Formula 1 secures TV rights deal for Middle East
20 December, 2013
Formula 1 has agreed a new TV deal that covers the Middle East, a boost for the sport after Sebastian Vettel’s domination led to criticism that it had become boring for viewers.
International media company MP & Silva has bought the rights in a six-year deal covering the Middle East and North Africa, starting from 2014. This will be the the first time that the company has been involved with Formula 1.
“The purpose of this agreement is to help grow interest in F1 throughout the Middle East and I am confident that MP & Silva can help us achieve that,” F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone said in a statement.
MP & Silva effectively acts as a middleman, guaranteeing Formula 1 a price for the rights which it can then sell on to broadcasters in the region.
The sport has retained a very strong appeal and Middle East, with interest fuelled by races in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, said Peter Hutton, chief operating officer with MP & Silva.
“We’ve taken a long term position with the sport,” he said.
“If you look at F1, duels at the top of the sport have always existed,” he added, saying that Vettel’s winning streak would face a strong challenge after his four straight World titles.
MP & Silva has also bought the rights for Poland and Romania from 2014 to 2019, and Bulgaria from 2015-19. (Reuters)
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