Motors TV has today (Thursday 25th February) been removed from the Sky platform.
The reason, as of writing, is unknown but the channel disappeared from its channel 447 slot on the EPG at some point late this morning. Their Twitter has not yet commented on the situation, but Sky’s Help Team on the social networking website said that Motors TV are “no longer broadcasting on Sky”.
The removal from Sky follows the removal of the channel from Freeview via an aerial and YouView earlier this year, having been added in late 2014. Obviously it is concerning that the channel has been removed from two platforms in the space of two months. The main casualty of this, if contracts do not change, would be the World Endurance Championship who currently have some races broadcast exclusively live on the channel.
If we hear anything more about this, I will update this post…
Update on February 26th – Thanks to those of you on Twitter and elsewhere who have linked to this piece on the Endurance Info website. The article, written on February 15th, contains quotes from Jean-Luc Roy who is the president of Motors TV. Reading the article, it appears Roy is deeply unhappy with Motors TV’s treatment on French platforms on beyond. The crux of the argument is that Motors TV has found itself sliding down the EPG, meaning they get a smaller audience.
My suspicion, although as far as I can see Roy does not confirm this, is that Motors TV has to pay a flat rate fee to the likes of Sky, irrespective of whether it is channel 413 or 447 on their EPG. For Sky, it would have been “we want X” to extend the carriage agreement, Motors TV would have said no and walked away. And, at the end of the day, no one is really going to defect from Sky to Virgin Media to watch Motors TV, maybe a handful, if that. Similar situations have happened before, and successfully resolved. Back in 2007, Sky’s basic channels were taken off Virgin for nearly two years because of a carriage dispute, at the time it was a high-profile dispute between the two parties.
With the above in mind, Motors TV could return to Sky. Don’t know when, but never say never. We just don’t know. But this is a desperately sad situation that is driven by finances. Is Motors TV closer to the brink than any of us realise?
Update on February 27th – Per Daily Sports Car, a source close to the situation is hopeful that the channel will be reinstated in the next week, which is good news for everyone concerned.
Update on March 4th – Motors TV has returned to the Sky platform in the same EPG slot as previously. On their Twitter page, they did not explain the reason for the disappearance.