Ecclestone: F1 sale reports ‘rubbish’

Posted: April 20, 2011 in News
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Ecclestone has not received any calls

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished reports that Rupert Murdoch is planning to takeover the sport.

According to Sky News, News Corp owner Murdoch has been in talks with Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim about trying to launch a bid.

Ecclestone told BBC Sport that he had not been approached by anyone about a deal.

“I know Rupert and [News Corp international boss] James Murdoch and Carlos Slim, and if they wanted to do anything they would contact me direct. And they haven’t,” he said.

“It’s rubbish. The sport is not for sale. And, anyway, we would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters.”
Formula 1 is currently owned by CVC partners and they have also claimed not to have had any contact with prospective buyers. Ecclestone runs the sport on CVC’s behalf.

Murdoch may decide to bid for the broadcasting rights instead when the BBC’s current contract expires in 2013.

It is not known whether the BBC will look to retain the rights, despite record ratings as they look to slash their budget. The current deal is estimated to be worth £40 million per year.

Formula 1 is not one of the protected sports events that must be screened on free-to-air television but it has never been on a subscription channel before.

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