New F1 media rights deal for Middle East, North Africa, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria


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    Keith Collantine

    Media rights agency MP & Silva has taken over F1 rights until 2019 in a broad range of territories in Europe, Asia and Africa.

    Press release:

    Leading media rights agency acquires exclusive media rights to the FIA Formula One world championship in MENA, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland until 2019

    MP & Silva, a leading international media rights company, and Formula One Management, the top international open-wheel racing series commercial rights holder has announced a six-year agreement that begins with the 2014 championship. The agreement provides MP & Silva with exclusive media rights to all Formula 1 grand prix races, qualifying and practice sessions on all platforms and devices for the territories of MENA, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

    The exclusive deal will cover MENA, Poland and Romania from 2014 to 2019, and will cover Bulgaria from 2015 to 2019.

    The media rights package containing all F1 races, as well as qualifying, practice sessions and re-runs could amount to more than 100 hours of programming annually.

    Bernie Ecclestone, CEO Formula One Group, commented: “The purpose of this agreement is to help grow interest in Formula One throughout the Middle East and I am confident that MP & Silva can help us achieve that.”

    MP & Silva has a leading media rights portfolio with worldwide partnerships that includes Premier League rights, covering over 50 countries, worldwide rights to Italian Serie A, French Ligue One and MLS and the distributor to selected markets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, German Bundesliga and Spanish La Liga. With this acquisition, the agency moves beyond football rights distribution and gives a new boost to their expansion plans into international premium sports content.

    Andrea Radrizzani, Founding Partner, MP & Silva, said: “We are extremely honoured with this long-term relationship with Formula 1 as very few companies worldwide have the privilege of being selected as sales representative for the FIA Formula One world championship. This partnership is a recognition of our leadership in the sports media rights market and we look forward to supporting Formula One Management in furthering Formula One racing’s popularity in general and to guarantee improved audiences of F1 races in MENA.”


    Which means that F1 in Romania will probably become even more inaccessible, over the last 3 years it moved from national TV to a sports channel that was exclusive to only one of the big 3-4 cable providers in the country. So I’ll have to continue with dodgy streams then sadly… if F1 is still worth watching next year.


    Situation in Poland doesn’t look promising either. Polsat – the oldest commercial tv station is not interested in renewing its rights to air F1 (after Kubica’s accident the number of viewers dropped drastically, currently below 1 million per race). This basically leaves state owned TVP and NC+ (co-owned by Canal + Group and ITI Neovision). Neither of them expressed interest. TVP already put a lot of money into several big events including last years EURO 2012 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games. They also seem to focus on rallying (which is understandable when you think about Kubica’s turn to WRC). NC+ has a very broad offer of sport coverage, including top football leagues, NBA, Polish football league and UEFA Champions League. The downside is – if they get F1 they will surely air on subscription based paid channels.


    @Victor_RO I haven’t been able to watch races on national TV channels for a long time anyway. Probably the last time I watched F1 on TV was in the Eurosport days. The commentary was just horrible, there are no words for how bad it was. In the days when the state-owned tv channel broadcasted the races, the commentator was busy narrating about how he went out to dinner with Schumacher’s wife. Although I’m subscribed to the cable company which has bought the rights for F1, I always watch it online on streams as both Brundle and Coulthard are miles better.

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