Bernie Ecclestone poo-poos talks of F1 sale

It takes two to tango, and apparently Bernie Ecclestone is in no rush to lace up his dancing shoes. The F1 chief reportedly insists that, despite rumors of Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim joining forces to buy it out, the international motor racing series is not, in fact, for sale. CVC Capital, the holding company that owns the rights and to whom Ecclestone reports, receives substantial, multi-million-dollar annual dividends from F1, and so may be in no rush to divest.

What Ecclestone didn't comment on, however, was the secondary notion that Murdoch's News Corporation could bid on the broadcasting rights for the sport. The programming is currently distributed via a hodgepodge of television networks around the world, including News Corp's Speed channel in the United States.

In related news, Ecclestone is slated to make a tidy sum after the Queens Park Rangers soccer team was called up (quite literally) to the big leagues. Ecclestone bought the Rangers together with former Renault F1 director Flavio Briatore for £14 million in 2007, but the former bought out the latter's stake last year. Now that the team has been promoted to the top-tier Premier League alongside the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, it is being valued at over £100 million. If Ecclestone were to sell, however, Briatore could exercise his right of first refusal to buy back his shares.

[Sources: Autosport, pitpass | Image: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty]

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