A few days before the start of the Moto GP season, Canal + presented its plan for 2022. After three years of broadcasts, Thomas Sénécal, head of motor sports and future sports director of the channel encrypted from from July 1, is delighted to have signed a new exclusive contract with Dorna, promoter of the championship, until 2029. Debate with GP-Inside the success of the Grand Prix on air, and the news that await viewers.
GP Inside: What is your assessment of the first three years of Moto GP broadcasting?
Thomas Senecal: “The broadcast of Moto GP was a wonderful surprise for Canal, and a confirmation for connoisseurs. It should be noted that we had all the ingredients to get good results: the arrival of Fabio Quartararo at Moto GP in 2019, the good performances of Johann Zarco, and an extraordinary show in each race with constant turns and overtaking, internationally renowned riders like Márquez or Rossi … We always have great stories to show and tell. We have also managed to establish excellent relationships with the available pilots, who always answer our questions with interesting analysis. »
“It is thanks to all these parameters that we have been able to double our audience in three years, as we are now at 850,000 spectators per GP on average, with impressive audience peaks like Qatar, broadcast in clear, where we reached the 1.5. millions of viewers! There are few sports disciplines capable of reaching these figures. And we know that our audience is made up of all ages, with an equally female audience, proof that this sport attracts the largest number. We strive to address everyone, both enthusiasts and neophytes. I think Canal is helping to give a new dimension to motorcycling, with riders like Fabio and Johann conveying an attractive image of authenticity. »
“Beyond the numbers and the results, it is also a great human adventure, thanks to the work done by our team in each race, and the collaboration with Dorna, who is always attentive to our needs and requests to offer the best possible issuance. Our system focuses on the race and its actors, and we always try to be as close as possible to the event. We try to offer a complete treatment of each Grand Prix on our antenna or on our networks, also taking into account the comments of our subscribers, often knowledgeable and demanding. »
“I have the feeling that in 2021 everything is well aligned between our performance, the show on the track and the results of our French drivers, with in particular the victories and the wonderful title of Fabio. Of course, we benefit from our F1 processing experience, which has saved us time to highlight the highlights. »
What are the changes for 2022?
TS: “The main change is the arrival of Laurent Rigal, who previously commented on the Moto 2 and Moto 3 categories, and will now be the voice of Moto GP alongside Randy De Puniet, following the departure of David Dumain. And so Antoine Arlot, a talented young journalist, will succeed Laurent in Moto 2 and Moto 3, always with Jules Danilo or Louis Rossi as consultants. The presentation will be given by Jules Deremble and sometimes Margaux Laffite who will strengthen the system, just as Régis Laconi will be present in two or three races in Europe. »
“In general, we will try to be even more in the life of the teams, for example with Tech3, to better understand the work and responsibilities of each person on the team. We want to try to be even more immersed in explaining how the teams work. We will also bring some technical innovations, for example occasionally using the ‘Fab cam’, which gives a feel of live cinema. We need to innovate. We also want to put even more motorcycling into our other programs to familiarize our subscribers with this discipline. »
What changes would you see in the future and what would you like to do that you can’t do today?
TS: “We are lucky in Canal not to ban anything! I know there are discussions to integrate radios between the pit wall and the pilots, I don’t know if it will be done in the future but we will be happy to integrate them live. And if not, I’d love to be there if Fabio Quartararo and Lewis Hamilton swap their mounts! More seriously, I think you have to try to cross these two universes sometimes. When Fabio came to F1 twice last year, in Monaco and Abu Dhabi, it was already an opportunity to have a good time with him, but above all I was fascinated by the admiration that F1 drivers had! »
“I like the principle of mixing heroes from different disciplines from time to time. This is what we did, for example, bringing together Esteban Ocon, Sébastien Ogier and Fabio in the same program, it was very good. Or allow Fabio to start the PSG-Nice match, it was a strong image and it is a way to take the bike to the Parc dels Princes! All these favorable elements, and the unanimous support of Canal and the subscribers, have therefore decided to extend our broadcasting contract until 2029. Therefore, understand that the bike is permanently installed on our antennas and n ‘I’m delighted. »
Photo credit: Canal +