesn't lend itself to commercial television. The races are too short. They need hours of cars droning on a yellow light in order to sell advertising to the rubes.