Richards may sign 100 year rally deal

PRODRIVE founder David Richards may take a leaf out of Bernie Ecclestone's book and sign a 100-year deal for the TV rights to the World Rally Championship.

Having paid a reputed $35m to Ecclestone for the WRC commercial rights two years ago, Richard's International Sports Communicators company is now planning a similar deal with the FIA, motorsport's international governing body.

This new deal is likely to be announced officially within the next month and is likely to be for a figure significantly less than the vast $315m paid by Ecclestone for the F1 TV rights.

Such a deal will consolidate Richards' position as one of the leading players on the global motorsport stage. He is also relishing his recent elevation to the role of British American Racing F1 team principal and there is much speculation that Prodrive will eventually take control of the team after BAT's backing is wound down ahead of the 2006 tobacco advertising ban.

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