Despite record figures for last Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, which saw the highest viewer numbers for five years, German F1 broadcaster RTL is expecting a sharp decline in 2007.
In anticipation of the drop-off in viewers, following Michael Schumacher's retirement, RTL, a subsidiary of the German media group Bertelsmann AG, plans to lower its prices for advertisements during races next season.
RTL's media marketing agency, IP Deutschland, has revealed that the company will slightly lower the prices during advertising slots throughout the 2007 season, though some sources claim that "slightly lower" could mean as much 30 percent.
RTL's contract runs out at the end of 2007, as does German pay-per-view channel Premiere AG, though both are expected to bid for new deals covering 2008 - 2010.
That said, both are expected to look for a lower price when they renegotiate. At the same time however, free-to-air ProSiebenSat may well attempt to out-bid RTL, while Arena, a pay-per-view broadcaster established in the summer, and mainly focussed on the Bundesliga (German soccer), could well attempt to add F1 to its portfolio.