MARCH 13, 2000
Ecclestone still trading
The deal sounds rather unlikely as Ecclestone usually never gets involved in companies without controlling them. However if Bernie can negotiate a deal to sell control but to remain running the company for as long as he pleases he will probably do the deal to add to his huge cash pile.
The current excitement over the shares is being caused because investors are beginning to realize the value of Ecclestone's digital television service which can easily be used in other sports. It is expected that within a year or two the infrastructure will be in place to allow Bernie to build a permanent base for the service, rather than having to transport the entire facility from place to place. In the future all the TV signals would be fed back to the permanent base by fibre optic cables. Ecclestone's TV crews would then create programs without having to be at the race tracks. This would save about $40m a year and would mean that other sports could use the facility in between Grand Prix races. There is talk that a deal will soon be reached for the coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games.