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Motorsport Network acquires Autosport & the Haymarket Media Group’s motor racing portfolio


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#1 SophieB

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:08

Huh.

Press release:
 

Motorsport Network acquires Autosport & the Haymarket Media Group’s motor racing portfolio
The world’s largest digital motorsport company adds six motorsport online, print and events businesses to its existing operations
 
October 6, 2016, Miami, FL. Motorsport Network, the Miami-headquartered publisher of Motorsport.com and Motor1.com, today announced the acquisition of six business operations that make up the Haymarket Media Group’s interests in motorsport publishing, photography and events.
 
The acquired businesses in the Autosport portfolio include Autosport.com, a respected and authoritative digital voice in international motorsport.


Autosport link:

Autosport ‏@autosport 43s43 seconds ago
Motorsport Network buys Haymarket motorsport brands including Autosport: https://www.autospor...aymarket-brands



At this rate, I fully expect to be bought by Motorsport.com myself one of these days in my capacity as a rando who posts stuff to this board. I guess in a way we have been.

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#2 Marklar

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:12

Makes sense since all the former Autosport staff moved to Motorsport recently

Of course it probably has a lot to do with the F1 take over, since motorsport is owned by Liberty...

Edited by Marklar, 06 October 2016 - 08:17.


#3 MikeV1987

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:27

So what could happen to Autosport? Is this the beginning of the end?

 

I recently paid for another year subscription of Autosport Plus, I hope that wasn't a waste of money.


Edited by MikeV1987, 06 October 2016 - 08:30.


#4 RPM40

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:37

With a bit of luck they'll remove the paywalls. I always felt the paywalls with what felt like ever reducing views per month was a sign of desperation. A lot of Autosport's staff has been slowly migrating over to Motorsport.com. I'd love to see the "Autosport Plus" editorial quality without any paywalls.



#5 SenorSjon

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:42

Don't get your hopes up. Motorsport is spamming lately to subscribe to the site (first for free... then?). 



#6 pacificquay

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:44

Autosport is a huge brand - I anticipate the current site and motorsport.com being rolled together under the Autosport brand.

 

Although I do of course stand to be proven wrong.



#7 GhostR

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:44

Can only see this as a good thing. I'd already shifted my news-reading activity to motorsport.com, due to a perceptible drop in quality of Autosport articles, and the really short-sighted "page view" limitations imposed on autosport.com in an attempt to drive up subscriptions.



#8 SophieB

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 08:57

With so much media consolidation in F1 press room, might there be a competition issue here? Maybe I should ask @RacingLines...

 

@alanbaldwinf1 Don't make us buy Reuters.



#9 RPM40

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:00

Makes sense since all the former Autosport staff moved to Motorsport recently

Of course it probably has a lot to do with the F1 take over, since motorsport is owned by Liberty...

 

Source on Liberty owning Motorsport? I checked them out and can only see they (according to Wikipedia) have interests in "MotoSport.com"


Edited by RPM40, 06 October 2016 - 09:00.


#10 RPM40

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:02

Autosport is a huge brand - I anticipate the current site and motorsport.com being rolled together under the Autosport brand.

 

Although I do of course stand to be proven wrong.

 

I think they can keep their identities seperate. Motorsport provides great news, but Autosport has more 'indepth' editorial style articles. That could be their identity difference. 

 

They also bought F1 Racing, which to me is the highest quality F1 media there is. Top level journalism in F1 Racing mags.



#11 alfista

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:08

Sounds not good. Does it mean Autosport.com and motorsport.com will become two buttocks of the same a..e?  Until now AS and MS were independent from each other but seems it will not be a case in the future.

And if there are really links to F1 owners it inevitably means we will lost some "inconvienent" topics. Can you imagine Dieter Rencken stories like this being published then?
IMO top motorsport media becomes too concentrated and it is hard to see it as a good news for us readers. But let's see what happens, maybe I am very much mistaken.



#12 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:08

Huh.

Press release:
 

Autosport link:

Autosport ‏@autosport 43s43 seconds ago
Motorsport Network buys Haymarket motorsport brands including Autosport: https://www.autospor...aymarket-brands



At this rate, I fully expect to be bought by Motorsport.com myself one of these days in my capacity as a rando who posts stuff to this board. I guess in a way we have been.

 

 

I am for sale! 



#13 Kristian

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:10

I think less outlets is a bad thing, no? If the two biggest F1/motorsport magazine and two biggest websites are together, then surely this will lead to a reduction in heads in the paddock? 

 

Also is Motorsport magazine separate from this? 



#14 Wingcommander

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:10

Who's gonna buy Joe Saward?



#15 andysaint

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:10

I cannot see this being good news. The owners of Formula One buying up the press? How many honest and impartial opinions can we now expect? Sky now have a monopoly of coverage so they won't be so keen to air their honest opinions next year. Crofty even now has an annoying habit of finding the good out of every situation. It will be very interesting to see what kind of publicity drive Formula One now goes on. Also, I hope the national racing series here in the U.K are still well represented in the magazine.

#16 kimister

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:19

What are they aiming with that hard to imagine  :well: monopolize the F1 media or what !? 



#17 Dudley

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:30

Who's gonna buy Joe Saward?

 

Quantum. Any day now.



#18 ensign14

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:46

With a bit of luck they'll remove the paywalls. I always felt the paywalls with what felt like ever reducing views per month was a sign of desperation. A lot of Autosport's staff has been slowly migrating over to Motorsport.com. I'd love to see the "Autosport Plus" editorial quality without any paywalls.

 

The Guardian has the best news website by a country mile and is losing money hand-over-fist - because it is gratis.

 

Whereas Private Eye is making six figure profits on a tiny circulation - because it doesn't give out mass content for free.
 



#19 RPM40

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:49

The Guardian has the best news website by a country mile and is losing money hand-over-fist - because it is gratis.

 

Whereas Private Eye is making six figure profits on a tiny circulation - because it doesn't give out mass content for free.
 

 

That is true, but Motorsport.com seems to be doing very well without paywalls.



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#20 SophieB

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:51


@MauriceHamilton

Maurice Hamilton Retweeted Motorsport.com
So, is this the end (eventually) for http://autosport.com ...and others? #BeAfraid #F1

 

Autocourse Retweeted Maurice Hamilton

Culling the opposition, asset stripping, survival of the fittest/wealthiest, time will tell but it's not looking good.



#21 SenorSjon

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:54

Can only see this as a good thing. I'd already shifted my news-reading activity to motorsport.com, due to a perceptible drop in quality of Autosport articles, and the really short-sighted "page view" limitations imposed on autosport.com in an attempt to drive up subscriptions.

 

Indeed, that was a good way to let people search for other sites. Not something they expected I guess. ;)

 

@SophieB I just noticed you are no longer a forum host? Did I miss some anouncement?



#22 SophieB

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:58

 

@SophieB I just noticed you are no longer a forum host? Did I miss some anouncement?

 

Yeah, I handed back the angel wings and Zeus-style lightning bolts a while back. There was a thread about in the PC, along with announcing Vitesse2 would be stepping up to admin. Now I walk the earth with fellow humans once more :)



#23 Risil

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 09:58

That is true, but Motorsport.com seems to be doing very well without paywalls.

 

I know not "seems", as Hamlet once said. Why does a non-charitable organization give away its products for free?



#24 FredrikB

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 10:03

Who owns the domain name www.atlasf1.com?
Time for a revival?

#25 Risil

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 10:07

It never died. In our hearts.
 
(It still redirects to Autosport. According to autocomplete people still search for "AtlasF1 forum".)


#26 LuckyStrike1

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 10:39

Yeah, I handed back the angel wings and Zeus-style lightning bolts a while back. There was a thread about in the PC, along with announcing Vitesse2 would be stepping up to admin. Now I walk the earth with fellow humans once more :)

 

 

Welcome. We have cookies. 



#27 pRy

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 10:41

Some clarification on the future of this Forum, the chat room and the My Autosport service would be very welcome.

These three services are used by many and feature a community that have engaged with each other for years. Please keep that in mind.

#28 RPM40

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 10:45

Yeah, I handed back the angel wings and Zeus-style lightning bolts a while back. There was a thread about in the PC, along with announcing Vitesse2 would be stepping up to admin. Now I walk the earth with fellow humans once more :)

 

Bit of a thankless job I'd imagine?



#29 goingthedistance

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 11:23

Consolidation is rarely a good thing for existing staff.

 

Autosport has already been gutted of its top people, I have to admit I was only thinking a few days back that I must get around to cancelling my Plus membership because I can't recall the last time I read something actually novel or interesting in its paid content. Motorsport.com is doing a better job, but that's really just Jon Noble. 

 

I don't like the idea of a contracting F1 press, though. Especially if it most of it is going to be owned by the very company who has just bought into F1. The F1 press is sycophantic enough thanks to Bernie's games. 

 

I hope the forum remains intact, I suspect it's the key driver of hits to the Autosport network these days. Best wishes to the Autosport staff in what may be a challenging time. 


Edited by goingthedistance, 06 October 2016 - 11:24.


#30 Grayson

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 11:27

To answer the main question being asked in this thread (and the other threads on the same subject) and to put a few minds at rest...

 

So what could happen to Autosport?

 

Zak Brown (Motorsport Network's chairman) has stated that "All that is best about Autosport and its sister businesses will be preserved" and has promised more investment in our brands than we would have been able to get at Haymarket.

 

Hopefully, this means that the improvements to the site which we've been promising (front page customisation, better driver and team pages, a working search function which doesn't bounce you back to our classic site, etc) will come a bit sooner as a result of these changes. You won't see any drastic changes in the short term - as you can see from our coverage of the buildup to this weekend's racing, it's very much business as usual.

 

As for the Forums - I certainly think that they fall under "all that is best" about the site and see no reason why our new owners should have a different view of this!



#31 AlexLangheck

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 11:40

What about the non-F1 series.....???



#32 Graveltrappen

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:09

Everything will be consolidated and merged.. and then the forum will be replaced with some form of Facebook integrated twitterised comments sections under articles.

The end is nigh.

#33 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:22

Is it too much to hope that the 'upgrade' we went through here, will be replaced by an actual upgrade?

 

As for what it will mean content wise, we will have to wait and see. Some times a purchase like this makes both brands stronger, sometimes one is devoured by the other and all good that was disappear.

 

Many many moons ago there were a vibrant and active F1 community at a site called something like dailyf1, which were bought up by some other entity (which in my feeble mind may have been motorsport.come) and basically immediately was closed down, and the forum community scattered in a diaspora all over the interweb. We of the diaspora never really understood the being bought out then closed down, since in our own self-delusion thought us as the real price in the purchase.

 

In any even what will happen will happen, living in the US I see or hear no trembles, stirrings, or other soundings or indications that the US is becoming interested in F1, the bell curve is flat as a pancake. My guess would be a content grapping preparing for live action all the time on 1275474 different media outlets and platforms, if you do not have Football, Baseball, Basketball or Hockey you need some other types of bread for the circus, Liberty is putting a few on F1 / Motorsports being the thing.

 

:cool:

 

P.S. It is AtlasF1, it will always be AtlasF1



#34 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:28

I've worked for both, this is a bad move. 

 

I'm undecided on what to say about it, or whether to continue on the forum. 



#35 The Kanisteri

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:39

Autosport's credibility about F1 reports and bias has become something similar like Putin's news offices - so maybe this is a good move.



#36 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:46

You aint seen nothing yet...



#37 The Kanisteri

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:55

Ross, I take your word for it but I hope best.



#38 Jackman

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:06

I'm not sure that he was being positive...



#39 SenorSjon

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:11

Yeah, I handed back the angel wings and Zeus-style lightning bolts a while back. There was a thread about in the PC, along with announcing Vitesse2 would be stepping up to admin. Now I walk the earth with fellow humans once more :)

 

Ah, found it. Bit odd to place it there instead of the this forum, where I expect crew change announcements. :)

 

Everything will be consolidated and merged.. and then the forum will be replaced with some form of Facebook integrated twitterised comments sections under articles.

The end is nigh.

 

Oh dear no. More and more sites are using the dreaded Failbook system. It means endless clicking to read 10 comments with subthreads.



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#40 milestone 11

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:16

Monopolies are destructive. Can only see this as being bad for the press long term. Presumably, Dieter Rencken's services will no longer be required. Just one voice, just for those who are prepared to toe the party line. I wonder what the real Motorsport website owners make of this, how have this new motorsport.com been allowed to even use the name? http://www.autosport...aymarket-brands

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#41 pdac

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:16

With a bit of luck they'll remove the paywalls. I always felt the paywalls with what felt like ever reducing views per month was a sign of desperation. A lot of Autosport's staff has been slowly migrating over to Motorsport.com. I'd love to see the "Autosport Plus" editorial quality without any paywalls.

 

I can only imagine the opposite. If there are less outlets that you don't control then you can start to charge for your output. I imagine that, over time, you'll see a whole suite of different 'packages' that you can purchase and what you get for free will be worth nothing.



#42 milestone 11

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:16

Is forum moderation likely to be affected? maybe an administrator could give their view please before any likely changes are made.

#43 milestone 11

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:17

Probably sold for £1.
https://www.theguard...ebt-hq-sell-off

Edited by milestone 11, 06 October 2016 - 13:19.


#44 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:19

The article doesn't really say that?  :confused:



#45 milestone 11

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:28

The article doesn't really say that?  :confused:

Agreed, the numbers though don't look particularly healthy prior to sell-offs.

Edited by milestone 11, 06 October 2016 - 13:30.


#46 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:32

It's hard to say because you're looking at group figures not individual brands or divisions. Though given that they were sold you imagine the motorsport stuff was not hugely profitable. Or given Motorsport.coms aggressive acquisition strategy, Haymarket figured this was the best price they were going to get for a while. I wonder if it was the latter, the Show and the Awards should have been decent income generators. 



#47 Graveltrappen

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 13:55

I was in Sainsbury's just now and had a quick flick through F1Racing. It's probably half the size it used to be when I subscribed to it, and half of that is adverts and 'sponsored articles'.

When I was first into F1 I had a subscription and faithfully read it cover-to-cover several times each month. Now with the internet there just isn't any need for reading out of date news like that.

It's sad, as before I subscribed one of the highlights as a kid was walking down the town with my newspaper round money on a Saturday morning to grab a copy of F1Racing and the short lived F1-News magazine that was like a viz-does-F1 effort.

#48 Risil

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 14:08

It's hard to say because you're looking at group figures not individual brands or divisions. Though given that they were sold you imagine the motorsport stuff was not hugely profitable. Or given Motorsport.coms aggressive acquisition strategy, Haymarket figured this was the best price they were going to get for a while. I wonder if it was the latter, the Show and the Awards should have been decent income generators. 

 

The Guardian story does mention Pistonheads as a significant (if slightly unexpected) revenue generator. No word, as far as I can see, on whether Haymarket's held onto that.



#49 Jackman

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 14:15

Seems to be still part of the stable.



#50 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 14:15

Pistonheads would be Automotive. What Car, Autocar, Classic&Sportscar, etc.