News 19 Jun 2021

Pro Motocross broadcast plans for Australia suffer delays

NBC yet to lock in a solution to have American series aired locally.

Image: Octopi Media.

Plans to have Lucas Oil Pro Motocross broadcast in Australia have been delayed in the lead-up to High Point tomorrow as rights-holder NBCUniversal continues to work on a solution.

MotoOnline recently revealed that series promoter MX Sports Pro Racing has been pushing NBC management to strike an arrangement that would see the US series aired locally.

In recent seasons viewers have had to figure out somewhat complicated workarounds in order to watch rounds live or delayed, which has largely led to many giving up on following the championship altogether. Now, RedBud is the new target for the series to return to Australian screens.

Indications are that it will be the new Stan Sport streaming platform that will secure Pro Motocross rights in Australia due to an existing partnership between NBC – including Peacock – and Nine Entertainment Co, which owns Stan.

According to information provided by an NBC representative and relayed by MX Sports president Davey Coombs this week, it’s the tie-in with entertainment programs that have led to this latest delay. A resolution is still currently being sought.

If the deal between NBC and Nine Entertainment Co. does materialise as anticipated, there is the chance that the series will also be televised on free-to-air within Australia on one of Nine’s channels, albeit most likely delayed in order to boost Stan Sport subscriptions.

MX Sports is continuing to apply pressure to NBC in finding a home for Pro Motocross in Australia, eager to capitalise on the rise of Jett and Hunter Lawrence while also hoping to deliver for the large amount of upset fans who have been vocal on social media in a bid to have the sport shown here.

Stan Sport was launched at the beginning of this year and is currently led by Super Rugby coverage alongside the Wimbledon and Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournaments.

The addition of Pro Motocross would be significant for the sport on what is recognised as a mainstream platform, while also being a large coup for Stan Sport in attracting people from within the youthful dirt bike demographic.

Outside of Stan Sport, the only other notable sports-specific streaming service in Australia is Kayo under the ownership of Foxtel. Pro Motocross was previously shown on ESPN prior to curiously being dropped in 2019 and it appears unlikely that will be mended at this moment.