Dorna Sports catches frequent scorn from fans for patrolling YouTube for any MotoGP footage, demanding its immediate removal. Critics and fans claim the viral spread of these clips offer free global promotion of the sport.
But Dorna counters that it must protect global TV networks that pay millions for exclusive broadcast rights. And Dorna also must safeguard its premium pay video service at motogp.com, which is robust and slickly produced. America remains one of the most lucrative markets for that service due to the paucity of TV coverage of MotoGP on U.S. television.
Dorna knows video. Dorna also knows it has a supernova who could transcend the sport around the globe - much like Valentino Rossi 13 years ago - in its impish new champion, Marc Marquez.
So it makes perfect sense that Dorna is preparing to release a full-length documentary reviewing Marquez's spectacular first season in the premier class. The 82-minute documentary, titled "#Rookie93MarcMarquez - Beyond the Smile," will be available digitally on iTunes in many European countries, the United States, Canada and Australia in the upcoming weeks. It will be released on home video in the UK and Germany. A shorter version will be televised Dec. 15 on Spanish TV.
This is a cash grab by Dorna. It's also smart business, promoting an incredibly charismatic, likeable young champion who is set to be the face of the sport for the next 10 years.
But Dorna should be even more aggressive to use this film to promote Marquez and the sport. It should dip a ladle into its pot of riches and buy time on FOX or FOX Sports 1 - its American broadcast partners - to televise this program during a prime weekend afternoon slot shortly before the 2014 season starts in March.
Dorna also should aim for inclusion of this film on Netflix, which quickly is replacing DVDs as the primary form of Americans to watch movies. Millions of American teens and 20-somethings watch Netflix on their Xbox and PlayStation video game consoles, uncorking another potential lucrative, long-term fan base for the sport.