- 2022 season is the first that will be promoted by Discovery Sports Events
- Promoter aims to raise profile of events and support junior riders
- Race format to also receive overhaul from 2022
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and Discovery Sports Events have revealed that they will combine all of the motorsport’s series under a new Speedway Grand Prix (SGP) brand as part of their plan to develop the series across the next decade.
The 2022 season will mark Discovery Sports Events' first as FIM Speedway's new promoter after an agreement was struck in 2020. As part of this, the organisation has unveiled a new brand identity to unify the various championship series from grassroots level upwards.
Starting in 2022, all FIM Speedway series will be combined under a new Speedway Grand Prix (SGP) brand. This will cover Speedway U21 World Championship (SGP2), Speedway U16 World Championship (SGP3) and the new entry-level series SGP4.
This new branding is part of Discovery Sports Events’ goal to grow the motorsport across the next ten years. The strategy also includes improving the series' narrative, raising the profile of riders, improving digital and broadcast distribution, extending the fan experience both in-person and virtually, expanding the locations the championship visits by adding more races in more locations, as well as supporting junior riders.
The newly branded SGP will see its calendar also receive an overhaul in 2022. The new season will feature 12 rounds of the elite competition taking place across two continents from April to November, with 15 permanent riders and one 'wildcard' rider at each race.
In addition, 20 heats, two semi-finals and one final event will run across a single day to improve fan engagement.
"After 20 months of preparations, we are excited to start our promoter journey as part of Discovery Sports Events’ new long-term partnership with FIM," said Francois Ribeiro, head of the US-based media giant’s events division.
"Speedway has great foundations, a super fanbase and we see significant growth potential. We won’t change anything to the nature of the sport. Speedway will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2023, but it is incredibly modern in its format: compact, spectacular, 100 per cent in-stadium, Saturday evening primetime, something quite unique in motorsport to engage with fans.
"For the first time in its history, speedway at all levels will have a single international promoter, from grassroots-level up to pro-level. As Dorna [MotoGP's promoter] and FIM have done remarkably well to build Moto 2 and Moto 3 as the MotoGP feeder, we will bring SGP2 and SGP3 junior championships to the SGP platform to train the best young riders and build a ladder for them up to the professional level.
“Discovery Sports Events will benefit from the truly global scale of Discovery Sports to grow speedway’s global audience across Discovery+, which will become our premium home of Speedway destination for fans, but also for Eurosport and domestic free-to-air channels owned by Discovery in key Speedway markets such as the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Germany.
"It is our ambition to grow the sport further and multiply the current SGP global viewership by five times within the next three years."