As MotoGP continues its growth across the world, three races will be broadcast on network television across the United States this summer after an agreement was reached between CBS Sports and MotoGP's commercial rights-holder, Dorna Sports. This agreement represents the most extensive free-to-air television package that MotoGP races have ever enjoyed in the US, and is a further indication of the growing popularity of the sport across the nation.
CBS Sports will broadcast races from the heart of the MotoGP season. Coverage starts with the hugely attended Grand Prix from Barcelona on June 10 (1:30-2:30 p.m., ET), and is closely followed by MotoGP's most traditional race from the TT Circuit in Assen, Netherlands on June 30 (2:00-3:00 p.m., ET), with the third race coming from the Sachsenring, Germany on July 15 (1:00-2:00 p.m., ET). The race telecasts will include not only the thrilling race coverage but will also include exciting features, news and interviews as well as the sophisticated information and graphics package that helps race fans follow the exciting action.
Additionally, the race coverage will include production elements that are unique to MotoGP and highlight the exhilarating and daring nature of the sport and its competitors. Chief among these elements will be the incredible on-board cameras that show the race from the point of view of the riders themselves. Fans seeing these heroes making turns at high speeds and just inches off the ground will be amazed at the skill and accuracy that these riders posses.
"With the growth of this emerging sport, we are more than pleased to be bringing our viewers all the high-speed excitement of MotoGP," said Rob Correa, Sr. Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports.
"We are proud to be associated with CBS Sports, a real home for American sports, and it just shows how far MotoGP has come in the last few years," said Manel Arroyo, Managing Director, Dorna Sports. "The growth of the sport in the United States is one of Dorna's key goals, and this deal will help us showcase the thrills and excitement of MotoGP to a mainstream audience right across the country."
MotoGP is the world's premier motorcycle championship, featuring the best racers on the planet riding multi-million dollar, prototype machines that can reach speeds in excess of 200mph. MotoGP takes its glamorous circus to all corners of the globe. The machines produce more than 200 horsepower and weigh in at just 325lb (148kg), demanding the ultimate in riding skill.
MotoGP received a big boost in the US with the performances from the Nicky Hayden, the 'Kentucky Kid'. Hayden, who won his first MotoGP event at the 2005 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca, California, took his crowning glory in 2006 when he won two races on his way to becoming the new MotoGP World Champion.
Currently MotoGP TV broadcasts reach 207 countries, with 184 of those in live or same day delayed format. An average of 142 million spectators see the live/SDD broadcasts, with a total average audience per GP of 311 million viewers. In 2006, an estimated 5.2 billion people around the world tuned into MotoGP races.
Helping to make the deal possible between the two parties was Van Wagner Sports Group who serves as the U.S. free-to-air television agent for MotoGP. In addition to negotiating the television agreement between CBS Sports and MotoGP, Van Wagner will handle the advertising sales for the telecasts as well as coordinating production aspects.
The program itself will be produced by Dorna using CBS Sports talent, as well as expert analysis being brought by America's former World Champion and MotoGP Legend Kevin Schwantz.
MotoGP returned to network television in the United States last season with the network telecast special of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix from Laguna Seca, an agreement negotiated by Van Wagner Sports Group and produced by Dorna.
Source: Dorna Communications