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HomeEntertainmentLiberty Media CEO says Formula 1 circuit is not for sale

Liberty Media CEO says Formula 1 circuit is not for sale


Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has poured water on speculation that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is looking to launch a takeover bid for Formula 1.

“Any chance we’re going to sell this thing and have to pay corporate taxes? That should stop any discussion of someone saying our friends the Saudis are going to buy it next week or something? If anyone knows us, they should know that this is just not in our hands,” Maffei told the MoffettNathanson Inaugural Technology, Media and Telecom conference during a webcast session.

John Malone’s Liberty Media paid $4.4 billion to buy the motorsports giant in 2017 and has since invested to boost the consumer appeal of the auto racing series, a major event for TV sports channels around the world. Paramount+ has recently become an official partner of the racing car circuit as Formula 1 gains more exposure online.

In January 2023, media reports indicated that Saudi Arabia was making a $20 billion bid for the major race car series, which Liberty Media rejected.

Maffei also discussed increased competition for Liberty Media’s audio entertainment powerhouse SiriusXM from traditional free radio and music subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music. “We see increasing competition, but we continue to attract our share of customers, especially high-end customers because of the ease of use of the product,” he told the investor conference.

And Maffei said Howard Stern wasn’t going anywhere shortly after renewing his contract with Sirius Radio for another five years in 2020. “Howard has a good performance. We’re trying to make sure it’s a good performance for him. He loves his audience. He seems to speak very positively about management. Every once in a while I get a call,” Maffei said.

Liberty Media’s CEO appearance at the investor conference was at one point interrupted by an animal rights activist who urged the CEO to stop sponsoring the Iditarod dog sled race through Liberty Media-owned internet provider GCI.

The webcast feed for Maffei’s performance went down momentarily as security removed the activist from the conference room.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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