Image Reference: Box Repsol via Wikipedia, 16/5/21
Fox Sports/Kayo have retained the MotoGP broadcast rights in Australia for another few seasons during a press release early yesterday, but this time it’s under an exclusive deal through free and paid content.
That marks the end of Network Ten’s relationship with the sport as their Free to Air partner after 24 years when they first acquired the rights from the Nine Network back in 1997 & will still air eight Premier Class events left (Live) on 10Bold until the end of 2021.
Although there is a possibility that Network 10 could still the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix as part of the government’s anti-siponing laws that must be available for Free, but they will need to deal with Fox Sports/Kayo first rather than Dorna Sports, the sports’ commercial rights holder.
As it stands, Network 10 will only have one motorsports product after this year which is the Formula 1 with every round as highlights & one live race at home (not happening this year due to COVID).
Now these rights are also up for renewal at the end of 2022 in conjunction with Fox Sports/Kayo with no comment made at this stage but they have recently changed their sports strategy after the exclusive acquisition of Australian Soccer that will be available on their own Paramount + subscription for the majority as well as a game every week on 10.
So it’s probably unlikely from my assumption that 10 will just keep airing MotoGP as a one-off event at home alongside a shared paid TV partner, the same goes for Nine who launched Stan Sport as their paid OTT service earlier this year which leaves either Seven or SBS as the frontrunners for the annual Australian GP package.
It’s been great seeing Daryl Beattie provide his take on MotoGP for many years after he finished his professional riding career as well as the late Barry Sheene beforehand, plus there’s a couple of hosts to thank ranging from Bill Woods, Greg Rust, Mark Howard & at present until the end of this year both Sam Charlwood & Scott Mackinnon.
We will miss their contribution to MotoGP after the loss of Supercars & RPM at the end of last year with Formula 1 set to follow if not renewed, but there’s a bright future on 10 Sport when it comes to the Melbourne Cup, Soccer & potentially other products that can provide exclusivity on its own paid/free services.