JULY 3, 2000
Ecclestone lands commercial rights to F1 for 100 years
The 100-year deal for commercial rights to the World Championship has, apparently, been accepted by the EuropeanÊCommission Competition Directorate as it is so long a deal that it cannot be considered anti-competitive as it is, in effect, the same as an outright sale.
The FIA General Assembly would not accept a deal to lease the entire World Championship to Ecclestone but agreed to an extension of the commercial rights deal. As a result the governing body will continue to supply the administrative and legislative services for Formula 1.
It remains to be seen how the deal will work with the Formula 1 teams as the current Concorde Agreement runs only until the end of 2007. At the moment the Concorde Agreement has 14 signatories: the FIA, Ecclestone and the 12 contracted teams. The FIA does not need to be involved in the future but Ecclestone will need to get the agreement of everyone else and the teams are likely to complain that they do not receive enough of the income from the sale of television rights - as they get only 47% of the money that comes in.
The problem for Bernie is that the teams are being taken over by big motor manufacturers and they cannot be swayed as much as small teams and so he may need to renegotiate the split. With the current Concorde Agreement being relatively short he will probably need to get agreement for a new longer-term Concorde Agreement before he can finally float FormulaÊOneÊAdministration on the stock exchanges.