Mediaset, Telefónica to share MotoGP rights

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 06-02-2014

Dorna Sports, which owns the MotoGP broadcasting rights in Spain, has reached a distribution agreement with Telefónica and Mediaset. The telco will broadcast the whole championship live through its pay-TV platform, while Mediaset's Telecinco will broadcast half of the races live and free-to-air (FTA), while the other half will be pre-recorded.

Telefónica's Movistar TV continues to focus on sports programming after purchasing Roland Garros and making a deal with Atresmedia to share Formula One rights. The IPTV platform's growth is one of Telefónica's main goals for 2014, focusing on extending the service through the new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

With this agreement, Telecinco hasn't managed to retain the live broadcasting rights for the whole championship, as it has done previously. While nine races will be broadcast as the same time as on Movistar TV, the other ten will be recorded and aired later.

But both companies have stated their satisfaction with the deal, pointing to the different exploitation model based on sharing rights rather than exclusivity. The collaboration between FTA and pay-TV makes it possible for Telecinco to keep the rights (in spite of the high costs) while Movistar gains live programming.