MotoGP continues on Fox Sports Brasil despite concern over ‘missed payments’

The Brazilian arm of Fox Sports will continue to broadcast races from this season’s MotoGP despite concern in Brazil over missed payments by its partner in the deal.

Rio Motorsports, a Rio de Janeiro-based business leading the construction of a race track to host MotoGP races, defaulted on its rights payments to rights-holder Dorna Sports, according to the Grande Prêmio motor sports website. Rio Motorsports was said to be looking to renegotiate its contract due to calendar alterations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following doubts over whether Fox Sports would continue its coverage when the MotoGP season continues with the San Marino GP from September 11 to 13, the broadcaster has confirmed that it will continue its coverage until at least the end of the season, reports UOL.

Fox Sports parent company Disney was reported to be ‘surprised’ that Rio Motorsports had defaulted on payments, but the commercial issues between the two parties are now thought to have been resolved.

Fox Sports acquired MotoGP rights in Brazil earlier this year in a deal with Rio Motorsports. The deal also included rights to Moto2, Moto3 and the Moto E series. The pair took over from Brazilian Globosat-owned pay-television broadcaster SporTV.

Dorna confirmed in October 2019 that it will host annual races in Rio for a five-year period from 2022. Its return to Brazil will mark the end of an 18-year stint away from Brazil with the rights-holder last holding a race in the nation in 2004.