James Murdoch expected in Abu Dhabi paddock on Saturday

The F1 Broadcasting Blog has tonight received confirmation that a member of the Murdoch family is expected in the Abu Dhabi paddock tomorrow, for what is, according to the Daily Mirror “top secret talks”.

The member of the Murdoch family is believed to be James Murdoch, with The Mirror stating that he is expected to meet McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. At this stage what exactly will be talked about is speculation, The Mirror making suggestions that it could spell the end of BBC F1. To be honest, I think the talks will be much more wider than that, and not limited to one country and definitely not specifically one set of broadcasting rights.

Earlier this evening, F1 Racing magazine journalist James Roberts tweeted here and here: “I must admit, much more was happening in the paddock today than it was on track, and despite you wanting to know all the gossip, I couldn’t possibly print something unless I knew it was absolutely true… Sorry!” – I think we now know what Roberts was on about, and it appears that this was the paddock speculation. I can’t see Sky or BBC mentioning it on-air, but nevertheless, tomorrow may be an interesting day…

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7 thoughts on “James Murdoch expected in Abu Dhabi paddock on Saturday

      • How do you know that your second source is not the same as the one which confirmed it to the Mirror in the first place? I haven’t seen this news reported by any credible outlets and there are no pictures of Murdoch in Abu Dhabi. The very idea of Sky bringing an end to F1 on the BBC is ridiculous in the first place (unless it moves to one of the other FTA broadcasters) because the Group is not permitted to contract to broadcast Events by pay television only in a country with a significant audience if it would materially adversely affect audience reach in that country.

      • Because that person works for a major broadcaster? For what it’s worth, James Murdoch is in Abu Dhabi, the Daily Mirror got that bit right. It appears, however, that it is not for top secret talks with teams, but rather to have a look at the Sky Sports F1 operation there. I don’t know what exactly, but the Daily Mirror had fact and then spread a bit of speculation over the top.

      • I suspected as much. The moral of the story is that we should not trust the Mirror and it is potentially laughable that they chose to run this ‘news’ on their back page. Sky can’t get rid of FTA for the reason in my previous comment so that deals with the TV-related claim in the Mirror article. It isn’t possible for CVC, Lehman Bros or JPM to sell more than 0.9% of F1 without defaulting on their debt agreements so Murdoch couldn’t easily buy into the sport either as the Mirror also implied. Your intel that Murdoch is there to have a look at the Sky Sports F1 operation is the real story. You should run a blog post about it and put it on Twitter

  1. The teams have already marginalised many fans, meeting with the man Tom Watson described to the Parliamentary Select Committee as “running a criminal enterprise” is odious, and even more divisive than Adam Parr’s actions last year.

    But it will give F1 fans the chance to see which teams are genuinely fan friendly, and those teams that would stab you in the back for a few £s.

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