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Negotiating F1 and MotoGP TV deals together "a non-starter" - Liberty

Liberty Media says the idea that it will start to negotiate Formula 1 and MotoGP TV deals under its new ownership of the latter is "a non-starter".

Enea Bastianini, Ducati Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

On 1 April, American media giant Liberty announced it had acquired 86% ownership of Dorna Sports and the MotoGP World Championship in a blockbuster €4.2 billion deal.

The buyout, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, means Liberty now owns the world's two biggest motorsport series in F1 and MotoGP.

During an investors call on Monday, Liberty CEO Greg Maffei ruled out any suggestions the company could negotiate joint TV deals for MotoGP and F1 primarily due to regulatory issues.

But Maffei is confident Liberty knows how to market MotoGP to prospective media partners due to its "insights into how the media landscape is evolving".

"The one thing we will not be doing is negotiating MotoGP and Formula 1 together, both because of the regulatory issues and because of the structure of our deal with our F1 partners and teams," said Maffei.

"So, that's a non-starter. I would like to think Liberty has insights into how the media landscape is evolving and how to make the product appealing to media partners outside of the traditional bases of Italy and Spain and France, and to help grow in those other markets. I think we have some insights on that."

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Honda Racing

In the same call, Maffei said he was "very confident" Liberty's buyout of MotoGP would pass through anti-trust regulators smoothly.

While stopping short of saying what plans it has to grow MotoGP's fanbase, Maffei highlighted the various successes Liberty has had in opening F1 up to a wider audience since its takeover in 2016.

"As far as growing the fanbase, I point to a lot of things," he added.

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"We obviously had success with Netflix, but we've also had success in opening up F1 in many other ways, whether it be social media, whether it be bringing drivers to race fans on Twitch, to fan experience zones, to fan zones, really changing the perspective on how the sport is done.

"This [MotoGP] is an amazing sport and its passionate fanbase knows how exciting it is.

"But our goal is to expose that in some ways to a broader world like we've done in some ways with F1."

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