La Sexta out of F1 race

Spanish Formula 1 motor racing fans face the prospect of missing out on grand prix action in 2012 after the rights owner ended its contract with La Sexta. The broadcaster had been covering grand prix racing since the 2009 season, having acquired the rights until 2013 from Mediapro.

The deal, however, has fallen through early – reportedly as a result of La Sexta’s inability to pay the €45 million due this year – and Mediapro is now seeking a new broadcaster for the 2012 season.

Likely contenders are Telecinco, which broadcast F1 before La Sexta, and Antena 3, which announced earlier this year that it will merge with La Sexta, making it the favourite for the new deal.

Both networks have expressed their interest in the rights, but only as long as it makes financial sense. The 2011 F1 season ended with an average audience of 3,369,000 viewers and a 33.2 per cent share.

Mediapro has issued letters advising that the deadline for interested replacement broadcasters is February 6.

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