Explained: F1’s billion-dollar value as ‘most valuable sports empire’

F1 has been listed as the “most valuable sports empire” in the world by Forbes.

Liberty Media, who own F1, are valued at $21 billion (£16.8bn), pricier than the ownership groups that Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United belong to.

F1 itself is valued at $17.1 billion (£13.8bn).

Forbes’ top 10 most valuable sports empires

1: Liberty Media (Formula 1, Atlanta Braves, Drone Racing League, Meyer Shank Racing) – $20.8bn

2: Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Arsenal FC, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids) – $12.75bn

3: Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys, The Star) – $11.32bn

4: Fenway Sports Group (Liverpool FC, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins) – $10.4bn

5: Madison Square Garden Sports (New York Knicks, New York Rangers) – $9.17bn

6: The Kraft Group (New England Patriots, New England Revolution, UFC) – $7.94bn

7: Yankee Global Enterprises (New York Yankees) – $7.64bn

8: Glazer Family (Manchester United, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – $7.53bn

9: Paul G. Allen Trust (Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers) – $7.41bn

10: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC) – $6.42bn

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Forbes wrote: “Liberty Media’s sports empire, worth $21 billion, sits on top. Headed by billionaire John Malone, Liberty’s primary sports assets are the Formula One auto-racing circuit (enterprise value: $17.1 billion) and the Atlanta Braves MLB team ($2.1 billion). 

“Formula One had a banner 2022, averaging 1.21 million viewers across the ESPN family of networks, the highest on record for the series, and signed a new television deal in June reportedly worth at least $75 million a year, 15 times its previous deal. 

“No wonder Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund considered acquiring Formula One for $20 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.”

The reported bid from Saudi Arabia has caused a stir in F1.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA president, has been criticised by F1 for involving himself in the matter in a series of tweets.

Ben Sulayem is also at the centre of a controversy to potentially allow new teams into F1 for 2026.

Separately, The Times reported that the FIA president made sexist remarks on an old, personal website.

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