Who Owns Formula One?
One of the latest news items is that CVC has sold MotoGP (for a mere $626 million) so that it can own Formula One. This has been announced without fuss on several networks but it raises all sorts of questions in my mind.
For a start, I didn’t even know that it was possible for F1 to be owned (or MotoGP for that matter). But apparently everyone else has known this for ages – at least, no-one seems surprised by the news.
And what exactly is being owned? F1 Racing-Live says that “CVC’s control of formula one is now official” but what the heck does that mean? It cannot be that they are in charge of the rules and regulations – the FIA does that. And the circuits are owned by various concerns around the world, as are the teams. Bernie Ecclestone sells the television rights to a media company every year so maybe this is what they’re talking about.
I googled CVC to find out more about the company. There are a few possibles but the leading contender would appear to be an American Cablevision System; which would fit with the theory that it’s the television rights that are being owned. But it’s only a theory – I’m guessing here.
And how much sense does it make that the owner of the television rights can sell them to anyone they choose, as appears to have happened with MotoGP? Wouldn’t that make a mockery of Bernie’s careful choice in the first place? Or am I being too trusting and all the FIA really care about is how much they can sell the rights for?
I find the whole business rather unsettling. To discover that one’s favorite sport is actually owned and “controlled” by a multi-million dollar and faceless corporation is a bit of a shock. In fact, it has uncomfortable undertones of F1 not being a sport at all but rather some sort of marketing exercise designed to lull the masses to sleep while their pockets are picked. And the masses means you and me, buddy. Oh, brave new world.
As the saying goes, I only ask because I want to know. If anyone out there does actually understand what this is all about, I’d be very grateful if they’d clue me in.
Update on Microsoft to Enter Formula One?:
It’s true. If Scoble says it is, it must be.