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F1’s 2021 Bahrain launch makes history as MotoGP announces new Amazon documentary series


Amazon has partnered with MotoGP to create a new behind-the-scenes documentary about the premier motorcycle racing series. This new documentary series is set to follow in the footsteps of Netflix’s hugely successful ‘Drive to Survive,’ which starred Formula One drivers and teams. The brains behind this operation will be Mediapro, a well-known Spanish media group, which will produce the series with their own content team.  They’ve already hit the ground running, as shooting for the 2021 season has already begun in Qatar.

To increase the likelihood of this documentary’s success, it will be modelled after ‘Drive to Survive.’ Each episode will focus on a different driver, based on the concept of choosing popular features of the Formula One series. As we wait for a release date for MotoGP’s first big documentary since 2015’s Hitting the Apex, fans’ excitement rises.

Making History

The Netflix series was a success, according to Ross Brawn, managing director of Formula One. According to Forbes, with 5.1 million viewers in the UK alone, they saw a massive rise in fan engagement. The company’s decision to establish an esports series was also related to the success of Formula One. This growing audience of Formula One has prompted MotoGP to create their own documentary as they aim for a similar rise in viewership.

When it comes to Formula One’s popularity, it doesn’t end with their Netflix exclusive. The Bahrain Grand Prix this year, has set new viewership records for Sky Sports. According to the Broadcasters Audience Research Board, Sky had an impressive 2.23 million viewers. A total of 1.98 million people tuned in to watch Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen compete for first place. The race attracted one million viewers near the end as Hamilton held off Verstappen to win by just 0.7 seconds. These numbers are a major increase over the 1.39 million viewers who watched the Bahrain Grand Prix last year. The Grand Prix qualifying session made history as well, with 1.14 million spectators on the edge of their seats.

Sky Sports continued to broadcast live streams of the race’s first lap on social media. Sky received a total of 17.4 thousand views as a result of this streaming, with 9.3 thousand of those viewers watching live.

In the United States, the Bahrain Grand Prix was broadcast on ESPN2 and received an impressive total of 879,000 viewers. This was a big increase over last year, making the first race of 2021 ESPN2’s most-watched live Formula One broadcast. It’s still the race’s most-watched since its launch in 2004. This year’s race drew 72% more viewers on ESPN2 than the previous year’s race, which averaged 511,000 viewers.

More to come

This isn’t Amazon’s only project; they recently revealed a new behind-the-scenes documentary with Juventus. This is the third high-profile team to appear in Amazon’s All or Nothing series, following Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. This new documentary will follow the Italian league champions during the 2020-2021 season, and it will be available on Amazon Prime in more than 240 countries.

Amazon isn’t the only organisation making announcements; MotoGP recently announced a partnership with Zhibo.tv. As a result of this latest partnership, Dorna Sports, the commercial rights holder for MotoGP, has announced a five-year media rights deal with this Chinese sports streaming site.

While waiting for this latest documentary to be out, motorsport fans can look forward to the start of the 2021 MotoGP season on April 18th at the Algarve International Circuit. The 18th of April will be a busy day for motorsport enthusiasts, as it will also be the day of the next Formula One race in Imola, Italy.


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