APRIL 5, 2002
Premier 1 admits loss of Reynard may be a problem
THE Premier 1 racing series, which portrayed itself as a potential rival to Formula 1, is now admitting that the collapse of Reynard Racing Cars could be a problem but says that it has contingency plans to deal with it.
Premier 1's aim was to link motor racing with soccer by having cars running in the colors of well-known soccer teams. The response was not spectacular but a number of soccer organizations did sign up.
Premier 1 has yet to convince the F1 world that it has the money and the TV coverage to make the entire project pay off and the biggest threat to Premier 1 now is seen to be the collapse in demand for sports rights following the failure of pay-TV to make a huge impression. The recession is making it harder for all sports to generate income at the moment although Premier 1's concentration on merchandising is a bonus as this is an area where Formula 1 is not generating anywhere near the money it could be making. The recession might actually work in Premier 1's favor as many of the big soccer clubs are feeling the pinch and the potential for income from racing might seem attractive.
But the series will never get that far unless the TV deals are in place and we have not heard of any contracts having been agreed to date.
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