F1 owner Liberty Media to acquire MotoGP

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

Liberty Media on Monday announced plans to acquire premier motorcycle racing series MotoGP in a deal valued at 4.2 billion euros (approximately $4.53 billion).

It means the U.S. media giant will soon own the highest echelon of motorsports on both two and four wheels. Liberty Media is the same company that acquired Formula 1 in 2016, in a deal that was valued at the time at about $8 billion.

For its latest deal, Liberty Media will acquire the current rights holder of MotoGP, Madrid-based Dorna Sports. Following the acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Dorna Sports will remain an independently run company under Liberty Media’s Formula One Group, which oversees a number of Liberty Media’s assets, including F1.

Liberty Media will acquire approximately 86% of Dorna, with Dorna’s current management retaining the rest. Carmelo Ezpeleta, who has been Dorna’s CEO since 1994, will remain in his position and continue to run the operation at its current Madrid location.

In a statement, Ezpeleta said he and his team intend to grow MotoGP with the backing of Liberty Media. Since taking over the rights to F1, Liberty Media has managed to significantly grow F1’s popularity, especially in the U.S. where growth had eluded the sport for years. There are three U.S. races on the 2024 F1 calendar, and five for all of North America. MotoGP has a single U.S. race on its 2024 calendar.

Liberty Media’s deal also includes the rights to other motorcycle racing series owned by Dorna. The list includes MotoGP feeder series Moto2 and Moto3, as well as the Superbike World Championship and new Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship.

MotoGP, sanctioned by the FIM, held its inaugural season in 1949, a year before F1’s start. That first season staged six rounds across Europe, and since then the sport has grown to comprise around 20 races per season spanning five continents. The current television broadcast reaches hundreds of millions around the world, according to the organizers.

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