Date: 5th May 2011 at 11:13am
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Eddie Jordan who was previously a F1 team owner and now works for the BBC as a Formula One pundit, believes there are just too many hurdles for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to takeover the sport.

A number of changes would have to be made to the up-for-review Concorde Agreement by all the Formula One teams to enable a fully blown takeover to even be considered by current owner CVC Capital Partners.

One of the issues would be Italian investment firm Exor’s links to Ferrari. Under the current agreement a company is not allowed to have a financial interest in both the sport and a team for obvious competition issues that such a conflict could bring.

Exor’s potential involvement with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation over a potential takeover would cause questions in this area.

Another area would be the sports television broadcasting rights, with a potential change from the current plan that F1 should be on free-to-air television.

‘If News Corp can find a way around that (free-to-air debate), then possibly I’ll take this more seriously.’ Eddie Jordan told the BBC.

But not only is there the argument over pay-tv, but also the knock on affect that would have on sponsorship deals for the teams.

If Formula One was to move into an exclusive deal with a subscription sports channel such as Sky Sports, then the sports audience reach would be instantly reduced in a country where F1 is no longer free-to-air, this then causes problems for sponsors who want to see their product advertised to larger television audiences.

If Formula One is watched in a regular basis by far fewer people, then the demand on sponsorship declines and the money that teams can earn declines with it.

Jordan added: ‘If I was a team [boss], then I’d be looking to see where the revenues are coming from. The public and sponsors want the maximum number of people watching the race.

‘There is not a commercial operation in F1 at this moment who can disregard the numbers of viewers, because that’s what triggers the costs and also the income.’


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