Sunday December 3, 2023

Liberty Media Looks to Turn Corner After Losses

Photo: J. Getz/K. Jairaj-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
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Liberty Media has faced its fair share of struggles during the pandemic, a reality confirmed by the release of its Q4 and full-year 2020 earnings reports this week.  

Forbes named Liberty Media 2021’s world’s most valuable sports empire at $13 billion, but the mass media company that owns the Atlanta Braves, Formula One, and SiriusXM saw a plunge in revenue across its sports holdings.

The Braves Group recorded $178 million in revenue for 2020, down from $476 million in 2019.

“The decrease in baseball revenue for the full year was primarily driven by fewer games held without fans, which led to lower ballpark operations revenue,” the company said. “Fewer games also negatively impacted broadcasting revenue.”

Formula One Group also reported a significant decrease in revenue — from $2 billion in 2019 to $1.1 billion in 2020 — but the racing giant isn’t slowing down.

“We are planning a record-setting 23-race calendar in 2021 and continue to work with governments, promoters, and local organizations as we navigate COVID-19 protocols,” said Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO at Formula One.

Despite the setbacks in sports, Liberty was able to lean on SiriusXM. Live Nation — a part of Sirius XM — saw a 3% increase in revenue to over $8 billion from its 2019 fiscal year revenue of $7.8 billion, thanks to alternative events it offered.

Last month, Liberty Media’s SPAC went public through a $500 million IPO. Shares rose 27.5% on its first day of trading.

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