Starting October 1, 2021, your favorite motorsports channels may no longer be on air. And if those channels are gone, so too is the premiere motorcycle sports championship, MotoGP.
This will definitely be an issue if you watch MotoGP on Fox Sports on cable, whether on Sky Cable or Cignal.
This is after The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of Fox Sports Asia since 2019, announced that it will shut down all Fox Sports Asia channels in October.
“As part of The Walt Disney Company’s global effort to pivot towards a direct-to-consumer-first model and further grow our streaming services, the company is consolidating its Media Networks business primarily in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong,” said Disney in a statement.
The media giant added that, “effective 1 October 2021, Disney will operate a streamlined television portfolio that covers Chinese language channels (Star Chinese Channel; Star Chinese Movies) and Factual Entertainment (National Geographic Channel; Nat Geo WILD). These efforts will help us align our resources more efficiently and effectively to current and future business needs.”
In a nutshell, Disney will focus on strengthening its streaming media channels, like Disney+ (global) and ESPN+ (US only).
For now, it is not clear if sports events on Disney-owned sports channels will be streamed.
If you're thinking of subscribing to Disney+ or ESPN+ streaming, they're currently not available in the Philippines yet.
The house of the mouse has yet to clarify what happens to its MotoGP broadcast rights. Unfortunately, when it comes to our part of the world (Southeast Asia), they're the exclusive rights holder for it.
Let's just hope Disney and our local cable providers will be able to figure out a solution.