Near the start of the 2013 AMA Pro Road Racing season, DMG had yet to announce a TV package for America’s premier motorcycle road racing series.
The issue was of great concern to riders and teams, who had made sponsorship commitments, with TV exposure being an integral piece of consideration involved in those contracts. Luckily at the last-minute, a TV package was announced, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Fast-forward to the 2013 Laguna Seca round, and it became apparent that not all of the AMA Pro Road Racing events would be on TV, namely the AMA’s stop at Laguna Seca, which was being held with the now Dorna-control Superbike World Championship. Again the news was a shock, and sent the AMA Pro Racing paddock into a fervor.
Thanfully again a remedy was found at the last minute — albeit, an imperfect one — with a free online live stream being offered to two-wheel racing fans.
Moving into the 2014 season, once again it was revealed that AMA Pro Road Racing would see a downgrade in its exposure levels, as no TV contract would be produced for the season. Instead, the 2014 races would be broadcast solely on the FansChoice.tv website for free.
Laguna Seca has once again proved to be the stickler though, as DMG announced this week that the only AMA round west of The Rockies would not even be shown on the company’s streaming website. The reactions are predictable.
AMA’s statement gives few details on the situation, simply saying that “AMA Pro Racing engaged in good faith negotiations with the event’s rights holder, but, ultimately, was unable to reach an agreement in the best interest of all parties involved.”
However, RoadRacing World however is reporting that the breakdown between DMG and Dorna came about because of AMA Pro Road Racing still owing money to Dorna for last year’s live streaming services.
You see, during the World Superbike and MotoGP event weekends, Dorna’s own video crew has exclusive access to the track, meaning that if the weekend’s support series want to be filmed, they must purchase the rights to access the video feed from Dorna.
With DMG having an outstanding balance, and Dorna unwilling to give anymore freebies, the result is that the AMA round at Laguna Seca, and the Harley-Davidson race at Indianapolis, will not be streamed online for enthusiasts.
This means, the only way to watch the AMA races at Laguna Seca and Indy is to be there in person. However, it’s not clear what this will mean for rider and team contracts, which were written with a full-season of live-streaming in mind — though it certainly won’t be a good result.
Meanwhile the conspiracy theories about a Dorna-run North American Championship continue to circle around the paddock, and we continue to ponder the age-old philosophical question about trees falling the in the woods, and people being around to hear them.
Source: AMA Pro Racing & RoadRacing World