“That’s just not in our cards”: Liberty Media dismisses rumors of selling F1 to other suitors

F1 Grand Prix of Miami
F1 Grand Prix of Miami - Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei in Miami (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei claims the company is not looking to sell F1 following speculation earlier this year that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was an interested party.

The sport is currently doing better than ever, having expanded its calendar immensely in recent years. Ever since Liberty Media took over from Bernie Ecclestone, the sport has seen an impressive trajectory, especially in the United States, where it will hold three races this year.

Despite F1's success in recent times, there have been speculations that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was interested in buying it. However, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has shut down any such rumors, claiming the company has only plans to grow the sport hereon.

Maffei told the Moffett Nathanson Media and Communications Summit about F1:

“Anyone says that our friends the Saudis are going to buy it next week or something like that, if anybody knows us, they should know that’s just not in our cards. We are very enthused about where Formula 1 is now but [also] where it’s going as well."

He added:

"You look at the big revenue streams there, all have good direction. In broadcasting, we have increased fans and we have increased distributors who want to push the product, including new digital distributors and the like."

F1 set to produce the Monaco GP TV broadcast for the first time in two decades

For the first time in two decades, Formula 1 is set to produce the TV broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix, taking over from the local broadcasters who previously handled the event. Previously, Tele Monte Carlo had been responsible for producing the broadcast, but now F1 will manage the entire event production itself.

This move signifies a significant shift, as Formula 1 will now take charge of the world feed for all races this year, becoming the primary controlling entity for broadcasting.

In the 1990s, local broadcasters such as ITV, RTL, and Rai were responsible for producing Grand Prix events in their respective countries, often prioritizing coverage of their home drivers.

However, the quality of these broadcasts varied from week to week. While broadcasters like ITV delivered coverage that met modern standards, others fell short, providing subpar broadcasts. In an effort to address this issue, Formula 1 has decided to assume complete control over its production.

The decision to take over production comes after criticism was directed at Monaco's broadcasters in 2021 when they showed a replay of Lance Stroll running wide at the Swimming Pool complex instead of focusing on an intriguing battle between Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly from Beau Rivage to Massenet.

By bringing production in-house, Formula 1 aims to prevent such errors and ensure a higher standard of broadcasting going forward.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar