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F1 2021 revenue up 87% to US$2.14bn

Q4 sees series’ income jump 62% to US$787m.

28 February 2022 Ed Dixon

Getty Images

  • F1 benefits from increased race promotion
  • Sponsorship revenue up for fourth quarter
  • F1 owner Liberty Media sees total revenue hit US$11.4bn

Formula One’s revenue for the three months ended 31st December rose 62 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to US$787 million, the series’ owner Liberty Media has announced.

The global motorsport series posted operating income of US$62 million for the fourth quarter, having suffered a US$41 million loss for the same period in 2020.

The main revenue driver for Q4 was increased race promotion compared to the year prior where there were limits on fan attendance due to Covid-19. Despite contractual increases and a growth in subscription revenue for the F1 TV over-the-top (OTT) platform, media rights revenue was flat for the period due to the impact of lower proportionate recognition of season-based income in 2021. Seven out of the 2022 races took place in Q4 of 2021, while seven out of 17 were held in the same period in 2020.

Formula One’s sponsorship revenue for the period was up, courtesy of new deals and pandemic-related reductions to sponsorship revenue recognised in the prior year.

For 2021, Formula One’s total revenue climbed nearly 87 per cent to US$2.14 billion. Operating income was US$40 million, compared to a US$444 million loss for 2020.

“2021 was a remarkable year for Formula One in all respects. The racing was spectacular and the business produced outstanding results,” said Stefano Domenicali, Formula One president and chief executive.

“We continue to build off this strong foundation and look forward to our record setting 23-race calendar for 2022 with new cars, regulations, races and drivers.”

Domenicali’s comments came before Formula One confirmed the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix.

Across its three divisions, Liberty Media’s total revenue for 2021 was US$11.4 billion and operating income was US$1.98 billion.

Of this amount, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Atlanta Braves brought in US$568 million, up a whopping 219 per cent YoY. Operating income for the year was US$20 million, compared to a US$128 million loss in 2020. The Braves’ revenue for Q4 nearly tripled YoY from US$35 million to US$102 million.

The SiriusXM audio media company, which Liberty has an 81.2 per cent stake in, managed a record revenue of US$8.7 billion for 2021, up eight per cent YoY. Operating income jumped 156 per cent to US$1.92 billion. For Q4, revenue was US$2.3 billion and operating income US$450 million.

“It was a strong end to 2021 for the Liberty companies. The finish to the Formula One World Championship could not have been more suspenseful. The compelling action on the track continues to power the business’s flywheel and we recently made numerous announcements around value-creating agreements,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media president and chief executive.

“SiriusXM hit record revenue and adjusted EBITDA levels and announced a US$1 billion special dividend. The Atlanta Braves are still basking in the glory of their World Series title. Live Nation benefited from incredible fan demand in the back half of the year and all leading indicators point to record performance in 2022.

“We enter this year energised and excited for the next areas of growth across the board.”

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