Telecinco pulls out of F1 race

Iñaki Ferreras ©RapidTVNews | 04-02-2012

Mediaset España's Telecinco network has pulled out of the bidding for Formula 1 TV rights because it thinks the bid launched by laSexta's Mediapro (which has the rights until 2013) was "not clear in terms of transparency and objectivity," according to Europa Press.

The other big Spanish national private network, Grupo Planeta's Antena 3, said it was "surprised" because Telecinco was "inconsistent" in its arguments because Telecinco bid for the last rights of the football World Cup in the same conditions as now. In March 2010 Telecinco bought a package of South Africa World Cup matches from Canal+'s Prisa TV, formerly known as Sogecable, in the middle of the merging process with Cuatro.
The bid for Formula 1 rights was officially opened last week after laSexta was unable to meet one of the payments, and Mediapro decided to open a bid among all of the channels. Then Mediaset España asked the National Competition Comission to guarantee the transparency of the bid since it suspected it could be a manoeuvre to sell the competition to Antena 3.
The bidding for Formula 1 rights on Spanish television comes at a time when Grupo Planeta's Antena 3 and Mediapro's laSexta are in the middle of a merging process. Last week both companies' boards of directors approved the merger, which was officially announced last December. The agreement must now be approved by the Competition National Commission.