Williams considers selling Formula 1 team because of financial woes

Marc Gonzalez / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

Williams has announced it is considering selling its struggling Formula 1 team due to financial problems.

In a statement, the Williams Grand Prix Holdings group confirms potential options include the sale of a minority or majority stake, as well as a total buy-out of the company. The statement also says Williams is in “preliminary discussions” with potential investors.

The Group reports a loss of $16 million for the year ending 2019. In the previous year, it made a profit of $15.9 million.

Along with news of a possible sale, the team is cutting ties immediately with title sponsor ROKit.

Williams is one of the most successful programs in Formula 1 history with nine constructors’ championships and seven driver championships.

But after a solid run from 2014-17 that included two third-place finishes in the constructors’ standings, the team has fallen dramatically. It has finished at the bottom of the standings in each of the last two seasons.

In his own comments, Williams CEO Mike O’Driscoll said: “The financial results for 2019 reflect the recent decline in competitiveness of the F1 operation and the consequent reduction in commercial rights income.

“After four years of very solid performance in the FIA F1 Constructors’ Championship … We endured a couple of very difficult seasons.”

Williams and Formula 1 as a whole face tough financial pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has delayed and altered the 2020 calendar. On Thursday, the Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth event canceled this season.

Despite its challenges, the team says it is funded and ready to compete when racing resumes. Britain’s George Russell and Canadian rookie Nicholas Latifi are its two drivers.

Williams seeks to stabilize ahead of a pivotal 2021 season for the sport.

Next year will include the debut of a $145 million cost cap; new technical and sporting regulations; and a sliding scale for aerodynamic development to help smaller teams close the gap to their bigger rivals.

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.