News 17 May 2019

Pro Motocross television coverage unavailable through 2019 season

ESPN Australia unable to reach an agreement with US rights-holders.

Image: Supplied.

This year’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship won’t be televised locally after ESPN Australia and NBC Universal couldn’t reach an agreement ahead of the 2019 season, ESPN Australia has confirmed.

Australian fans have been accustomed to the high-profile American series being available via pay TV, however, ESPN Australia has confirmed it doesn’t have the rights this year. Nor will it be shown on Fox Sports.

“ESPN don’t have the rights to the series and that is because we couldn’t come to an agreement with NBC Universal, who hold the licensing rights to AMA motocross,” an ESPN Australia spokesperson told this week.

In addition to television coverage in the US, a more extensive streaming service – like in AMA Supercross – is offered online via an NBC Sports Gold Pass subscription, but it isn’t currently made available to the Australian market despite neither ESPN or Fox Sports holding the rights to Pro Motocross here. That access does extend to several European countries, the UK, Japan and Canada.

The news has created widespread frustration amongst the Australian fanbase in the lead-up to this weekend’s opening round at Hangtown, California, in which an assortment of top-level Australian riders will compete within. An attempt to gain clarification on the situation from Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship organiser, MX Sports Pro Racing, has been unsuccessful at this point.

Monster Energy Yamaha has signed triple Australian national champion Dean Ferris for the entire 12 rounds in the 450 Class, joining countryman Hunter Lawrence (Geico Honda) as he makes his transition from the world championship to the 250 Class in America. MX Nationals regulars Todd Waters and Wilson Todd – the reigning Australian MX2 champion – will also contest the opening portion of the series.