…as F1 team strikes TV deal

BAT’s Formula One racing team, British American Racing (BAR), has secured a TV deal which ensures widespread coverage whatever its performance on the track.

The deal , with Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Constructor’s Association (Foca), gives BAR a TV magazine programme for next season’s F1 World Championship.

The show will initially run in the Asia and Pacific Rim but BAR and Foca are also in talks about a deal in Latin America and Europe.

TV production company PPGI, which has offices in Montreal and Honk Kong, is negotiating the deals.

BAR commercial director Rick Gorn says: “This is a way to stand out from other racing teams. It will also add value to our secondary sponsors, which will have the option of sponsoring the TV show.”

The programme will be a half-hour magazine show and will focus on subjects such as the playboy lifestyles of drivers and the locations where they race.

BAT cigarette brand 555 is expected to be the title sponsor in Asia. However, 555 could not be used in Europe because of anti-tobacco legislation.

BAR is a joint venture that brings together BAT, Reynard Racing Cars and sports entrepreneur Craig Pollock. BAT has said it will put 250m into the team over the next five years.

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