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MotoGP 2009 on the BBC

Belinda Moore Belinda Moore | 10:53 UK time, Saturday, 31 January 2009

It always feels like a long off-season but the planning for the new 2009 season is already well under way. We are expanding our coverage again this year and will be showing all the qualifying sessions (125, MotoGP and 250) on Saturday afternoons on the red button alongside our existing coverage on race day - 125, 250, MotoGP and MotoGP Extra - which all adds up to over seven hours of coverage a weekend.

We've been getting a lot of feedback both here and on other bike forums about a couple of key points. One has been our commentary line-up for this season and the other about not being able to record red button coverage. Both of these issues have been exacerbated by Eurosport losing the rights to show MotoGP for the forthcoming season leaving the BBC as the exclusive broadcaster for the sport.

James Toseland, Le Mans

First and foremost I want to point out that any decision about rights is made by Dorna, the rights holder, and not by the BBC. We are in the last year of a pre-existing contract and are delighted to have signed a new deal starting in 2010 which will take us through to the end of the 2013 season.

To give the situation some context our coverage attracts average audiences of 1.1 million with an approval rating that has been the highest for any terrestrial programme in a given week. We believe the BBC team is key to that success and we are looking forward to another exciting season in 2009. In terms of presentation, Suzi Perry has a wealth of experience from years of fronting motorbike racing and our pitlane reporter Matthew Roberts has worked as a journalist within the MotoGP paddock for eight years before joining the BBC and has excellent connections with the teams enabling us to break key stories last year.

Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish will once again be in the commentary box. Charlie is an experienced lead commentator with a great passion for and extensive knowledge of motorbikes whilst Steve raced at the very highest level finishing fifth in the world championship.

We have taken on board feedback about the non-recordable nature of the red button when viewed on certain platforms and as a result we will be looping the qualifying on Saturday afternoon and evening and will do the same with the races on Sunday into the following week. A timetable for this will appear on the website at the start of the season and will be updated race by race.

The inability to record via the red button is a Sky box issue rather than a specifically BBC one but we are doing all we can to enable you to watch the sessions you may have missed live. We will also be supplying additional Freeview details so you will be able to record our coverage when viewing the red button. There have also been questions about why we can't use our other channels to show the 125 and 250 classes. Under the terms of the licence we can't turn BBC Three or Four into a sports channel although we can use them occasionally and they are unavailable during the day as the bandwidth is used by CBeebies and CBBC.

One final point to answer is whether the BBC signing F1 will affect the MotoGP coverage and the answer is yes, but only in a positive way. We will be working with the F1 team to maximize opportunities to promote MotoGP. David Coulthard is part of the F1 team and a bike fan too who has come to the race in Brno for the last few years. The races don't clash as the rights holders are keen to avoid this and the start times are offset on dates where both series are racing. The British MotoGP will follow the Hungarian F1 meaning we get to put the Donington race on BBC One, which is fantastic.

Coverage of any sport is hugely subjective. We always review our coverage at the end of the season and I frequently read the comments posted on a variety of websites including this one. We are very proud of our coverage and in being able to bring top-class bike racing to a wider audience, we believe we have the best team to lead our programme. I am always keen to get feedback and to find out what you'd like to see in the show so please let me know below.


  • Comment number 1.

    That is excellent news for the BBC Sport; that MOTOGP will be on BBC...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 2.

    Thanks for the blog Belinda.

    I guess the commentary situation is "agree to disagree", not much can change that now I guess despite the opinion of many motor bike fans that the Eurosport tandem were better than the BBC commentary team.

    One thing I would like to see improve is web coverage... not exactly video wise, but content wise. While I like the blogs on the site, I'd like to see a bit more "news story" wise.... for instance during a typical MotoGP race weekend, all the headlines we got were race reports, no real headlines from the paddock, whether its just plain gossip, or serious stuff.

    IMO, this is a point where BBC needs to improve with MotoGP (and F1) - it needs more in terms of content on there at the moment [possibly due to it being close season] it looks... bland.

  • Comment number 3.

    have to agree with previous poster, although the two commentators have experienced backgrounds that does not make them good to listen to

    thanks for the updates on the rest of the service. i look forward to improved web coverage but lament the demise of practice sessions (a lot ot ask for i know, maybe online?)

    will have to watch with th evolume turned down. can you maybe flash up an icon or indicator of some kind when the pitlne reports chime-in? i can then put the volume up to listen to their insights, thanks ';o)

  • Comment number 4.

    Dear Belinda

    I am now residing outside the UK, but used to watch all three classes of GP on Eurosport, frankly because the commentary team as I know you acknowledge on the web site were first rate. Now from the BBC coverage I have watched I agree that Suzi Perry and the guy in the pit lane are very good at what they do especially the pit lane guy. Used to work for the organisers didn't he? Unfortunately you have the two least good commentators in all of the motorcycle racing coverage worldwide. Eurosport have great commentators for MotoGP and World Superbikes, Moody, Ryder are incomparable and Burnacle and Whitham are also fantastic. I now have to watch some of the racing on the net or Star Sports which has good coverage here in Asia (although no practice). I am afraid and as you know it is an opinion shared by many real motorcycle racing fans (not the casual viewers that I know you have to appeal to as well) your commentary team is very very weak. I am comparing them with Eurosport, Star Sports and the Internet coverage for both World Superbikes and MotoGP. Maybe you had contractual issues for this year, however next year for the sake of my fellow fans back in Blighty I would strongly suggest that you try and snap up Moody and Ryder, you may find that with their knowledge and enthusiasm, and actually the most important bit their chemistry together your viewership would increase. You would certainly get all the former Europsort viewers who from the sounds of it will be tempted to MotoGP .com

  • Comment number 5.

    I think that Charlie and Steve provide great commentary especially if you are just coming into the sport. They also have insight into the latest news from the paddocks and therefore have the insight to new information on riders and teams.

    I'm glad that the Donnington race will be shown on BBC 1 as it is also it's final race before siverstone opens it's doors once again to motogp. I hope that the coverage will not decrease in quality due to the F1 coverage as this is my only way of viewing the races and would be sad if i would have to find an alternative.

  • Comment number 6.

    Don't have a problem with Charlie and Steve's commentary. They suit BBC better than the Eurosport commentators, who were often rather coarse.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Belinda,

    Just a quick point I'd like to ask you about.

    Firstly, it's not Moto GP-related as such, but as motorsport producer, I'm sure you'll know when the BBC will announce their F1 plans - could you give us a date, or is it top secret?!

    Also, I honestly can't see why so many people moan about BBC Moto GP coverage. People who are moaning about red-button coverage need to invest in a freeview-box, and then they can watch qualifying and the support-races. It's not rocket sciencen and I applaud you for expanding coverage once again.

    I understand Charlie Cox comes under fire a lot as well. honestly think he isn't that bad a commentator. In fact he is an extremely knowledgeable commentator. Us F1 fans have had to put up with James Allen for the last 6 and a bit years. Moto GP fans should consider themselves lucky!

    Many thanks Belinda.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Belinda,

    The way you've attempted to respond to the fury on this has been admirable. I'm not sure whether I'd call your entry into the 'discussion' at brave or suicidal though!

    Have you considered a compromise solution? I'm not a MotoGP fan first and foremost, but as I understand it Eurosport's most valuable asset was Randy Mamola in the pits.

    If the BBC could hire him as a second pit lane reporter, it could ease some of the anger from viewers who watched on Eurosport, whilst also improving the BBC's coverage.

    Obviously I have no idea what your budgetary constraints are - I'm just throwing this idea out there.

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Belinda
    I can appreciate your constraints regarding commentators/ reporters for the forthcoming season's racing but are there any plans to try to improve the situation in the future? In common with the majority of Eurosport viewers I too fear your coverage will fall far short of what we are used to. Surely the BBC should have a dedicated sports channel these days especially with F1 also being broadcast by you?

  • Comment number 10.

    Would just like to say to post 4, spot on mate.

    I would also like to thank Belinda for an honest and open blog on what's happening behind the scenes. It's always nice to be informed about the decisions being made when it's licence payers' money!

  • Comment number 11.

    I don't understand the snobs who prefer the Eurosport commentators.

    I think the existing commentary team on Moto GP is fantastic - quality motorsport at all levels always needs exciting and passionate commentators.

    I hope you never change the lineup!


  • Comment number 12.

    Interesting views from previous postings. I think generally the plans from the BBC are well recieved and the commentary team are not.

    From Eurosport, personally I found Julian Ryder incisive and always up to date both on and off track. He has always been an excellent number 2. Charlie Cox is a bore and doesnt really undertand bikes (he is an experienced bore though)

    Tech3girl said "think that Charlie and Steve provide great commentary especially if you are just coming into the sport" - most of the audience arent new, I cant remember the last time a football commentator explained the rules...

    Finally, Randy Mammola is good but so is Matt Roberts, no need to change.

    The question is, will the BBC listen to the views of the fans or do they think they know better?

  • Comment number 13.

    I kept my old analogue satellite receiver just just so I could pick up Eurosport International MOTO GP coverage for free from Astra One. I've tried the BBC coverage and the difference between the two is like the difference between being a member of a club and looking in through the window. Toby and Julian were the TEST MATCH SPECIAL of MOTO GP. Charlie Cox adds NOTHING to what we see on-screen. He has a few buzz words/phrases like "how much mumbo has that Ducati got?" and he can't get through a lap without talking about "carrying speed". He's typical of TV professional presenters and he would be just as happy fronting Jeux Sans Frontieres. Steve Parrish is a nice enough chap, with racing experience but he wasn't in Randy Mamola's class as a racer, and he's not in his class in the commentary box. I don't know why Suzy Perry is on the team at all. The BBC seem to think thay have to have someone to "front" their coverage and ask the riders daft questions and she's as good as anyone at doing that, however her "contribution" is superfluous. Dorna's decision to go with Free To Air broadcasters is praiseworthy, but they clearly have not concerned themselves with maintaining the quality of coverage. I'm afraid I shall be among those watching without the sound.

  • Comment number 14.


    Can you clarify an item regarding you deal with Dorna from 2010 onwards please?

    You state that the BBC had nothing to do with Eurosport loosing their rights to broadcast MotoGP in 2009, as you already have an existing deal for this year BUT was it a condition of the new deal that the BBC gain exclusivity to UK broadcast rights?

    I would really like this point clarified as it shapes the direction of my ire and anguish at the decision to drop Eurosport.

    When it comes to MotoGP the BBC provide super coverage at a superficial level for the casual fan but they can never replicate the service provided by Eurosport in terms of hours of coverage or quality of commentary.

    With regard to your support of Cox and Parish, I do feel "the lady protests too loudly". You know exactly how good these pair are - you certainly know how the majority of committed MotoGP fans feel by reading the messageboards.

  • Comment number 15.

    Having watched MotoGP both on Eurosport and the BBC I do not have a problem with the current line-up.

    I'm probably in agreement with the majority that Eurosport provided a better all-round service but it is a dedicated sports channel! I had no problem with the limited BBC coverage and was actually pleased to watch the racing ad-break-free.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how the coverage develops. Give the Beeb a chance...

  • Comment number 16.

    Whilst I understand that the BBC have their own reasons for making this decision, contractual or otherwise, I feel bound as a license payer to voice my own disappointment with the BBC's choice of commentators.

    The level of insight and quality of commentary, professionalism and obvious deep passion for MotoGP of the outgoing Eurosport team is beyond question, even by senior management at the BBC. It is also a well known fact that Moody/Ryder/Mamola are extremely well thought of by all in the MotoGP paddock, and closely involved with everything that goes on within it. A fact that will always give them an edge on any other commentary team, and most importantly, made us as viewers feel much more connected to the sport, feel much more like we were 'involved' - like you are at the track with them.

    Unfortunately for us all in 2009, these are qualities that Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox will continue to fall very short on delivering. Steve Parrish is a dithering waffler, filling the 45 minutes of a race with the first thing that comes into his head. Charlie Cox has followed this lead, compensating for his inability to tell one end of a motorcycle from another with his bumper book of racing cliches that gets him through an entire race with ease, generic commentary at it's finest. We are left with no choice and our intelligence insulted. In fairness it must be said that Matt Roberts is a solid journalist and does a great job, however Suzi is as one other poster put it, superfluous.

    As we all know the surrounding coverage and pre race 'fill' is not the problem here, it is the race commentary. I would ask Ms Rogerson to compare the audio feed only, from any given race in 2008 ( Laguna Seca might be a good example ) from the BBC against that of Eurosport, and tell us as licence payers, BBC subscribers, how you can make a solid case for the superiority of Parrish/Cox in all the areas that Moody/Ryder/Mamola excel in as mentioned above.

    The huge swathe of opinion should at least set off an alarm bell somewhere. While I'm sure Ms Rogerson's replies on various forums are welcomed, any denial that something is wrong is perceived by most as patronizing. Simply toeing the corporation line with an almost prescribed sounding response telling us how committed the BBC is, is not enough. Some acknowledgement that this an issue that requires addressing or may well do in the future should be the least we can accept. Again given the obvious scale of opinion one would think this should be the case.

    Perhaps we should be asking how many people need to complain for this to be taken seriously? I live in hope but in the meantime I have to say that I will looking for another audio to go with Dorna's video feed or else I too will watch the races with the sound turned off.

  • Comment number 17.

    Fair play to you Belinda, both you and the BBC seem to of taken most peoples complaints and tackled them head on.

    Its a real shame the red button is not recordable and cant be manipulated (paused, rewound etc) on sky but at least your making it as easy as you can with what you've got.

    Most ardent bike fans have Sky because world & british superbikes are both on Eurosport so will be viewing through this platform.

    But anyway, well done Belinda for toughing it out on!

  • Comment number 18.

    I agree with the comments above regarding Randy Mamola on Eurosport. His insight and ability to get the drivers to open up tom him post race was what made me prefer Eurosport.

    The main reason for prefering Eurosport was the picture format compared to BBC. The Moto GP race feeds came from the same host broadcaster, however the BBC always had black lines down the sides of the screen.

    Eurosprt was always in Widescreen. Maybe they did some clever stretchery (if that's a word), but I bought a widescreen TV to get Widescreen TV.

    "Best Quote (Eurosport)" His bike is about as useful as the bottom half of a Mermaid

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.


    I admire your loyalty to your team and your bravery in posting on several internet forums.

    I completely accept your points that Dorna are responsible for Eurosport losing their coverage, and not the BBC, and that BBC has no dedicated sports channel and so cannot hope to match the number of hours that Eurosport dedicated to their coverage.

    I am currently unconvinced that BBC will show all the early morning or evening races live, as you have often failed to do so in the past, but I'm willing to wait and see on that one.

    However, I have a real issue with the commentary team. Is there another sport where the BBC commentary team gets so much criticism? I can't believe that there is. This has surely got to tell you something.
    Charlie Cox may be experienced but there is a difference between experience and expertise. Firstly, I find his commentary far too colloquial (nightmare in a bubble car, what's all that about?) but my main complaint is the level at which its aimed. As His commentary may be great for new viewers, as Tech3Girl says, but it soon grates on those of us that think nothing of riding across a continent to see a race. I believe that you have previously admitted that your coverage is not aimed at anoraks; the problem is that there is nowhere else for us to go now.

    I accept that you have a budget and that this does not stretch to a second commentary team but is there anyway we could have the option of listening to the sound of the bikes without any commentary at all? This would surely cost you nothing except a little bandwidth (other channels have language options)?

    I hope I'm wrong about this but I suspect that the BBC will continue to act like a taxpayer-funded monopoly and ignore the voice of its customers.

  • Comment number 21.

    With regeard to comment eleven, I think the "snob" comment is a bit unecessary, and you'd struggle to find a more exciting and passionate team than Moody, Ryder and Mamola. You can add the words knowledgeable, informative and personable to that little list, too.

  • Comment number 22.

    Well done BBC for taking MotoGp seriously. I for one don't think there is anything wrong with Charlie Cox or Steve Parrish.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Belinda,

    is the opportunity to show the 'missing' coverage at off-peak times on free-to-air channels prior to the live GP's feasible? ie free practice during the night prior to qualifying for all classes and qualifying for all classes during the night prior to the actual race. This would allow recording of all elements of the GP weekend.

    Additionally, you keep mentioning ".... an approval rating that has been the highest for any terrestrial programme in a given week." What exactly does that mean, how are these ratings derived and how are the actual viewing figures derived? BARB?


  • Comment number 24.

    One final point.

    It was suggested that having an alternative open mike commentary, just the noise from the circuit without the actual commentary feed, might be a good idea. As this would not cost the BBC anything and indeed secondary commentary is often provided on live football matches, is this viable?

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Belinda

    I do admire your courage in getting involved over at, and thank you for summarising that again here.

    However, having just re-watched a recording of the review of the 2008 season on Eurosport, I have realised just how superior their coverage was, and how much I am going to miss it.

    Charlie Cox is an extremely irratating commentator; his knowledge is at best superficial, and he often takes several minutes to understand what is going on. On those occasions when I have had no choice but to watch coverage on the BBC, I have found it necessary to turn off the volume, as the commentary is so very irratating. Steve Parrish at least understands what is going on, but is boring in the extreme. They even manage to make exciting races seem boring in the emtreme (quite a talent, that)!

    I think what the majority of posters are saying is that for a true fan (and there are many of us) losing the insight and expertise of the Eurosport guys is going to be a huge loss. The additional loss of practice and the much reduced coverage of qualifying and of the 125s and 250s (yes, I know about the red button, but that is not always convenient, or feasible) just adds to the bitter disappoinitment that many of us are feeling right now.

    Please, do consider a changed commentary line-up for 2010. I could almost accept the vacuous Ms Perry if I had at least some hope that we would hear Messrs Moody/Ryder/Mamola again.

  • Comment number 26.

    As someone who hasn't listened to the Eurosport team, I don't mind the current coverage.

    At least it's not someone as bad as James Allen.

    Please God, please make the BBC not hire that man.

  • Comment number 27.


    As someone who has protested furiously regarding the commentary team decision, i am glad that you have been courageous enough to come and tackle the issues in the forum and reply to me personally to 'address' my concerns.
    I have now resigned to the fact that we have lost julian, randy and toby, and as much as it hurts i have accepted it, purely because i feel that there must be some contractual obligation you are fulfilling by keeping the current BBC team.
    Can you give us hope by letting us know all our hopes will come true and that you will sign on the Eurosport team for next season - it is obvious that you have read the forums and complaints so i know that you cannot have failed to notice the overwhelming sense of loss for these guys and the sadness that it has caused to MotoGP fans who have grown up with this amazing sport over the years. I also have to say that James Whitham and Jack Burnicle are also fabulous commentators - infinitely superior to Cox/Parrish and would be welcome with open arms!.

    Can we expect the BBc team to 'up' there game now as the BBC no longer cater for the causal MotoGP viewer, but the hardcore fans who have subscribed to Eurosport and actually go to the races both here and abroad, and have detailed knowledge of the sport in its entirety (i mean 125's and 250's and other bike sports to boot).
    You see the publics reaction to James Allens commentary on F1 ITV, but boy, he will seem like a commentary master compared to your bunch once it gets going.
    Only the BBC could stare in the face of such overwhelming public opinion and ignore it - any commercial TV station would have to listen to their customers. We cant vote with our feet this time, we have to pay the tax, we have nowhere else to watch it! (although streaming from sounds good at the moment)
    If you think that the forums are filled with people bemoaning the commentary team now, wait till a couple of races in.
    I sincerely hope that the BBC will deliver on its promises and produce a fantastic coverage, but i agree with other posters, it will all seem very dull if you dont have the right team calling the action.
    Please, please, please listen to us - the only ones who like the BBC team are those who never watched Eurosport. Im not usually a complainer but in this case its like part of my family going away and im missing them already!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    My thoughts….

    1. Belinda’s comment, 'Our coverage attracts audiences of over a million with an approval rating that has been the highest for any terrestrial program in a given week'.

    Sounds to me like for every 1000 viewers polled, MotoGP was the most enjoyed broadcast, beating all other entertainment programs on ITV and BBC including Saturday night shows etc.

    If it's this popular then why are we on the Red Button for just about everything MotoGP?

    2. As per post 14, I too would like clarity on the Dorna deal 2010 onwards. Did the BBC request exclusivity? This does have a bearing on sympathising with the situation the BBC finds itself in with the ranks of unhappy ex-Eurosport viewers.

    3. What the BBC commentary team offer me as a viewer (in my opinion and nothing personal) in terms of content, background knowledge, entertainment, ability not to annoy the viewer, enthusiasm etc etc...

    Add it all up and sadly it doesn't come to much!

    No sound required with your broadcasts for me thanks!

    It is however re assuring to see a few positive posts on the BBC blog regarding the forthcoming coverage and team, unfortunately it doesn’t reflect the many forums elsewhere on the internet regarding this matter.

  • Comment number 29.

    Can you tell me if the first official test from Sepang this Thursday is going to be covered as it always was on Eurosport ?It's an integral part of the season and the first chance we get to see the teams in action

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

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  • Comment number 33.

    jiandrews #18

    The BBC show MotoGP in widescreen. You seem to be talking about the old days where the Dorna feed was only 4:3 and then it was shown correctly with the black bars down the side.

    You also say that you "bought a widescreen TV to get Widescreen TV", but it sounds like you've had it incorrectly set to show Eurosports old fashioned 4:3 picture stretched to fill the screen. Before criticising the BBC, get your facts right. The BBC show the full widescreen 16:9 picture, unlike Eurosport.

    Why buy a widescreen TV and then not set it up correctly?

    On to the BBC's coverage for this season. Charlie and Steve are the best commentary team on the box in my opinion. Their dry sense of humour makes them appointment to view television in our household.

    We've had access to Eurosport for many years and found the public school boys on Eurosport both annoying and they also miss a lot of the action. Also Eurosport only broadcast in 4:3 so you miss a load of the picture.

    We'll be watching the BBC with the sound turned up and will be enjoying every second of it. Keep up the good work Steve and Charlie!

    Best Quote (BBC) "He needed that like a third armpit."

  • Comment number 34.

    Member1978 Eurosport never showed any pre-season testing except the official test in March (known as round 0)when the quickest wins a bmw, which would be great to watch on the red button Belinda...

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi there,

    Not had time to read all the comments, so hope this has not already been covered...

    I would like to see a significant improvement on what you put on the website for motgp. I often feel that you could do so much more, even if you only compare to what you do for F1.

    I think there is so much opportunity to improve/develop you motrsport web coverage and I personally feel it would enhance your overall motogp coverage.

    And one more thing, i often use virgin cable for watching motogp. Very often it is on the red button. However, when motogp is on option 1 you have to share the screen with all the other options. Any chance of trying to get that changed?



  • Comment number 36.

    Hey, when are us F1 Fans going to have our say?
    I think we are being muted by Roger and Belinda...and this is to keep those fans happy who moaned every single time.
    E-mail and complain to Dorna NOT the BBC!
    I believe that the MotoGP fans should breath a sigh of relief that they have 2 talented commentator in Cox and F1 Fans must put up with the drivel that Jonathan Legard will bring up...WE WANT BEN EDWARDS!

  • Comment number 37.

    So to over come some of the recording issues (we work shift work and rely on being able to record the qualifying and races some weekends) is there any plans to put red button content on the i-player? Or is this a "too easy" solution?

  • Comment number 38.

    I like a lot above have to congratulate Belinda in her comments above and thank her for her honesty. At least she appears to have taken on board what I believe the vast majority agree to be a poor comentary team.

    I recall however a race last year that they forgot was on and clashed with I believe a repeat of Top Gear and I hope that that never happens again!

    As far as the Dorna decision is concerned I believe that this was their decision based on the "need for a wider audience" and felt that if the BBC were given exclusive rights (rather than Eurosport on the back of the German coverage) the corporation would spend more air time on the coverage and content (except obviosly when it clashes with Top Gear). Correct me if I am wrong however.

    Please, please, please take a careful look at the comentary team and don't blow this golden oportunity to appeal to the wider audience on what could be a pivitol season in MotoGP (17 riders, One Tyre Rule, a fit Stoner and Lorenzo to push Rossi) and of course us jaded refugees from Eurosport who tried to watch the BBC coverage last year but it was just wrong, wrong, wrong (other than your pit lane reporter and the televised acess to the grid - note not the inane questions from Ms Perry).

  • Comment number 39.

    After watching MotoGP since it's inception in 2000 on Eurosport, I was devastated when it was announced that BBC was to gain exclusive rights in the UK!

    I have watched the BBC coverage when on holiday when Eurosport reception wasn't available and found it poor at best!

    To echo a lot of other comments, Toby, Julian and Randy, have more knowledge of the Sport in their little fingers, than the rest of the BBC "commentary" team put together!

    I believe that they are all employed freelance and the BBC needs to make every effort to make sure that they are employed for the 2010 Season, IF the BBC are serious in making their MotoGP coverage a sucess (which I doubt)

    As someone who would watch an average 14-15 hours coverage over the THREE days of a MotoGP weekend (why no Friday coverage?) to go down to at best an hour and a half, well be devastating!!!

    Putting 125, 250 and qualifying on the "Red" button, is simply a cop out, as if I am not in the house, I am unable to Sky+ it and don't accept that it's a Sky problem, as the bulk of REAL MotoGP Fans, will have Sky as that's the only way we could watch it before the BBC jumped on the "Rossi Band-Wagon" Albeit of course, too late!

    Also, why do we never get to see the Podium celebrations and post race interviews? We don't have that problem with "Snoormula 1" so why MotoGP?

    So please prove me wrong and give the true MotoGP fans what they deserve and give us a World Class coverage of what is a World Class Sport!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    And here's another thing.

    Why is the MotoGP section of the web always so behind the times? Yesterday, Fiat Yamaha (the reigning Team Champions, Manufacturer Champions and individual World Champion) launched their 2009 bike. The media coverage was massive. But not on the BBC - you are still leading with a story which is at least two weeks old!

    Wake up, please! It's really hard to give credence to your claims that you take the sport seriously.

  • Comment number 41.

    Here's yet another thing - did anyone else notice that when the BBC broadcast its round up advert for all the exciting sporting events of 2009 there wasn't the slightest mention of the Moto GPs? yet you ask us to believe it's important to you! WE DON'T AGREE

  • Comment number 42.

    You have to look at this pragmatically. Dorna, the owner of the rights to MotoGP have sold motorcycle racing fans short, not just here but across the world. However, they have done exactly what they intended to do. Their remit was to sell the rights they own so that MotoGP could be viewed in as many homes as possible across the world and they make money in doing so and terrestrial TV still has the overwhelming footprint. Exclusivity was not part of the agreement. That has been secured by the likes of the BBC. THEY in turn have met their end of the deal. They plan extended coverage from what THEY previously broadcast.

    The stark reality that it is in fact a reduction in coverage of MotoGP matters only to us race fans who savour every second of the weekend, from the lights going green in pit lane to show circuit open for free practice through to the last triumphant rider stepping off the podium in champagne-soaked delirium. It is a deal based on POTENTIAL audience growth. Surely having 2 sources of coverage (BBC and British Eurosport) with 2 guaranteed revenue streams from contractual deals, with 2 potential avenues of growth would be far more alluring to Dorna? British Eurosport IS the home of motorcycling in the UK. WSB, BSB and MotoGP all beamed live into homes across the UK. Surely the most sensible thing would have been for Dorna to have brokered a deal between British Eurosport and the BBC and allowed the BBC to take the feed for the live races at a reduced cost and left Eurosport to fulfil its commitment to the fans by broadcasting MotoGP in its entirety the way it did. It has happened elsewhere in Europe so why not here? BBC get what they want, the 'glory' races pitched at the interested, Eurosport service the fans who demand detail. Simple, painless and logical.

    If the viewing figures are right then the BBC should be picking up an average of 300,000 more viewers this year for each of its race coverage. I can't see it myself.

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm sorry the beeb hasn't changed the commentary team,for me the weakest part of BBC's coverage was this area.Eurosport's
    Toby Moody and Julian Ryder was simply the best,like having the great days of Murray back again.Randy Mamola's imput will be really missed because Suzy Perry just hasn't got that experience as a champion and the inside knowledge that Randy has.
    I personally don't like exclusive deals,and BBC have only jumped on the bandwagon in more recent times,whatever BBC say,Eurosports coverage was vastly superior to anything others have don't, I suppose being a specialist sports channel they could cover the whole of qualifying,practise and race day.I still feel we will lose out to F1 on race days,sad really because simply F1 ist tedious to put it mildly.

  • Comment number 44.

    Sorry Belinda you are not listening to the majority of race fans who have made the effort to complain about Cox and Parrish.
    How about the 6000+who have petitioned against them.
    MotoGP needs good commentating to attract new followers,and the BBC must realise that this year in particular could mean the demise of the championship with fewer riders,and WSB becoming the premier motorcycle racing which already is attracting more than double the riders.
    Think again BBC before it is to late.

  • Comment number 45.

    Nothing is going to change now for 2009. We are stuck with limited coverage and a poor commentary team.
    It would be good to have a committment from the BBC to keep the situation under review for 2010. Please do some proper audience research and be prepared to act when you find you were wrong.

  • Comment number 46.

    Dear Points of View

    The problem here is not the BBC but DORNA trying to get more money per country and so forcing Eurosport out. So we are all sad because the BBC cannot do what we wish.

    Cox is like a wannabe Sid Waddell, it works for darts but not for motorcycling because it is not original and it is therefore not amusing. Parish is ok but as other people have said they lack what Moody/Ryder and Mamola have.

    The BBC have had some of the greatest commentators in the business over the years, think football, cricket and golf to name a few sports where they have been exceptional. Now unfortunately the exceptional team has gone and we are left with an average one.



    PS Can you show the Blue Peter scene with the elephant and John Noakes again?

  • Comment number 47.

    This is all very positive, I'd like to know if HD coverage of MOTOGP will ever occur when the new contract starts in 2010?

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    RE Comments 40 & 41 - Bravo!!!

    Look at Europsorts Motogp news page TODAY !!

    ...brimming with pre season news and features and they don't even have broadcasting rights.

    Makes BBC's 'commitment' seem somewhat weak doesn't it?

  • Comment number 50.

    I You say that you believe you have the best team for 2009. Well I suggest to you that the strength of feeling by many members of the public should tell you that you are wrong on this. Simply put you have far from the best team for 2009.

    Charlie Cox has extensive motorbike knowledge? Since when? How many books has he written on the subject compared with Julian Ryder?

    If you truly believe your comments then I feel you have really mis-understood your new found ex-Eurosport audience. And if you are still in a position to make decisions when it comes time to decide your 2010 team then I truly hope you will have had your thinking changed.

    If not, then I fear that motoGP will go the way of 500GP did in this country in the 90's. Poor coverage and hence little interest and that will be a terrible shame.

  • Comment number 51.

    I don't get this. The motorsport team manages to get, quite frankly trivial news onto the website, yet doesn't have important news on the website, for instance the Yamaha launch from yesterday?

  • Comment number 52.

    A few observations from me.

    First - the obvious point to TheNunnyFoxes in #36: I don't think Belinda and I can be accused of muting any debate! We welcome it. So thanks to everyone who's contributed, even when we have to agree to disagree.

    But let's be equally clear. MotoGP on the BBC is our most-appreciated sport, bar none. Its appreciation score is the highest for any event: more than a World Cup, more than Wimbledon, more than the Six Nations - even though all of those score highly against television industry averages.

    That's a tribute, of course, to the sport itself. But it's simply impossible to get the approval levels we're getting from our audience research unless BBC viewers also like the way we present it.

    And here's my attempt at an explanation. I really respect Eurosport's coverage, and it rightly has a strong fan base - many of whom don't like the BBC team as much. But the BBC has considerably more people watching, and they (represented in #6, #11, #22 and elsewhere) are happy with our coverage. Plus, and this is crucial, we have to bear in mind the big non-specialist audiences that come to MotoGP because it's usually on BBC One and BBC Two.

    That's where I would defend strongly what we do. Dedicated sports channels have fewer scheduling challenges than we do; but they get smaller, more specialist audiences. By putting MotoGP onto the biggest channels in the UK, we get more people interested in the sport - and it takes its place alongside our other showcased events. In other words, what we're seeking to achieve is the precise opposite of what russmanuk fears in #50.

    Now, we always review all elements of coverage including our relationship with external partners; and we do our best to take account of feedback. But our scheduling of MotoGP has improved in recent years, as has our supporting content; and we're confident that from 2009 onwards we can be the home of top motorsport on two and four wheels.

    Not everything will be exactly as every individual would want it; but the BBC commitment to MotoGP is very strong, and will continue.

  • Comment number 53.

    Credit where it is due. One of the Sports-Interactive people who look after the BBC's Sports pages must have been surfing the net at just the right time and spotted the story about Rossi requiring stitches to his hand and foot. It's already on the MotoGP pages.

  • Comment number 54.

    Dear Belinda
    It takes more than knowing about motorbikes and finishing fifth in a world championship to be a good commentator!

  • Comment number 55.

    Thanks for taking the time to get involved Roger. Presumably you've noticed that your original 'supporting content' for MotoGP is still on the current web pages? Ok maybe a little tongue-in-cheek but links that are so old (July last year) is a little embarrassing, no?

    Both Belinda and yourself like to use this 'appreciation score' but no-one explains exactly how it is drived. If you could take the time to it would be much appreciated.

    I have put a post on your other current blog regarding a dedicated BBC Sports channel that I would also be interested in a response to.



  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    ...And Eurosport showed MotoGP in HD.

    What plans do the BBC have for this?

  • Comment number 58.

    @ Roger Mosey
    "But it's simply impossible to get the approval levels we're getting from our audience research unless BBC viewers also like the way we present it."

    The fact that many of your existing audience like the way you present it might be because they have never experienced the alternative, so your point is not really of much value.

    ".... we have to bear in mind the big non-specialist audiences that come to MotoGP because it's usually on BBC One and BBC Two."

    So because of this big non-specialist audience we, the presumably smaller specialist audience must put up with a dumbed-down offering. This is rather dismissive of the "non-specialists", whom you assume could not cope with a more specialist approach.

    "Now, we always review all elements of coverage including our relationship with external partners; and we do our best to take account of feedback. But our scheduling of MotoGP has improved in recent years, as has our supporting content; and we're confident that from 2009 onwards we can be the home of top motorsport on two and four wheels."

    As long as you continue to underestimate the importance of the shortcomings alluded to by the majority of posters here you will be doing a disservice to the magnificent spectacle that is MOTO GP

  • Comment number 59.

    Look this is getting ridiculous as we are going round and round in circles.

    Now, I was a big eurosport fan and I've let my feeling be known on the bbc coverage to Belinda, Roger and anyone else who would listen but the commatators are not going to change so can we draw a line under this please.

    The bbc gets around 1.3m for each race compared to 200k on Eurosport so to try and say the bbc is wrong is never going to work.

    Surely a far better argument to have is the one on trying to get improved coverage and the maximum we can compared to what we've all grown used to and in fairness the bbc has responded.

    We never got the 125 and 250 qualifying and the qualifying was never looped like it will be this season so you can now chose your time to sit and watch it when you like on Saturday and its the same with the racing on the Sunday.

    As long as the start time and length are put on the website before hand then its quite simple to chose your start time and watch at your leisure which has to be an improvement on last season.

    Granted as a sky user the fact this cant be recorded is highly annoying but not entirely the bbc's fault but it shows they've listened and acted.

    I used to watch the Friday practice last season but i can fully understand why this isn't being shown because we really are into anorak territory!!!

    So can we get on to being constructive and getting as much as we can for the sport we love instead of going on and on about the commentators as they are not going to change - at least not in the short term.

    Now where was i on trying to get round 0 on the red button...

  • Comment number 60.

    Question for Roger:

    Will the MotoGP (and possibly 125cc and 250cc races along with MGP qualifying) be put on iPlayer?

  • Comment number 61.

    Well I had hoped that the level of debate engendered by all our comments in response to Belinda's Blog would come to the attention of someone further up the BBC organisation. I was initially pleased to see a posting from Roger Mosey, that was until I read its contents!!

    Basically he simply reiterates Belinda's comments. By stressing the importance of existing viewer ratings and bearing in mind "the big non-specialist audience" he confirms that our voices may be loud but they are more than outweighed by the measurements he is judged by. We are not his target audience.

    I liked his attempt to pull crumbs of comfort from postings #6, #11 and #22, but I'm afraid 5% favourable responses to BBC coverage does little to offset the dissenting voices.

    I would like to raise again the point made in #14. Did the BBC insist on exclusive UK coverage from Dorna when their new deal was negotiated?. If they did it is their responsibility to adequately service the orphaned Eurosport fans deprived of their previous level of coverage. End of. Answer please.

    I the meantime given that the BBC already employ another commentary team to cover 125cc and 250cc races, can I suggest they contact Toby Moody and Julian Ryder to cover those classes. If they did this, I just might begin to believe they are interested in us after all.

  • Comment number 62.

    Granted I'm not a bike nut but have enjoyed the BBC's coverage of MotoGP since it started and watch most of the rounds.

    I really like the commentary team of Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish, they are both excellent broadcasters in my opinion.

    The presentational team of Suzi Perry and Matt Roberts is also first class.

    I'm very pleased to see that the BBC are remaining commited to MotoGP, I was worried when they signed up the TV rights to F1 they would drop MotoGP.

  • Comment number 63.

    Fair response - but my view (shared by all others I know) is that the Eurosport team are in a different league to the current Beeb crew.

    Nothing personal about Steve, Charlie, Suze et al but they can't compete with the superior knowledge, technical understanding, historical references and sheer enthusiasm of Toby, Julian and Randy.

    If the Beeb's objective is to increase ratings and get more people watching, the answer is get a commentary team who will do that for you.

    I'm sure there's more to it from the Beeb's viepoint, but from a viewer's perspective that about sums it up for me.

  • Comment number 64.

    “Number_46”, I think you will find this blog is here to discuss the 2009 coverage which we are doing. Yes, we are going round and round in circles because a) Neither Belinda or Roger have fully answered people’s questions and b) So far done very little about peoples issues.

    Drawing a line under the commentary debate does what exactly? Allow the BBC to think only a few viewers are angry with the current line up and carry on regardless in true BBC fashion.

    So we shut up and put up with what we are offered. I question which end of the TV licence you are actually on.

    The published viewing figures I’ve seen for Eurosport are 300,000 topping out at 600,000 for Donington not 200,000.

    Public opinion away from the BBC blogs indicate viewers and for that matter some columnists in the motor cycling press are extremely unhappy with the existing BBC commentators never mind the red button. How is the red button ever bringing the sport to the masses? People these days have things called recorders and like to record coverage and play it back at their convenience, not wait a couple of hours for the start time of a re-run. If it was on-demand coverage where you start from the beginning of the stream whenever you liked then fair play, but it’s not.

    As for your ‘anorak territory’ remark about watching Friday practice and then go on to say you want the red button for round 0 (a test session) is a little rich. If as you suggest you watched Friday practice last season then you must have missed the fact that on many occasions it formed the grid for Sunday for the smaller classes when the frequent Saturday rain intervened.

    Having said that I’d rather not see Friday’s anymore because Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish have run out of things to say by the end of lap 2 of most races never mind Saturday Quali, never mind Friday practice. Sorry, but they are rubbish!!!

  • Comment number 65.

    I've been watching Moto GP for several years and was thrilled that the BBC would be continuing their coverage. I think Suzy, Matt, Charlie and Steve are a fantastic team. Some of the best interviews have come from them talking to the riders and I look forward to viewing more of these.

    I am disappointed that practise sessions can't even be shown on the red button or through the night so that "anoraks" like myself can record then watch the build up to the race. Oh well, fingers crossed for next season?

    Looking forward to the coverage - I just hope Moto GP gets as much attention and time as it deserves from a fan's perspective.

  • Comment number 66.

    Belinda, i fully respect your decision to come out and openly address the upcoming season and stance of the BBC in terms of its line-up and coverage and even more so for tackling the forums. However, it does seem as though the BBC has chosen to completely ignore the avid Moto GP fans who are legitimately worried about the transfer to the BBC from Eurosport. For as long as i can remember, the Eurosport coverage has been the benchmark for sports coverage. Julian Ryder, Toby Moody and Randy Mamola ARE Moto GP! Thats the bottom line. Millions of die hard Moto GP fans would work hard all week, looking forward to staying up late to watch the practice sessions in the far flung corners of the world, only wishing they could be there in person, the Eurosport team made you feel as though you WERE there in person. No matter how hard ive tried, i cannot get on board with the BBC line-up. The commentary team, no matter how knowledgable are just not engaging for the viewer. Im just not convinced that the BBC is listening to the fans/viewers or taking any concerns on board aside from the re-running of sessions via the poor red-button function. There are a lot (im talking millions) of disgruntled motorsport fans, losing faith in the corporation and worried about what may happen with F1 coverage when this transfers as well. You could do a lot worse then grasping the Moto GP opportunity and showing the license payers who follow these sports with such passion, that you DO listen to them and what they value most from the coverage. However, it does seem as though the stance is pretty firm and the BBC will just do as they please, leaving Moto GP coverage for the foreseeable future, baron and without the magic that Eurosport instilled over the years with such an incredible team to present this great sport. Ryder, Moody and Mamola, you will be missed like you wouldnt believe!!

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    The problem is, we live in a culture that presumes the masses are ignorant and therefore openly advocates 'dumbing down' rather than adopting a philosophy of education. Add into that equation the 'greasy neanderthal biker' image so loved by the media and it is no wonder we get programming pitched at us this way. Roger intimates that by keeping it simple it means it is more attractive to the audience but this does the sport a great injustice as the spectacle alone is enough of an attraction. Dumbing it down insults even the passing viewer and leads to the conclusion that the BBC believes quality can be sacrificed to appease the great 'viewing figure' gods.

    And in response to RacingRatBoy - look at the statements made by Dominic Coles, the BBC's Sports Rights Director who at the time of the deal couldn't contain himself in pronouncing the coup of securing exclusive rights to broadcast MotoGP. Then look at other countries in Europe where there is no exclusivity. If it was Dorna initiated it would be a blanket application.

    I repeat a request I have made to Belinda and now extend to Roger. If you are committed to continually improving your portfolio of sports then actively engage with those who you are here to serve, the paying public. Set up a MotoGP Usergroup and enter into constructive dialogue with the public with a view to getting things right for when the 2010 contract begins. Resting on the laurels of viewing figures and 'approval ratings' is a typical reponse and not reflective of the true story when terrestrial TV is still the only option available to a vast amount of the viewing public who cannot afford Sky, or cannot get Cable.

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm sorry, I don't care how experienced they are Cox and Parrish are boring. Moody and Rider are exciting; Rider is full of so many facts about bikes of all sorts...........

  • Comment number 70.

    belinda can I just ask... did you ever watched MotoGP on Eurosport? Do you know what the BBC is competing against?
    The fan, the viewer is where the BBC have to concentrate their attention and for the fans the commentary team is the key part. What is promised so far is great, if only there was a commentary team to carry it off.

  • Comment number 71.

    Belinda and Rodger
    It is now obvious that you take no notice of any adverse feedback regards your commentators for the MotoGp.
    How many compliants does it take for the BBC to realise the commentating team are
    I for one am looking forward to the new season's WSB and not MotoGP.

  • Comment number 72.

    I agree with most comments that Charlie Cox is annoying in the extreme, just repeating silly phrases all the time. I also don't see the need for any on screen presenters, last year i believe at Mugello we had Suzi asking Charlie/Steve some dumb questions instead of seeing Valentino celebrate with thousands of fans.
    As others have said the contacts the Eurosport team had were top level and no one on the BBC can match Randys technical knowledge.
    Also the internet side is a joke, if you check back over the last couple of years it is obvious the person writting the reports did not watch the race as the reports are full of errors.

  • Comment number 73.

    It looks like we are stuck with things this year the way it is, so I'll be looking forward to the season with the BBC.
    Given that the average viewing figure last year was 1.1 million, we dont need to be told again and again that the contact patch is the size of a credit card every race.
    Dont dumb down the commentary.

  • Comment number 74.

    I'll be ACCEPTING the BBC TV coverage (with the sound off, I suspect), in the absence of anything else, and I am resigned to that fact.

    As far as news goes, I will continue to visit sites which are dedicated to providing good, accurate coverage of MotoGP news and events, when they happen, and not when they feel like it.

  • Comment number 75.

    You guys really are a bunch of whingers. There is nothing wrong with the BBC coverage, and who cares about watching qualifying, it is really boring.

  • Comment number 76.

    Murray - I guess you advocate not showing any of the heats in the Olympics or no preliminary rounds in football competitions just the finals on the same premise then? To you they may be boring, to others they are an integral part of the event.

    Whinging, critique, concern, call it what you will but it is still a reduction in coverage and quality.

  • Comment number 77.

    Whilst i'm not as big a fan of Motogp as some on here, I always watch the races and find them great entertainment. I have no problem with the commentary team on the BBC, probably as I have no other reference as I didnt watch it on Eurosport.

    I would like to make the point that contractual obligations may have something to do with the fact the BBC have continued with their current commentators and unlike with F1 switching channels they cannot just pick up who they want, so probably have contracts with the current team and need to wait for them to expire bfore changing them!

    The're silence on that matter may be because they cannot discuss someones job position and announce someone taking it in the future without legal repercussions!!

    Think about how annoyed etc you'd be if your boss said that due to public opinion your job is being given to someone else, even when you have a contract and have done nothing wrong!!

  • Comment number 78.

    theres a good reason for whinging,

    i used to watch the bbc during the eurosport ads but i couldnt stand more than a minute of that awful commentary

    ill be watching, with sound off

  • Comment number 79.

    Picking up some of the latest comments:

    Gary M in #76: the BBC has moved from a typical one-channel format, which had to crush in a number of events, to a much wider range of digital services on the red button and online. So we've massively increased the amount of BBC content on offer, and we aim for both quantity and quality.

    J-Sports in #64: yes, the red button does get to the masses. 90% of homes now have that facility, and in the Beijing Olympics 11 million people made use of it. That's far more than watch dedicated sports channels.

    And in answer to D_M_N in #60 and others: yes, the MotoGP races will be available on demand on the BBC iPlayer.

    On the points by racingratboy in #61 and LlTallJay in #66 and others: our accountability is to the whole of our audience. We have to make the best assessment - based on proper, representative research - about what our viewers and listeners want. In other words, it's finding out how many people agree with David Shield II in #62 and PinkCowgirl in #65 - and how many agree with our critics. The evidence is that the majority like what we do, but I absolutely accept that some people don't; and we reflect that debate on our own website, which is still rare for major broadcasters.

    To take an example from another sport - there was a similar discussion about John Motson in football. Many message boards and some columnists were critical of him at the time of the 2006 World Cup; but the research among our audience was unequivocal. He was seen as the most-appreciated commentator on any channel, and the most-liked by the millions of people who tuned in.

    Finally, I just want to say I've never been in favour of dumbing down. What we do believe is that sport on mass audience channels like BBC One needs to be welcoming for the millions watching - because that's in the long-term interests of building the sport. There's plenty of specialist comment and content available nowadays to supplement that; and the best of our commentators and pundits do combine genuine expertise with an accessible broadcasting style.

  • Comment number 80.

    Roger, I'm sure you are not in favour of dumbing down but you will potentially have 300,000 more viewers who have been fed a far more technical feast who I would argue will not suffer in silence once the season gets under way. To the former Eurosport viewer it IS a reduction in quality.

    Of the people surveyed to ascertain your 'approval rating' what percentage of them had access to both Eurosport and BBC and of those that had access to both how many of them had moved from Eurosport to BBC coverage? How many were regular viewers and how many were transient viewers?

    90% of homes may indeed have access to Interactive Services but how many of the 23.25m can actually record from those services?

    You still do not answer the points raised about an open-mike feed, free from commentary (cost negligible), availability of qualifying on free-to-air channels during the night so it can be recorded and maybe a new one, why if you are committed to evolving and developing MotoGP you did not take up the option of free practice when this is a 3 year contract. So for 3 years we will not have free practice.

  • Comment number 81.

    It's been very interesting to read the comments on this, both here and on Firstly, I'd like to say thanks to Belinda and Roger for posting on it, as it would have been the easiest thing in the world to act the faceless corporation and leave us to it - even if the response is not the answer we all hoped for, I still really appreciate the communication.

    Secondly, the next thing that comes across is the sheer depth of feeling about it. This, I think, stems from the hugely enthusiastic following the sport has, and that many people subscribed to channels solely in order to get Eurosport's MotoGP coverage featuring Ryder, Moody and Mamola. But it would be a mistake to assume that, just because they're the commentary team that the hard-core fan prefers, they wouldn't be able to appeal to the more casual fan that is likely to just happen across a race on sunday afternoon. I would compare them to Murray Walker and F1 coverage - although a lot of people knock Murray for his gaffes (which were never as frequent as his reputation suggested), his enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport were absolutely top draw, and that carried across to the audience. For my money, Toby, Julian and Randy are a team cast out of exactly the same mold.

    In a lot of respects, I feel quite sorry for Charlie, Steve and Suzi - taken on their own, they're not a bad commentary team at all, but I think they suffer very badly in comparison to the Eurosport squad. For example, if the BBC were to make a shock announcement that, say, James Allen was to take over announcing duties, you watch and see how many people asked for Charlie and Steve back!

    Thirdly, I'm sure that there are a lot of factors that aren't appropriate for public discussion, regarding contracts and the like - but even if the BBC can't get Team Ryder Moody Mamola for '09, I can't stress how much it would benefit the coverage to work as hard as possible to get them for as soon as possible in the future.

    Finally, if we can't have them for raceday coverage - any chance we could have them for qualifying, see how they compare...? :)

  • Comment number 82.

    Roger, please don't give into the Eurosport 'public school boy' club who (think) that they've had too much of a good thing on the other side.

    The BBC coverage is of a very high standard and long may it continue. It's the same old story on these boards - those who complain the loudest are often in the minority, and that is most certainly the case here.

    To those who have been left in the lurch by Dorna (YES, DORNA not the BBC), think yourselves lucky the BBC have decided to improve their coverage for this season. The BBC product was good enough before for over 1 million viewers, but they are extending coverage this season to try to keep you lot happy and it gets thrown back in their face.

    Complaints should be directed at Dorna for pulling the plug on Eurosport. More than a million people have been very happy with the BBC for a number of years, and that puts the 200,000 ex-Eurosport brigade in a minority.

  • Comment number 83.

    Dear goldMarkL1,

    I resent your prejudice against public school boys. Given the BBC's present stance on comments about "minorities", I'm surprised the moderator allowed your post !!!

    I would agree the BBC coverage is technically excellent; it's the non-picture part of the equation that causes the controversy. If Eurosport still had UK broadcasting rights there would be no complaints here about the BBC coverage.

    In posts #14 and #61 I asked the direct question "Did the BBC insist on exclusivity in their new contract with Dorna?" Roger Mosey has had two opportunities to answer this question, he has chosen not to on both occasions.

    Gary M in #68 seems to have the true answer.

    I rest my case.

  • Comment number 84.

    So the BBC have kept Steve and Charlie...

    'Well that shot the fox!'

    Haha! I love Parish and Coxy so I'm eager for the new season to start.

    I can't wait for the 606 boards to get flooded with tears again either...


  • Comment number 85.

    I still dont beleive you will provide as good a coverage as Eurosport did.
    You will drop MotoGP at the slightest hint of a reson such a tennis .
    We will get a second rate coverage, Steve Parish maybe an ex 500cc racer but Randy Mamola wa a 500cc GP winner.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    Roger, I said that you have merely muted the debate on F1.
    Us F1 Fnas are resigned to having Jonathan Leagrd and I feel what these MotoGP fans feel.
    Eurosport set the bar high, I watched the eurosport coverage of the Red Bull US Grand Prix at Indy and when the BBC decided to cut away from the coverage on its website...eurosport kept with it, as the 3 commentators mumbed on about anything that came into their brain.
    I also agree with the person who said eurosports motogp website has been updated very good despite losing the rights...look at ITV, they have kept their F1 page up despite losing the rights (as F1 websites can make a few quid for ITV).
    But the BBC's is stuck in its horrible generic look, isnt it time that the BBC allowed parts of the website to take different looks and be updated regulary...the F1 and MotoGP pages are appauling...I mean the BBC dont have Cricket yet still update it...double standards by the Beeb eh Mr Mosey?

  • Comment number 88.

    A quick reply to RacingRatBoy in #83: no, we didn't "demand" anything. And it should be obvious that we work with a number of other broadcasters: ITV on World Cups, Sky on Football League, Eurosport on snooker, Setanta on Six Nations highlights - and many similar examples.

    Thanks for all the other comments. Some interesting thoughts...

  • Comment number 89.

    I would just like to say that as somebody who doesn't claim to have any specialist knowledge of Motorcyling or MotoGP, I welcome the BBC commentary team.

    I never used to watch MotoGP on Channel 5 or Eurosport but really got into it when it came over to the BBC. Eurosport I suspect appeals to the more avid bike fan, whereas the BBC appeals to the masses. If races are going to be on BBC 1 this year, they are going to have to appeal to an audience of non-bike fans as well.

    As for the team:

    Suzi Perry has great knowledge of the sport having worked on the World Superbikes for Sky.

    Matt Roberts does a great job as reporter and hasn't done too badly standing in for Suzi as main presenter.

    Steve and Charlie are great together as a team. Steve has great knowledge of the sport and whilst Charlie may be more of a 4-wheeled expert, he more than makes up for this in enthusiasm and excitement.

    It seems the BBC can never get it right. They get complaints when they lose rights and now complaints for keeping rights. Dorna made the decision for goodness sake not the BBC!!

  • Comment number 90.

    RacingRatBoy in #83: Double standards in your comments, I feel.

    You talk about prejudice against Eurosport from my side, but what about the prejudice here against the BBC team who have produced a very high quality product for many years? Which leads me on to your other point...

    You say that "If Eurosport still had UK broadcasting rights there would be no complaints here about the BBC coverage." - Exactly, so direct your anger towards Dorna as it was they who didn't renew the Eurosport deal.

    A lot of people have no issue whatsoever with the BBC coverage. They have enjoyed it immensely and there have been no complaints. Either you continue to enjoy MotoGP via the BBC and enjoy the show with the rest of us, or use the off button on your remote. It's a simple enough choice.

  • Comment number 91.

    just had a idea chaps what if we got Moody/Ryder/Mamola on the radio for bbc then we could just mute the TV and listen to radio would work for me.

  • Comment number 92.

    Dear goldMarkL1,

    I feel your comments are a rather brutal analysis of my post but I fear you are largely correct.

    Thanks to Roger for clarifying the BBC's position regarding exclusivity of UK broadcasting rights with Dorna, as it does redirect the direction of my complaints. You may be interested to know I have sent correspondence to Dorna re the dropping of Eurosport but as yet I have had no reply.

    Ten years ago I stopped watching F1 as it had just become too dreary. In the last couple of seasons 250cc and to a lesser extent MotoGP have become quite processional and if it were not for the Eurosport commentary team I fear I might well have switched off. As anotherbob notes in #13 the Eurosport team were very much the bike racing equivalent of Test Match Special and as such the quality of the racing product was less important.

    WSB / WSS in contrast has produced very close racing for a number of seasons and in 2009 there will also be a high level of UK rider participation. WSB has an excellent Eurosport commentary team (Whitham/Barnacle) who may switch exclusively to BSB coverage in 2009 to allow Moody and Ryder to move from MotoGP commentary. All this means I will still be well provided for WSB and BSB coverage in 2009.

    My fear is that if MotoGP racing is poor in 2009, I simply will switch off, as the BBC team are not capable of holding my interest if the racing product is unexciting. I have long regarded MotoGP as the pinnacle of the sport and I am sad that the quality of the product may not be good enough to maintain this position in 2009.

    I will however desist from bombast against the Beeb. Dorna gave us an exclusive UK broadcaster and this unquestionably will have a detrimental impact on former Eurosport viewers and reduce the level of coverage to which they were accustomed. I cannot see how this decision was in the best interests of MotoGP.

  • Comment number 93.

    Here are my observations re the BBC and Motorsport in General.

    Firstly Eurosport's MotoGP coverage always seems to be favoured over that of the BBC because it seemed to be more in tune with fans view of the sport, and apart from being informative had a lighter amusing side to it. Dare I say it the BBC's commentary seems clinical by comparison although I do like suzi Perry !!

    BBC Motorsport Website - well the world revolves around F1 / MotoGP / BSB / Rally with the odd comment devoted to Sportcars / Dakar Rally / Speedway...what about World Motocross (we have several good riders) I remember when the BBC used to cover Motorcycle Scrambles regularly nothing now at all, NASCAR, Indy, even the BTCC gets little or no attention...please don't be so blinkered, please cover some of these other motorsports it would take that much time.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    Some preferred Eurosport to the BBC. Fair enough. But to suggest that the BBC should sack their own commentators and employ the Eurosport commentators instead is selfish and unrealistic. As Roger and Belinda have made clear, they are not going to abandon a successful formula to placate displaced Eurosport fans. If you're so disgruntled subscribe to motogp's website. Dorna obviously have their own rights strategy, that may not be Eurosport's fault but it isn't the BBC's either.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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