FIA conclude 100-year commercial deal with SLEC

FORMULA ONE's governing body, the Federation Internationale l'Automobile (FIA), confirmed on Tuesday that they have signed a 100-year agreement with SLEC for the commercial and broadcasting rights to the sport.

The deal, confirmed in a statement from the FIA on Tuesday after an extraordinary meeting in Paris, ends months of meetings uncertainty over the future of the commercial side of the sport.

SLEC, which is owned by Bernie Ecclestone and the German media companies EM.TV and Kirch, had an original deal for the commercial and broadcasting rights that was expected to expire in 2010.

The deal, however, will not affect in any way the Concorde Agreement, which is a binding legal agreement signed between the FIA and the teams and concerning all administrative aspects of Formula One. That agreement is set to expire at the end of 2007.

The FIA said in the statement that the deal is a further move to separate the governing body of the sport and the commercial side of Formula One.

It comes after Ecclestone relinquished his role as FIA vice-president last year to satisfy the European Commission that nobody had a monopoly on the sport.

The FIA also stated that Kirch have confirmed that they have no intentions to turn Formula One into pay-per-view on television. That may appease the European Car Manufacturers Association (Fiat, BMW, Renault, DaimlerChrysler and Ford), who have threatened to form a breakaway championship.

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