News round-up: Roberts joins Eurosport; Sky extend Speedway deal

There’s a few bits of news this week that are not worth covering as individual articles but are worth noting anyway, so I’ve bundled the bits into one post for future reference.

The main piece of news is that Matt Roberts is joining British Eurosport as their World Superbikes and British Superbikes presenter. Personally I’m very happy to see Roberts get the role, he was a fine presenter presenting MotoGP on the BBC. What the announcement does mean is that he is eliminated from the running for a place on BT Sport’s MotoGP team. Keith Huewen appears nailed on for a role, presumably commentator alongside Julian Ryder, but outside of that it is anyone’s guess. Azi Farni has gone quiet on Twitter lately which makes me wonder if she is part of the team. I’m not too familiar with the two wheels broadcasting picture outside of MotoGP so there are probably more obvious picks which are not obvious to me at this moment in time!

Sky Sports have renewed their Elite League Speedway contract for five years, alongside five other contracts. This is important for speedway to thrive in the country as there was the possibility that Sky could have decided to dispose of this contract, as they did with the Speedway Grand Prix championship before last season. Viewing figures tend to be around 100,000 to 200,000, nothing spectacular but enough for Sky to keep it. There is also the BT factor in all of these contracts, Sky wanted to get these wrapped up early to prevent BT Sport snapping any up.

Talking of BT, and I’ll have more on this at the weekend, the ratings for their live coverage of the World Rally Championship were solid if unspectacular. It is a good starting block, especially when considering that more motor sport fans are liking to subscribe to BT for MotoGP in the forthcoming months (team still TBC for anyone wondering). I haven’t looked in detail at ITV4’s World Rally Championship ratings yet, but the coverage appears to have done better than the majority of 2013, which is a positive sign going forward.


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