OCTOBER 20, 1997
The future of the French GP
FIA PRESIDENT MAX MOSLEY is to meet the French Sports Minister Marie-George Buffet on November 4 to try to hammer out a deal which will put the French Grand Prix back on the Formula 1 calendar. The meeting will also be attended by Jacques Regis, the president of the French motorsport federation.
In recent years the French government has managed to save the race each year despite problems over the television coverage of the race. French courts insist that rival channels have the right to broadcast from any event on French soil, while the FIA argues that it has sold the exclusive rights to the TF1 channel and other TV organizations should therefore be excluded.
This will be the first time that Mosley has had to deal with the new Socialist government in France but he has a strong argument in that there could be chaos in July if French law allows all TV companies to film the football World Cup. Most observers are convinced that a deal will be struck and the French GP will come back into the F1 calendar on June 28, although there may still be problems with the televising of the event as TF1 may have all its cameras involved with the coverage of the World Cup. If this is the case Bernie Ecclestone's Formula 1 Communications company may take on the coverage of the French GP itself. It has the manpower and cameras necessary to do the job.
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