The Turkish Grand Prix could return to the F1 schedule next year "provided the organisers can reach agreement" with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone over money, according to the AFP. The Turkish Automobile Federation (TOSFED) said in a statement that Ecclestone and the new circuit manager, businessman Vural Ak, "reached agreement on all matters relating to the race." However, it is up to the Turkish government to "give the green light to releasing the requisite funds" (AFP, 12/6). REUTERS' Daren Butler wrote Turkey Sports Minister Suat Kilic has "poured cold water on race organizers' hopes that the government would provide funds" to secure the return of the Turkish Grand Prix to the F1 calendar next season. Turkish race organizers have said that "staging the grand prix would depend on whether the government made funds available." Local media reported the Istanbul track operator as saying that the government would provide $13.5M in funding. However, Kilic told reporters on Thursday that the race was "purely a matter for the private sector." Kilic said, "If it wants to, the private sector can bring Formula One. But there is no question of us paying the cost of the rights which have been proposed to a private company to bring Formula One" (REUTERS, 12/6).
AN AUSTRIAN TRADEMARK: EUROSPORT's Christian Sylt reported Formula One Licensing, the intellectual property division of the company which runs F1, has "registered a trademark to the name Austrian Grand Prix -- a move which paves the way for the historic race to return." Formula One Licensing registered a pan-European trademark for the title "Grosser Preis von Österreich" which means "Grand Prix of Austria" in the country’s native language of German. A slot for the Austrian Grand Prix became available on Wednesday when the '13 calendar was released with a gap on July 21 for a race yet to to be confirmed. Red Bull triple world champion Sebastian Vettel was present for the inauguration of its Austrian track and recently said, “I don't know why we don’t go there. For us it would be great for it to be our home Grand Prix. The track is completely Formula One compatible” (EUROSPORT, 12/6).
SCHEDULING CONFLICT: In Austin, Dave Doolittle noted Circuit of Americas officials are trying to move the date of next year's F1 race to "avoid a scheduling conflict with a University of Texas home football game." The Austin F1 race is scheduled for Nov. 17, putting it on "a collision course with University of Texas football," which has a home game against Oklahoma State scheduled for Nov. 16. Circuit of Americas Chair Bobby Epstein said, "Circuit of the Americas has expressed our strong preference for an alternate race date in 2013” (AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 12/5).
A confidential Cricket Australia report revealed that this summer's Big Bash League will lose more than A$10M ($10.5M), according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. However, the organization's "obsessive dedication" to promoting the tournament aims to recoup those losses through a new media rights deal. The documents show the "high-risk strategy, which saw even bigger losses last year." The various states are "struggling under the burden" they have to carry with the BBL. The impact on the states "has been hard." Queensland was forced to cut funding to its grassroots levels. The BBL offers "few returns for the states, although teams reaching the Champions League can cash in." The Sydney Sixers won this year's Champions League tournament, gaining a A$2.5M prize. The players took half, but Cricket New South Wales kept the rest as the owner of the franchise. BBL Exec GM Mike McKenna defended the cost involved. He said, "The establishment of a vibrant and successful KFC T20 Big Bash League is an important part of CA's broader strategy." The situation is not "all doom and gloom, but the returns for the BBL gamble are not assured." The forecast loss of A$10.56M for the '12-13 BBL reported to the state CEOs at a private meeting last month "did not include any portion of the present broadcast deal that could be attributed to the revamped tournament." CA is "anxious to auction" the TV rights and has told the states that the Nine Network "might enter the negotiations" and put pressure on Fox Sports, which owns the present T20 program (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/7).
The second annual UAE Beach Soccer League will begin on Friday at Al Mamzar Park in Dubai. The event will bring together eight teams from Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. Defending champions Al Ahli will take on Ajman, while Al Shabab will play Dibba Al Hosn on the opening day (GULF NEWS, 12/6). ... The Korea LPGA Tour will begin its '13 season on Friday in Taiwan at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters. The event, co-sanctioned with the Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association, will offer a tournament prize of $800,000 (KOREA TIMES, 12/6). ... The 2012 Int'l Friends Table Tennis Competition will be held on Dec. 15 at the Chinese national table tennis training base in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The event is sponsored by the Chengdu municipal bureau of sports and the city's foreign affairs office, and organized by the Western Int'l Training Center of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CHINA DAILY, 12/6).
CRICKET PLANS: Officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Pakistan Cricket Board and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association met with Commissioner of Police S. George to discuss "the security and other logistics for the keenly awaited encounter" of Pakistan playing its first One Day Int'l in India. The match will be played on Dec. 30 at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai (PAKISTAN TODAY, 12/6). ... The second edition of the Asia Deaf Cricket Cup will be played in Lahore, Pakistan beginning Tuesday at several venues with four foreign teams participating. Asian Deaf Cricket Federation CEO Zaheer ud Din Babar said that the matches will be played at Lahore City Cricket Association, Bagh-e-Jinnah park grounds, with the final on Dec. 17at Gadaffi stadium (PAKISTAN TODAY, 12/6).