Rio Motorsports 'to succeed Globo' as F1 rights-holder in Brazil
Rio Motorsports, the company that is building a new race track in the city and hoping to lure the Brazilian Grand Prix from Interlagos in Sao Paulo, has acquired Brazilian broadcast rights to Formula 1, according to reports in the country.
The agreement begins with the 2021 season, O Estado de S.Paulo first reported.
Rio Motorsports already holds rights to MotoGP, which it sold on to pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports Brasil for the 2020 season.
It emerged recently that Brazilian commercial broadcaster Globo would not renew its Formula 1 rights deal after this season. It has shown the series for almost 40 years, but was unable to reach agreement with Formula 1 owner Liberty Media on a revised value for the rights.
Globo has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, prompting it to defer payments for premium soccer rights, and the 2020 Formula 1 season, which only got under way in July, has also been heavily disrupted, with the cancelled events including the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.
Nonetheless, the sport attracts large audiences in Brazil and brands including Cervejaria Petrópolis, Nivea, Renault, Santander and TIM are understood to have agreed deals worth R$98.95 million ($17.76 million) each to advertise in the Globo coverage this year.The Brazilian Grand Prix has been held in Sao Paulo since 1990, but the contract between Interlagos and Liberty ends this year.
However, there are some issues with the construction of the Rio site, with a large part of the planned development area forested, meaning the green light has yet to be given.
There is political pressure for the grand prix to move to Rio, with president Jair Bolsonaro leading the charge. Although Bolsonaro is from Sao Paulo, he made his political career in Rio and one of his sons, Flavio, is the state senator.