Liberty CEO’s first words on whether MotoGP will undergo big changes

Will MotoGP undergo major changes? The Liberty Media boss has his say

The CEO of Liberty Media has offered his first verdict on the future of MotoGP.

The US-based owners of Formula 1 have confirmed the acquisition of MotoGP too.

Dorna will continue in their role of managing MotoGP under the terms of the deal.

The Liberty CEO Greg Maffei was asked if MotoGP would undergo major changes in order to prioritise revenue for the new owner.

It was made clear that MotoGP would not - and could not - use street circuits, in the way that F1 sometimes does.

Maffei then added: “What we really saw in F1 was as we grew the fanbase your monetisation became easier. Because your partners, whether they be broadcast partners, promoter partners or sponsor partners and whether they are looking at branding or activation, and more and more at activation, it’s all part and parcel.

“As that excitement grows, as that demand grows, as that audience grows, everything kind of flows together.

“That’s what we felt in Formula 1, those all came together. And I like to believe that is the potential here.

“[MotoGP] is an unbelievable product, we are not planning to change this sport.

“Our goal is to open that up to a broader audience. Open it up to a broader set of commercial partners of all flavours. Those go hand in hand.”

Liberty-MotoGP deal subject to regulatory approval

Liberty Media insist the deal to acquire MotoGP will be concluded by the end of this year.

They do require regulatory approval, which they are confident of obtaining.

This situation arose in 2006 when owners CVC were forced to offload MotoGP when they bought into F1.

Maffei insists this deal is different: “I remember speaking to the CVC management. They were under a tight timeframe to get a deal done to buy F1.

"So, they did not have the time to go and work through the regulatory process.

“They were a private equity firm which had a big gain in one product, and were moving to buy the other when they had a contract to execute on.

“We are in a very different position.

"We are absolutely aligned as a group into a changed market.

"We're not under the same sort of time pressures.

“We believe the regulatory process will move quickly and smoothly. But it will take the time they need and this deal will get done."

Maffei added: "We are very confident we will get this through regulators.

“We believe there is a broad market for sports and entertainment properties, of which both Formula 1 and MotoGP are only a small subset.

“The market has continued to change from the time when the market was previously reviewed in a major way.

"We are going to not treat these as a bundle, or to try to bring them together. These are both separate properties.

“The things that we are bringing to the table here are not in any way leveraging the two.”

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