Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Is Formula One For Sale?

Reports in the British press today have suggested that Rupert and James Murdoch's company News Corp could be looking to launch an audacious bid to purchase Formula One, along with Sauber sponsor Carlos Slim, one of the World's richest men.

Bernie Ecclestone has denied these rumours saying that he had not been approached by any of the men rumoured to be involved in the deal, although he knows them all personally.

The Concorde Agreement (the arrangement which includes the teams, the FIA and the owners of Formula One; CVC Partners) states that the sport should be shown on free-to-air TV "wherever possible" but this agreement expires at the end of 2012.

The BBC holds the rights to broadcast the sport in the UK, in a deal which lasts until the end of the 2013 season. However, if News Corp were to succeed in a takeover, it seems highly likely that the sport would be broadcast on Sky as the company owns a large stake in BSkyB.

Mr Ecclestone, however, claimed that a takeover of this nature was not feasible, telling the Times newspaper:

"We would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters"

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