Australia Race Threat

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has said that the Australian Grand Prix could be taken off the calendar in 2010. He is more concerned with European television audiences.
“When the contract comes up, we have to have a look and see exactly what we will be doing with Melbourne,” he said. Unless they (organisers) can come up with something satisfactory, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to continue there. “I would like to make sure we can watch (the race) in Europe and other parts of the world at a respectable time rather than having to get up at three or four in the morning.”
Furthermore, the Australian Grand Prix itself could be under threat regardless of venue if a better Television deal to show other Formula 1 races is not sought, while a reverse in falling attendance numbers is also being demanded.
“Ron is not stupid and he knows exactly what is at stake,” Ecclestone added. “It seems that Melbourne tried to get behind F1 and always has done, but the rest of Australia doesn’t seem to get behind it.”  However, skeptics are thought to believe that holding a night race in Melbourne will not be a success, while the Brack Government has also hit back at Ecclestone’s remarks, claiming that negotiations are yet to even start.
“We strongly support the race,” said a spokesman for Tourism Minister Tim Holding. “The contract runs until 2010, but we haven’t begun negotiating that yet. And a night Grand Prix has never been formally proposed. Ultimately the Victorian Government will decide what is best for Melbourne.”
I would like to see the Australian government stand firm against Mr. Ecclestone. There are some things more important than television ratings.

Credit Crash.net for the quote.