On the surface, Formula 1's global revenues are on an upward trajectory: the recent Liberty Media deal placed an enterprise value of $8 billion (£6.15bn) on the sport via 2015 annual revenues of around $1.8bn/£1.39bn. Of that, 10 teams shared approximately half (though it wasn't divided equally); their collective slice amounts to $883million/£680m, paid in 10 monthly instalments during 2016.
The Liberty transaction should result in the US-based, NASDAQ-listed entity with interests in sport, events and media acquiring control of F1's commercial rights after completing the second phase of a stock-purchase agreement by mid-2017. But the bullishness surrounding the deal deftly camouflages real concerns about F1's sustainability unless it moves away from a creaking business model still rooted in the 1980s.
The fact is that television eyeballs, and, by extension, the ability of teams to attract meaningful sponsorship are plunging (30% over five years). At the same time F1's calendar doggedly hiccups at the 20/21-race mark despite talk of 25 fixtures. In addition, there is increasing pushback from promoters over their hosting fees-versus-income equations.
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