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Formula One racing has been in a state of flux for several years, and the people behind the sport are now trying to take action to reel in a new generation of fans. F1 has struggled, due to the rise of the internet and the increase in competition for the eyes of sports viewers. However, its new owners, media firm Liberty Global, believe that they have a strategy which can help to turn the sport around and reintroduce it to the hearts of fans the world over.
F1 stagnated during the final years of Bernie Ecclestone's ownership for several reasons. First and foremost, he took a short term approach to the finances of the sport. In general, he preferred to receive larger payments from motorsport tracks, TV rights holders and sponsors, even if this came at the price of locking the sport away from the types of casual viewers who had helped to support it during the 1970s and 80s. In the UK, for instance, this means that the vast majority of F1 races are now shown on pay-TV only, robbing the sport of a casual audience.
Liberty Global is now working to bring the sport to new countries which may not have experienced F1 during its heyday. Changing the race calendar is a long and complicated business, and requires the agreement of a large number of stakeholders, but signs of change in the sport are already visible.