This could be an interesting negotiation. I can see why News Corp might want to buy the rights – exclusive sports rights have been very helpful in driving TV subscriptions in relation to soccer, for example.

I can also see why Exor could be interested in getting involved as, apart from any other financial benefits, it could provide a way for Ferrari to influence negotiations over commercial revenue splits from the circuit, which currently go through Bernie Eccleston’s F1 Management Company. Those rights are due to be renegotiated within 18 months.

As for CVC Capital Partners, like any VC they might just be looking for a profitable return, having held the rights for some 7 years.

Bernie Ecclestone himself might well have a different view as is suggested by his early comments dismissing rumours of a sale. His motivation is different; Formula 1 provides a major part of his purpose in life and he won’t be keen to let that go. Would he be in a position to stop it though?

Add in the extra ingredients of a possible competition law referral if a sale progresses and a looming German court case over a bribery allegation from the last sale in 2005 and this could be a fascinating negotiation to watch. There could be plenty of car crashes ahead…

Source articles here (Eurosport) and here (