|Following an agreement between FIM Speedway global promoter Discovery Sports Events (the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned event management division) and RTVS, all 10 of this year’s Speedway GP rounds will be broadcasted live on the Eurosport App and, for the very first time, on free-to-air television in Slovakia as Martin Vaculik bids to become the nation’s first-ever Speedway GP world champion.|
Vaculik believes bringing live FIM Speedway Grand Prix coverage to Slovakian national broadcaster RTVS in 2023 is “the best promotion for speedway we can have” in his homeland.
The Zarnovica-born star has put his country on the world speedway map since winning the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow on his World Championship debut on June 23, 2012.
The world No.9 is now a five-time Speedway GP winner after topping the podium in Czech capital Prague on May 28, 2022, and again at the final round of last year in Polish city Torun on October 1.
While Vaculik is well known as one of the top riders in the speedway world, he has often been accustomed to actress wife Kristina Turjanova – star of stage and screen in Slovakia – enjoying much of the spotlight in their home country. She featured in Búrlivé Víno from 2012 to 2017 and has appeared in a host of other TV shows and theatre productions.
Now 32-year-old Vaculik can’t wait to star in his own television series in 2023. “It’s my turn with the Speedway GP series!” he joked.
Vaculik is elated to see RTVS bring Speedway GP to a national prime-time audience. The Bratislava-based ace added: “What great news for us – for the fans in my country and myself as well. Showing Speedway GP on public TV is the best way to show a sport to as many people as possible.
“RTVS can be watched by everybody in my country, and I mean everybody. This is great and they will be showing all the meetings in prime time and at the weekend. It’s the best promotion for speedway we can have.
“Year after year, speedway is marketed better in my country. Slowly, my dream is coming true, and the discipline is becoming better known in Slovakia. This was always my goal, and I am very happy.
“The best promotion I can do for the sport is through my results. I will want to show my best in the Speedway GP series. I don’t have any pressure. I am just happy because now everybody can watch these meetings for free.
“My family, my friends and all the people closest to me will be able to follow the racing, but also everybody in Slovakia. Many people have asked for this and not only in my home city Zarnovica – everywhere in the country. I really hope for some good results, and I hope that with some good results, we will find even more fans for this sport.”
FIM Speedway championships director Laura Manciet is also pleased to bring Speedway GP to the people of Slovakia live and free-to-air.
She said: “A key part of Discovery Sports Events’ vision for the sport was taking FIM Speedway to new markets. While Martin has featured regularly in the Speedway GP series since 2012, this is the very first time his home fans have been able to watch him in action live on national television in Slovakia.
“We are delighted to join forces with RTVS to make this possible and I hope live Speedway GP coverage will become a key part of every Slovakian sport fan’s Saturday evening.
“Martin makes no secret of his ambition to become world champion one day, and with even more fans in Slovakia cheering him on now, he has even more of an incentive to achieve this dream.”
Coverage of FIM Speedway GP continues to be available on the Eurosport App, which also features Qualifying Practice coverage, while other innovative features can be found on the FIM Speedway GP official app including live data such as rider heartbeat.
Fans will also be able to watch a 45-minute highlights show after every round on Eurosport 1, available in 53 countries in Europe – including Slovakia – and 12 countries in Asia.
The FIM Speedway World Cup Race Off and Final will also be live Eurosport channels.
The Speedway GP season gets underway in less than a month with the FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec launching the season on Saturday, April 29.
FULL 2023 SPEEDWAY GP CALENDAR:
April 29: FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Donji Kraljevec
May 13: Orlen FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Warsaw
June 3: FIM Speedway GP of Czech Republic – Prague
June 10: FIM Speedway GP of Germany – Teterow
June 24: FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Gorzow
July 15: FIM Speedway GP of Sweden – Malilla
August 12: FIM Speedway GP of Latvia – Riga
September 2: FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff
September 16: FIM Speedway GP of Denmark – Vojens
September 30: FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun