Interesting moves at FOA

Formula One Administration is currently involved in a couple of low-profile but nonetheless interesting activities. The first is a complete rethink of the TV viewing figures, which take into account whether or not people stay for a whole programme or whether they watch F1 just for a few minutes before changing channels. Inevitably this will produce a reduction in the overall viewing figures but, at the same time, it will also produce figures which will have more credibility, which is the point of the entire exercise as it will bring the F1 world into line with the system used by some of the other major sports in the world.

The other point of note is that FOA is currently considering a number of tender offers from companies wishing to secure the mobile telephone rights to Formula 1 racing, which is understood to include the potential to send video clips, timing and so on to mobile telephones and other similar devices. The deal was put out to tender for a two month period and the closing date for bids was March 31. The rights on offer only go as far as 2007 but we believe that the deal is a global one and would allow the rights holder to sub-licence the rights in individual countries. This process is obviously one which could be worth many millions of dollars to FOA and it will be interesting to see what happens. The offers are now being considered but there may be further competition if the FOA thinks it can get more.

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