Pedro Acosta It is the great sensation of motorcycling. Moto3 World Champion and currently second classified in Moto2, the Murcian appears as the great figure of the national grid. Not only because of his great performances on the track. His attitude and naturalness outside of her have made him like one of the most media pilots for the fan. And with that frankness he has referred to one of the issues surrounding sport in recent times.
Pay TV is already a reality. Not just on motorcycles. Football, Formula 1, basketball or tennis have also opted for it for a few years. A business model that generally has a positive impact on the teams, obtaining a greater economic benefit from these agreements, but which has affected television consumption. As is logical, an open event has a much greater following than content that can only be accessed as a subscriber. And that affects other aspects, such as the repercussion of the competitions and the pilots themselves (which also entails a difficulty in finding sponsors).
Acosta has referred to it as an inconvenience in an interview with speed week. “We have a problem: people in many countries have to pay to watch the races on TV. This is not good“, it states. In Spain, some open tests have been seen in recent years, although only occasionally (the rights first belonged to Movistar and now to DAZN). “How are we going to make people aware of MotoGP today if we don’t give everyone the opportunity to see it?” the Spaniard wonders.
The last year that the entire motorcycling season could be seen in the open was in 2016. And the Murcian remembers it as something positive. “When he was little, in all the restaurants, at lunchtime, you could see the races in the open. You may not like or care about them, but you always saw them. So you knew who Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi or even Cal Crutchlow was.”
Acosta is aware that the organization is working to recover the fans. “I understand a fan zone and the ‘Hero Walk’. I understand that Dorna wants to make the sport more attractive to young people.” But he does not consider that it is enough and is pessimistic about the future of motorcycling. “In a family with two children, if the mother does not work and only the father does, the first thing they are going to do is cut pay TV channels, Netflix and those platforms. I think hard times are coming“, it states.
Regarding the comparison with Formula 1, also paid, but with more jerk in Spain than motorcycles, the Murcian rider is clear about the reason. “Two years ago hardly anyone watched Formula 1, before Alonso’s return. It’s like if Rossi came back now, it would be a boom”, he comments. The appearance of a figure as mediatic as that of the Asturian was the great solution. And in MotoGP something similar would have to happen, like the resurgence of Marc Márquez or who knows if Acosta’s appearance in the premier class.