June 21, 2024
MotoGP must take a TV gamble in 2023 to save itself

MotoGP will be extremely different in just one major part in 2023 as it switches to a two-race weekend format for the first time at any time with the introduction of dash races at each single grand prix.

It is a divisive selection, but it is been manufactured to attempt to address the very serious challenge of falling viewer numbers.

Presented that, to actually make suitable use of this format change MotoGP requires to go above and further than. It wants to make the new 50 percent-length races free of charge to enjoy.

Including a further race to the schedule at just about every round is potentially not a stunning strategy, and though it is a thing of a sticking plaster on a bullet wound it does have the prospective to reverse the key viewership situation promoter Dorna is going through, if it is used properly.


It’s no solution that MotoGP is hurtling in direction of a disaster. Group attendance figures at some of the series’ most storied tracks in 2022 ended up under fifty percent what they applied to be. Spectator figures plummeted on both of those race working day and across the weekend at the likes of Mugello, Silverstone and Misano.

Tv audience figures are in the similar difficulty, with regular fork out to perspective channels shedding subscribers at an alarming amount and no new enthusiasts coming alongside to substitute them.

MotoGP’s British Grand Prix, for instance (which did air on absolutely free to watch ITV but with little marketing beforehand), had tens of countless numbers much less viewers than the earlier weekend’s British Superbike round.

Sprint races will with any luck , resolve some of people woes by giving a lot more value to all those taking into consideration attending the races. Two leading course races in its place of one, a Saturday line-up that – with qualifying in the morning too – should really be a amazing working day of viewing, and Sunday nevertheless having the main function adds up to a far far more interesting proposition for followers at the monitor.

But here’s the matter about finding men and women to attend races: no just one is likely to fork out hundreds of lbs . to arrive together and watch until they’re presently a enthusiast. And the actual challenge that MotoGP is facing ideal now, greater than anything else, is turning uninterested persons into new enthusiasts.

That is where the dash races come in. They are at the moment an added reward to any Tv contracts that Dorna has signed. It shouldn’t be that challenging to persuade broadcasters that it’s in their have finest passions to give up a little slice of the pie in return for what could be a really welcome boost to their personal audiences in the medium to prolonged term. Certain, corporate greed is a highly effective pressure, but you’d like to consider that any business savvy govt could see the composing on the wall at the moment.

With legal rights re-secured (not region but area, but wholesale across the world), Dorna need to then give away the dash races on just about every one platform it can access. We’re not conversing on its have website, locked guiding a ‘you have to sign up to continue’ box, or even on conventional streaming platforms like YouTube or Facebook.

As an alternative, commit thoroughly to going after the type of new, young admirers that Formula 1 has so properly lured in with its groundbreaking Netflix documentary Drive to Endure. Broadcast the sprints on Twitch, TikTok, Instagram. Permit streamers to host their own feeds, capitalising on a huge audience which is by now there.

Of study course, it is a system that could backfire – a single that has two probable pitfalls.

For starters, there’s the chance of Saturday’s races starting to be infected with the decay that has currently impacted Sunday’s primary celebration in new seasons: boring racing.


With the rise of trip top gadgets and aerodynamics although tyre growth has remained stagnant, we have noticed overloaded tyre force and a wariness to possibility more than stressing the front conclusion of the bicycle change what was once the greatest spectacle in racing into some thing noticeably a lot more processional. Only banning entrance trip-top gadgets isn’t likely to remedy that for 2023 either.

Poor racing is an challenge that won’t be tackled by dash races by itself. If we conclude up with not a person but two boring races a weekend, no a person is a winner.

Alternatively, the 2nd dilemma only will come into engage in if Saturday’s shorter races, where riders don’t have to treatment about tyre usage or entrance temperature or fuel effectiveness the identical way they do on Sunday, transform out to be the frenetic and outrageous racing that quite a few hope they will be. Then will the sprints be sufficient to give persons (with shorter interest spans than ever) their deal with of racing for the weekend and conclude up detracting from the – potentially a lot less enjoyable – grands prix?

Only time will explain to with both troubles – but by then it might be also small as well late if viewer quantities carry on to tumble.

Proper now, there is a golden opportunity on the desk to acquire in excess of some model new enthusiasts, ones not opposed to sprint races for what ever purpose. It is way too excellent a probability not to get.