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Ecclestone: News Corp deal "close to zero"

NEWS STORY
28/04/2011

Bernie Ecclestone has once again dismissed claims that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation - in association with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and a car manufacturer thought to be Ferrari - could buy the commercial rights to F1.

Having previously described the claims - initially made by Sky News' business editor Mark Kleinman, himself an employee of Murdoch - as rubbish, Ecclestone still insists there is no substance to the story.

"It's media driven," he told Reuters. "It looks very much like someone who is trying to see if they can make (money).

"All of these people that get involved with these things," he continued, "they get some victims and say 'We can make this happen, I'm sure we can do this' and then all they do is keep pumping fees in."

Meanwhile, in a move which doesn't entirely surprise Pitpass, Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, the world's largest advertising group, a director of Formula One and a man who has previously crossed swords with Ecclestone, claims that a media group owning the commercial rights to the sport might not be a bad thing.

"I see no harm whatsoever in a pay TV company investing in or owning Formula One," he told Reuters, "I see no problem with that.

"From what I've seen, I don't think CVC have indicated that they want to sell the business," he added. "I'm sure there would be interest because Formula One is a very strong property."

However, much like Kleinman's original story, there was a caveat. Sorrell adding: "But I make those comments as a WPP employee and not as a Formula One director."

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