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F1 owners Liberty Media - and other big names - are vying to buy MotoGP rights holders Dorna

Gold & Goose

A number of huge well-known corporations - including F1 owners Liberty Media, Netflix and Amazon - are reportedly in discussion to acquire Dorna, the rights holders for the MotoGP World Championship.

According to Spanish business publication Expansion, Dorna’s current owners, asset fund management company Bridgepoint, have been approached about a possible sale by Liberty Media, which became the rights holders for F1 in 2017.

It isn’t the only big corporation that is understood to have raised the possibility of assuming ownership of the Spanish company, which has held the rights to MotoGP since 1991, with Amazon, Netflix, Disney, CVC and KKR also quoted by the report.


The scoop comes a few months after Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta confirmed there had been talk of a sale was in the air but shrugged off the implications of such a move, saying Dorna was ‘ready’ for whatever might occur.

The report goes on to stress that Dorna isn’t ‘on the market’ and Bridgepoint hasn’t put it up for sale. For now, Dorna is presently majority owned by the UK-based company Bridgepoint with 39%, with 38% of the company owned by a Canadian public fund. Dorna itself owns 20%.

The interest of Liberty Media, however, is of particular interest with its status as the world’s most valuable sports empire, according to Forbes. The company has thrived on the back of its purchase of F1 in 2017, revolutionising its approach to broadcasting, spectacle and global reach to prompt a boom in interest and viewership.

However, the interest of Netflix, Amazon and Disney also presents its own particular set of opportunities for MotoGP should they prove successful.

Though Amazon’s attempt to mirror Netflix’s wildly successful F1 docu-series ‘Drive to Survive’ with a MotoGP version was critically-panned, its global platform as an e-commerce firm could significantly change the way the sport is consumed. 

As an example, Amazon currently holds the rights to the ATP and WTA Tennis tours and presently offers every match to be viewed live through its streaming service, Prime.

Similarly, Netflix - which has sp far lost out in the clamour for live sport on its service - could see MotoGP put front and centre of any plans to broadcast the sport via its widely-held subscription service.

As it stands, MotoGP hasn’t been available to view live on free-to-air television in the UK since 2013 when it was shifted to pay-per-view BT Sport (now TNT Sports) in an unpopular move that greatly dented the series’ viewership in this country.

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