Eddie Jordan: F1 bid difficult for News Corp
5 May 2011 – As Formula 1’s future takes centre stage this week, team owner turned television pundit Eddie Jordan has said that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation currently faces numerous obstacles in its quest to buy the sport’s commercial rights.
Owned by media giant Murdoch, News Corp’s bid has been put forward by son James and would involve the company forming a consortium with Italian investment group EXOR, which is headed by the same Agnelli family behind Fiat and Ferrari.
However, with Murdoch owning Sky but a current European law stating that F1 must be broadcast on free-to-air TV, Jordan foresees a number of issues – unless a pay-per-view alternative is put forward.
“Until that happens I feel this is just a little bit of posturing,” the Irishman told the BBC. “I'm still concerned as to how it can become effectual. The EU has been promised by Bernie Ecclestone (current commercial rights holder alongside CVC Capital Partners) in the past, and in the Concorde Agreement, that everything on TV would be free-to-air.
“If News Corp can find a way around that, then possibly I'll take this more seriously. (Also) there is no Concorde Agreement (document binding the teams, commercial rights holders and governing body the FIA) after 2012. That needs to be negotiated because you'd have to say (to) the future purchasers: what are they actually buying? What rights do they have?”