Mediapro Purchases Rights For Free, Pay-TV F1 Rights In Latin America From '15-19
Spanish multimedia group Mediapro "plans to start a regional 24-hour Formula One channel after acquiring the series' rights for most of Central and South America and the Caribbean," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. Mediapro said in an e-mailed statement that it "bought the free-to-air and pay-TV rights for the regions, excluding Brazil," from '15-19, "without disclosing financial terms." Mediapro is entering a regional sports pay-TV broadcasting market that Sportcal media analyst Catherine Davies said is "dominated" by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and ESPN. Davies added that Fox Sports has "owned Formula One rights for Latin America for the last decade." Davies: "It will make people sit up and take notice of Mediapro, which has largely flown under the radar until now" (BLOOMBERG, 3/24). In Madrid, Daniel Toledo wrote Mediapro is "strengthening its position on the other side of the pond." Sources indicated that the "multi-year deal will involve a payment" of more than €100M ($138M), which could "mean the removal of a giant like Fox, which had dominated the broadcasts there until now." The contract "will reach 90 million homes, equivalent to 250-300 million viewers." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has "not hidden his interest in penetrating this region, where only one Grand Prix is held -- in Brazil." Mediapro's "bet on this region is nothing new." The company has offices in Buenos Aires, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia. Ecclestone has previously said, "It is clear that we lack races in Latin America and we are looking closely at this part of the world" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 3/24).