Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The race for F1's $3.7bn revenue

For the past month Formula One's paddock has been abuzz with rumours that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media company would take over F1. Would it involve the sport switching to his pay-per-view television channels? Would F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone be sidelined? Would the teams and F1's governing body the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) agree to the deal? These are just a few of the questions which have been swirling around the sport but one particularly big one still remains unanswered: will News Corp ever actually make a bid?

Given the amount which has been written about News Corp's interest in F1 it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that the private equity firm CVC, the current owner of the sport, had already sold it to the media company. In fact, this couldn't be much further from the truth and all the signs suggest that News Corp will never make a bid.

The origin of the news about News Corp's interest in F1 is itself somewhat of a give-away that the media company's aim is not to make a bid. In April Sky News reported that News Corp has been in early stage talks with "people connected to at least one of F1's big car manufacturers" about collaborating on a prospective takeover of F1. However, it added that "there is a good chance that News Corp's deliberations and talks with outside partners will not ultimately lead to a bid."

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