F1 Grand Prix promoters have expressed concerns regarding Liberty Media’s management of the sport.
In a statement released on the 28th January, the Formula One Promoter’s Association (FOPA) stated:
- “It is not in the long term interest of the sport that fans lose free access to content and broadcasting.
- There is a lack of clarity on new initiatives in F1 and a lack of engagement with promoters on their implementation.
- New races should not be introduced to the detriment of existing events although the association is encouraged by the alternative business models being offered to prospective venues.”
Since Liberty Media have taken over, the sport has seen a number of TV deals move from free view to pay per view arrangements and as such, promoters are concerned that Formula 1 is losing a substantial amount of its global fanbase.
Promoters have also seen Liberty strike a deal to introduce new races such as the Miami and Vietnam Grand Prix and whilst the FOPA seem to be encouraged by the business model, there are clearly frustrations that existing races are not being offered the same terms.
5 Grand Prix circuits have their contracts end this year and a clear statement of intent has been made by the promoters in order to protect themselves going forward.
4 of these races (Britain, Italy, Spain & Germany) have been on the calendar for many years and are considered the most traditional and historic races.
When Liberty Media took over Formula 1 they made a pledge to retain traditional circuits as well as introducing new, modern races and it will be interesting to see how the owners tackle this issue.
Liberty have already lost a battle to teams over a new engine formula for 2021 and they risk losing another if they cannot amicably resolve these concerns with the circuits.