Tuesday October 3, 2023

Formula 1’s Huge Growth Drives Big Year for Liberty Media

  • Formula 1's accelerating growth and a revenue uptick from the Atlanta Braves guided Liberty Media to a profitable 2022.
  • F1's attendance grew 36% from 2019 to 5.7 million.
A group of Formula 1 drivers during the Montreal Grand Prix
David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
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October 3, 2023 | Podcast
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Liberty Media rode the surging popularity of Formula 1, an uptick in revenue from the Atlanta Braves, and strong results from SiriusXM to a profitable fourth quarter and full year in 2022.

F1, which begins its 2023 season this weekend in Bahrain, grew fan attendance 36% from 2019 to 5.7 million. F1’s full-year revenue rose 20% from 2021 to $2.6 billion, $1.2 billion of which was passed on to teams. 

The racing series’ operating income more than doubled to $239 million.

Quarterly revenue dipped 8% to $568 million, which Liberty attributed to one fewer race in Q4 2022 than in the same period the previous year.

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The Atlanta Braves, MLB’s only publicly traded team, saw revenues rise only slightly despite winning the World Series in 2021. The Braves were bounced out by the eventual National League pennant winner Philadelphia Phillies in the Division Series in 2022 — giving them only two postseason home games to the previous year’s eight.

The Braves saw average home game revenue rise from $6 million to $6.4 million, leading to a 4% increase to $588 million in total 2022 revenue. Increased operating expenses led to a $15 million loss on the year.

Liberty Media is set to split off the Braves into a separate stock listing called Atlanta Braves Holdings, Inc.

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