MotoGP TV Ratings Continue to Drop Without Rossi

06/28/2010 @ 5:59 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

TV ratings for the Dutch TT at Assen are in for the Italian TV market (one of the largest markets for MotoGP), and once again they show a decline in MotoGP’s allure without Valentino Rossi. With 2,579,000 viewers, making up 16.79% of the total television audience, MotoGP in Holland attracted only half the audience from last year’s event (5,249,000 viewers, 31.69% of the total television audience). With a similar trend in 125GP and Moto2, some in the Italian press are calling for Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta’s resignation, as these ratings are surely a sign of the sport’s demise.

However, a couple factors are unanswered in these reports, which could suggest an alternative and more likely scenario. While the viewership declines are statistically significant enough to give weight to them, they are admitted coming mostly from the Italian market.

While Valentino Rossi’s fan appeal spans the globe, Italian soil is clearly the largest domain the Italian rider holds sway over. The rider’s absense is surely to hit the Italian television market the hardest, and could explain at least a skewing in the results as they are applied to other markets.

But isn’t there a simpler explanation? Looking at the other notable events of the weekend, the knock-out round of the World Cup stands out glaringly. After watching the World Cup in Italy four years ago, we can attest to the fact that little else exists in the Mediterranean country while the event is underway.

If we borrow a maxim from Sherlock Holmes, often the simplest explanation is the cause of problems. Before the pitchforks get sharpened for Ezpeleta, we would like to see TV ratings after the Cup’s conclusion on July 11th. With that date in mind, the German GP could be an adequate perspective on life in MotoGP with Rossi, and give us a truer assessment into the state of MotoGP.


  • CBR600RR 09

    Fantastic hypothesis and I whole heartedly concur! Once Rossi is back, BOOM ratings will soar again.

  • GeddyT

    Luckily, nobody missed anything. That was one of the most boring races I’ve ever seen. MotoGP has been very hit or miss this year. Either the race is amazing, or a total dud. Even most of the amazing racing has happened behind the clear winner.

    And 14 bike grids are just embarrassing…

  • Dr. Gellar

    Yeah…, as GeddyT says, the fact that there are only 15 or so bikes on the grid can’t be helping ratings either. Geeez…there is only half a grid out there lining up for MotoGP!! Sad….

  • Rob

    Rossi being out definitely isn’t helping ratings, but the racing in general has been rather lackluster. WSBK on this weekend, on the other hand, was AWESOME.