Won't believe it till its on FIA.com. Ford haven't even committed to 2012 yet!An announcement is scheduled for Monday next week ' the closing date for manufacturer entries to the World Rally Championship.
We can probably congratulate Loeb on his 9th and 10th WRC titles right now, and Hirvonen on his umpteenth and umpteenth+1 runner-up "titles".I can only hope next year ends up being a more interesting season than it looks like it's going to be, or should we just congratulate Citroen in advance?
At about 5pm Friday, the FIA dumped North One Sport as WRC Promotor and commerical rights holder.From iRally: MELTDOWN IN WRC
Qatar, identified this morning as a possible saviour of threatened WRC global promoter North One Sport, has pulled out of negotiations tonight.
There has been no comment from the FIA, nor from North One Sport, nor from the Qataris, but some television personnel involved in covering the WRC have received an email from North One Television - which films the WRC and which used to own North One Sport - to say that Qatar has left the field, and thanking staff for all their work, support and friendship over the years.
It appears that North One Television cannot televise Monte Carlo.
The move plunges the WRC into immediate crisis.
That left Eurosport as the only show in townFriday, 6 January 2012
Statement by North One Television over the WRC rights issue
This statement from North One Television CEO Neil Duncanson has appeared on the iRally application, which states some of the issues and the proposed resolution that North One Sport had put together to try to resolve the commercial rights issue in respect of running the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship.
Neil Duncanson, the CEO of North One Television, is putting the blame for the collapse of the last-minute bid to save WRC promoters North One Sport filmly on the shoulders of the FIA, the sport's governing body.
Duncanson, the former chairman of North One Sport, has been working closely with North One Sport management over recent weeks to try to find fresh investment.
Speaking to iRally tonight, he said the potential investors had told him they could not work with the FIA:
"When the Russians proved not to be the people we though they were, we went out with NOS to find someone else. We met with a raft of people, and found a very intelligent credible group in Qatar backed by a big investment bank."
"We put forward our proposal, the FIA went silent and gave us no feedback."
"Then after all the silence, they sent a letter to NOS including for example that we had failed to provide details of the VIP passes. At a time like this, it was like changing the street lighting in the middle of a war! The Qataris finally met with the FIA and then told us today they did not want to work with these people - meaning the FIA."
"We have called, sent texts and emails and no one at the FIA has replied to us, which after 11 years of working to promote the WRC I find it, well, very disappointing. I believe passionately in the WRC and still do, but this is a shabby way to treat us."
"As it is, we stand ready to provide the television at Monte Carlo, but it is in the hands of the FIA."
http://fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/wrc/2012/Pages/wrc-nos-2012.aspxFIA World Rally Championship
Last Friday the FIA served notice to terminate its contract with North One Sport, the Promoter of the FIA World Rally Championship. The FIA sought urgent unequivocal assurances from NOS that it could fulfil its contractual obligations and deliver the promotion of the upcoming Rally Monte Carlo and the Championship for 2012 and for the future. It is with regret and disappointment that no such assurance has been given to the FIA, and therefore today the FIA has been driven to terminate its contract with NOS. NOS has conspicuously failed to deliver its contractual obligations and is in fundamental breach of contract.
Following the recent unforeseen circumstances which led to Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) the parent company being placed into administration in November 2011, the FIA has fully supported and co-operated with both NOS and the administrators of the parent company CSI in their efforts to secure a purchaser. Contrary to press speculation however, no firm offer to purchase NOS has been presented to the FIA during this period but only numerous non-binding expressions of interest subject to due diligence. The FIA has been notified of at least 7 expressions of interest, but none have come to fruition.
The FIA has given time and support to all the parties concerned to find the right solutions. Regrettably however, not only has NOS failed to perform in accordance with its contract, it has also been unable to secure the essential investment required to enable it to deliver the Championship.
This has placed the FIA in an unprecedented situation just 10 days before Rally Monte Carlo in that the FIA will now have to take urgent action to secure the staging of the Championship. The F?d?ration is now working tirelessly to ensure the WRC goes ahead as fully as planned to mitigate the consequences of the breach of NOS.
At the start of the 2012 season, the FIA wishes to take this opportunity to reassure all its stakeholders - the Automobile Club de Monaco and Rally Monte Carlo which makes a welcome return as the opening round of the Championship, the other vital commercial partners, Rally Organisers, the Manufacturers and Teams, and the vast loyal worldwide fan base - of its full on-going commitment to the World Rally Championship and its determination to see 2012 take place as planned.
The FIA has now launched urgent top level discussions with several partners and suppliers to guarantee the key organisational and promotional components of the Championships, including timing and tracking, TV production and distribution, as well as sponsorship servicing are put in place.
The FIA is fully confident that it will deliver a safe, successful and exciting 2012 season, adding that in the current context, and while there are still on-going discussions, it would not be appropriate for the F?d?ration to discuss these matters publicly until a final solution has been reached.
I'm not sure how the contracts go with them anyway since they don't seem to be affected by this whole mess, at least for Monte Carlo. I would assume that they didn't have a contract to provide their service with North One Sport anyway, just an agreement that would ensure they have access to service park, stage ends and timing data. They should be able to get those settled by talking straight to the organizers. The big question is whether NOS was paying World Rally Radio for their services, and if they were, whether the new promoter is keen to do the same or whether alternative funding can be found. I don't expect the latter to be a problem since the key players know the importance of WRR (for example, Ford paid the bills for the radio a few years back, and Peugeot funded their involvement in IRC) and it's in their best interest to ensure that they are there.World Rally Radio afaik have no contract yet for 2012!
We?re getting the same footage over here in Germany, albeit with a german commentary by Norbert Ockenga. He?s also doing the german Dakar commentary and a few other things. I liked the commentator North One had, but maybe I?ll grow on Ockenga, too. There?s one major advantage because of the change to Eurosport though: I can finally watch it on TV and don?t have to download everything. I guess we?ll be able to judge the overall quality after the monte.So WRC is on 2 TV channels here in the UK. Motors TV and Eurosport. Thing is, it's exactly the same footage with exactly the same commentator.It was on a bit later on Eurosport due to the Snooker, with was broadcast by the BBC on Eurosport.
Thing is though while the footage was ok, the commentator is terrible. Getting names wrong, distances and times all the time. Either the original commentators were employed by North One, or Eurosport could only get the current one because he was the only one available? Couldn't they have possible gotton MArtin Haven, or atleast Carlton Kirby?