Liberty Media obtains rights to MotoGP via Dorna acquisition

The deal, valued at €4.2 billion, unites MotoGP with Formula 1 under Liberty Media's ownership.

The American mass media company, Liberty Media has acquired Dorna Sports, the exclusive commercial and television rights holder of MotoGP, the premier motorcycle racing series.

The deal, valued at €4.2 billion, unites MotoGP with Formula 1 under Liberty Media’s ownership.

Dorna Sports will remain independent under Liberty Media’s Formula One Group. Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna’s longtime CEO, will remain at the helm, managing the business with his existing team from its headquarters in Madrid.

This acquisition expands Liberty Media’s motorsports portfolio beyond F1. In addition to MotoGP, Dorna holds exclusive rights to other motorcycle racing series such as Moto2, Moto3, the MotoE electric motorcycle championship, the Superbike World Championship, and the newly formed Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship.

Liberty Media will acquire a controlling 86% stake in Dorna, with Dorna’s management retaining the remaining 14%. The transaction reflects an enterprise value of €4.2 billion and an equity value of €3.5 billion for Dorna/MotoGP.

Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO, said, “We are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP. MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing and a highly cash flow generative financial profile. Carmelo and his management team have built a great sporting spectacle that we can expand to a wider global audience. The business has significant upside, and we intend to grow the sport for MotoGP fans, teams, commercial partners and our shareholders.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, said, “This is the perfect next step in the evolution of MotoGP, and we are excited for what this milestone brings to Dorna, the MotoGP paddock and racing fans. We are proud of the global sport we’ve grown, and this transaction is a testament to the value of the sport today and its growth potential. Liberty Media has an incredible track record in developing sports assets and we could not wish for a better partner to expand MotoGP’s fanbase around the world. The acquisition is expected to be completed by year-end 2024 and is subject to the receipt of clearances and approvals by competition and foreign investment law authorities in various jurisdictions.”

Liberty Media, a diversified media and entertainment company, has established three tracking stock groups: Liberty SiriusXM Group, Formula One Group, and Liberty Live Group. This acquisition expands the Formula One Group’s portfolio, which already includes Formula 1 and Quint.

Dorna Sports, founded in 1991, has grown from managing solely MotoGP to overseeing a vast motorcycle racing landscape. It boasts a long-standing presence in the sport, having secured the exclusive commercial and television rights for the FIM MotoGP World Championship since its inception.

The recent acquisition of broadcast rights in India and the South Asian region by Eurosport India, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery, highlights MotoGP’s expanding global reach.

This acquisition comes amidst an ongoing MotoGP season. Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac Racing currently leads the rider standings after two races, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder in close pursuit. The championship continues with the Grand Prix of the Americas on April 15 at 12:30 AM IST.

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