It looks as if John Malone’s Liberty Media has made their first installment, kick starting their multi-billion-pound deal to buy CVC Partners’ controlling share in Formula 1 with the first 13% costing them 1 billion dollars.
The deal reputed to take at least 6 months to complete and will see Liberty Media take a third of CVC’s 35% stake of Delta Topco, parent company of F1. Rumours are the total cost will reach at least £6 billion.
Ecclestone has offered to ‘hang around’ to help with the transition but with the caveat “If I don’t like those noises, I will say adios.” , referring to Malone’s expected changes to the sport.
Malone’s desire is to make some pretty seismic moves to alter the monetary distribution of the profits, making it fairer for the teams. Whether he can undo the tangle of backroom deals made by Ecclestone over the decades remains to be seen.
Liberty are keen to also implement changes to the TV rights and their astronomical costs, again a tricky feat. The intention is to drive down circuit ticket prices and return racing to the European heartland. The most probable method to achieve this is to embrace a totally new model using new media such as internet streaming, the Americans already have extensive knowledge of this style of consumption.
So who might replace Mr E? Ecclestone had hinted that Toto Wolff could take over but the Mercedes boss ruled himself out
“I am of course flattered when a man whose been such a massive influence in Formula 1 for decades trusts me enough with the job. But I am wholeheartedly with Mercedes and will be staying.”
How likely is it the those backroom deals are on paper? And that someone would be willing to show, even in private?
The move to lower ticket cost and better distribution to teams would be great. The other issue for me is to stop reducing the races in Europe and lousing traditional venues. Bring back races at Paul Ricard, Imola and even Zandvoort since we have a Netherland driver. Bernie killed Fanvision and substitute with a smart phone app that requires Internet access which is very expensive if you are roaming.
Name a major sport any where in the world where ticket and TV access prices have gone down recently, or the last 5 years, or last 10 years……………
CVC still gets 65%?
And there will be more debts?
And Bernie’s to stay?
I’m not feeling happy about this.
So this bunch of media cowboys are going to take on the poisoned chalice and everyone is going to live happilty ever after? I dont see any of the current problems being addressed any time soon so I expect the decline in interest to contnue. However these guys must have done some sums so they will probaly be right and I will be wrong. It will be interesting to see what BCE does since he may prefer to get out with his legend intact!