F1 Owners Liberty Media Just Bought MotoGP for $4.5 Billion

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F1's Owners Will Buy MotoGP for $4.5 BillionIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

Liberty Media, the company that has owned the commercial rights to Formula 1 since 2016, has announced plans to acquire commercial rights to MotoGP. The deal is set to complete by the end of 2024 at a cost of $4.5 billion and MotoGP Management will retain 14% ownership after the sale.

Once the deal is complete, Liberty Media will be in sole control of the commercial rights for grand prix racing for both cars and bikes going forward. While that comes with some non-competitive concerns, it also opens the door for possible cross-promotion that could grow both audiences. That could be particularly fruitful for MotoGP, which had such an issue getting a new TV deal in the U.S. this year that the entire package was announced just three days before the season's first race.

Although Liberty Media has invested heavily in growing Formula 1 through major schedule and marketing changes, representatives of the brand said on an investor call Monday that current plans for MotoGP are not so extreme. Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of current MotoGP owners Dorna, will continue to run the series going forward. Street circuits remain off the table despite rampant speculation of MotoGP following F1's expansion strategy by adding more, due in no small part to the major safety concerns that come when racing motorcycles without ample runoff areas.

Continuity is the plan, and Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei seems pleased with the series as it is run today. Maffei made that clear during the investor call, adding that "[MotoGP] is an unbelievable product, we are not planning to change this sport."

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