Liberty Media Corporation have completed the acquisition of Formula 1; it has been confirmed this evening. As you have probably already read, Bernie Ecclestone is now in the position of ‘Chairman Emeritus’.
The relevant quotations below are from the key players. I do not normally regurgitate press releases, but this has far-reaching implications across Formula 1 and beyond that will no doubt play out over the next year, including the motor sport broadcasting circle.
Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media Corporation, commented: “There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this.”
> September 2016: The formula for tomorrow
> January 2017: A high level overview of who owns what in the motor sport landscape
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of F1, said: “I am excited to be taking on the additional role of CEO. F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities. I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport and we look forward to sharing these plans overtime.”
Bernie Ecclestone, Chairman Emeritus of F1, added: “I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula 1, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with. I’m very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”
If it has not done so already, the hard work for Liberty Media starts now. The next days, weeks and months ahead will be fascinating – on the track, and off it.
Update at 21:50 on January 23rd: Ross Brawn has been appointed Managing Director, Motor Sports and Sean Bratches as Managing Director, Commercial Operations. Bratches is an unfamiliar name to readers, but to quote the press release, Bratches was with ESPN for 27 years and, on the interactivity side was “responsible for the distribution of related HDTV, broadband, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, interactive television, pay-per-view, Spanish-language, and sports syndication products.”
Carey said: “I am thrilled Sean is joining Formula 1. Sean was a driving force in building ESPN into one of the world’s leading sports franchises. His expertise and experience in sales, marketing, digital media, and distribution will be invaluable as we grow Formula 1.”
Bratches added: “I’m very excited to be joining Formula 1 and contribute to the continued growth of this extraordinary global brand and sport. Formula 1 is one of few truly global tier one sports, and I am encouraged by the manifold opportunities to materially grow the business, work closely with current and future sponsors, race circuits, television rights holders as well as create next generation digital and on-site race experiences to best serve the Formula 1 fans.”