May 29 (GMM/Inautonews.com) F1’s struggling German market could be dealt yet another major blow.
The country’s traditional spot on the race calendar was axed for 2015, and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone last week blasted top German stars Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg for inadequately promoting the sport.
“As the cancellation of the German grand prix indicates, Germany is a terrible market for formula one,” Ecclestone told F1’s official website.
Now it emerges that, in the not-too-distant future, German fans may be unable to watch formula one on free-to-air television.
The Hamburger Morgenpost reports that the quarter-century-old deal between F1 and the terrestrial broadcaster RTL is in danger.
“It is said that RTL will invest all its energy into football,” said the report.
An RTL spokesman played down the claims.
“We have been the TV broadcaster of formula one in Germany for 24 years, and have always stressed that we would like to continue with this commitment,” he said.
“For this we are in talks with formula one, and are wary of commenting on rumours and speculation.”
The Hamburger Morgenpost claims that RTL is asking for a reduction in the price of the broadcasting rights, due to flagging ratings and lower advertising returns.
If a new deal is not struck, it is suggested the German pay-broadcaster Sky is willing to step up to an exclusive deal.