Formula 1 | Liberty Media, owner of F1, the world’s most valuable sports empire
Formula 1 parent company Liberty Media has been ranked by Forbes as the world’s most valuable sports empire for 2023, adding $7.8 billion to its valuation since 2021.
Forbes valued Liberty Media’s sports empire at $20.8 billion for 2023. Formula 1 sits at the top of Liberty’s portfolio, with an enterprise value of $17.1 billion, followed by Atlanta Braves team worth $2.1 billion.
Liberty Media acquired Formula 1 from a consortium of sellers led by private equity firm CVC and Bernie Ecclestone in late 2016 for $4.4 billion and it didn’t appear in the annual Forbes rankings until 2021. , after a change in methodology.
The $17.1 billion valuation for 2023, which includes debt, comes at a good time after FIA President Mohammad Bin Sulayem posted a series of tweets warning any potential buyer of inflated prices.
This was after it emerged Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund had explored acquiring F1 in a deal worth more than $20bn.
Ben Sulayem continued on Twitter saying that « Any potential buyer is urged to use common sense, consider the greater good of the sport, and come up with a clear and sustainable plan – not just big bucks ».
But F1 Management and Liberty Media agreed Ben Sulayem’s comments went beyond the FIA’s remit, fueling a sharply escalating row between F1 and the FIA. A letter sent to the World Motor Sport Council explained that these comments risked being exposed to « serious consequences » and that the FIA could be held responsible.
Liberty Media’s valuation of $20.8 billion has increased year over year, with an increase of $3.6 billion since the 2022 ranking and an increase of $7.8 billion since 2021 .
During this period, viewership figures continued to rise with cumulative TV viewership for 2021 up 4% from 2020 and US viewership figures jumping in 2022 as ESPN announced a record audience.
Liberty Media’s sports empire also includes Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owners of Premier League football club Arsenal, the Los Angeles Rams, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.