What does Liberty's purchase of Formula One mean?

Discussion started by Thomas Lane , on Friday, 09 September 2016 08:07

So Liberty Media has agreed the purchase of Formula One.

The multi-billion pound purchase will see Bernie Ecclestone remain at the forefront of the sport while Chase Carey will take on the role of Chairman.

What do you think that the purchase means to the sport and did Liberty pay too much/little?

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Chuck Lantz
It's difficult to write a brief statement about a sport I literally grew up with, and have dearly loved for decades, and then watched deteriorate into the mess we have today.

Not so long ago, Formula One was about incredibly gifted, mature and courageous men and women with strong public personalities, designing, building and driving insanely dangerous, powerful and gawdawfully loud cars, all unique in one way or another, on tracks rich in history, filled with knowledgeable fans who followed and understood every detail of the sport.

Now, as they say, ... not so much.

To over-simplify a complex issue; the Formula One we have today is dull when compared to Formula One just a few years ago. And it's getting duller by the minute.

I'm positive that any details of F1's self-inflicted suicide that I include will be quickly and intelligently shot-down, one by one, so I'll just say this; I sincerely hope that Liberty truly understands and loves what they have purchased, and that they will try to reverse the general direction F1 has been going for the past few years. This includes everything from design, presentation, tracks and it especially includes access.

And I mean ACCESS! ... in every way possible, making it dead-simple and dirt-cheap - if not totally free of charge - for anyone and everyone, most especially young boys and girls, to once again see F1 from top to bottom, front to back. That is the only way Liberty and whoever else is involved can restore and rebuild the fan-base that made Formula One the great sporting event, and great human event, that it once was.

And, yes, dear critic, now shaking your head with a slight, knowing grin, it can be done. And it must be done, unless you want to see F1 go the same route the America's Cup, Indy 500 and even NASCAR are going, all of them drained of almost all real drama, replaced by make-believe drama, as a result of trying to squeeze every last dime out of a shrinking fan-base in order to meet an ever-expanding payroll.

(Since I'm a total stranger to almost everyone reading this, this might help explain where I'm coming from, opinion-wise: I think, and know, that Steve McQueen's "Le Mans" was the best movie ever made about racing, and that the film "Grand Prix" was essentially a comedy.)
257 days ago
Jonathan Gee
The Liberty Media deal is the commercial boost F1 has been waiting for . . .

Recent years have seen big brands (with the notable exception of Heineken) reluctant to commit to the sport on account of negative publicity, lack of personalities and general uncertainty.

I predict marketing directors will quickly begin to take a renewed interest in F1 and that, with Liberty's American influence, we can expect to see far more household names appearing on Grand Prix cars in the future - much more as in NASCAR.
262 days ago
Mark Hughes
The purchase of F1 by Liberty Media is a positive move and one hopes it will be a catalyst for new levels of creativity interaction in terms of fan engagement. I would hope that this includes much more general access and that they work with the tracks to make race weekends an even bigger spectacle and much better value given the typical price of tickets.

However, the commercial rights are just part of the current issues within F1. There is still the matter of equality amongst the teams whether that be performance, budgets or both. Then there are the never ending changes to the way F1 is policed including use of team radio, track limits etc.

Right now, Liberty, the FIA, the teams and the circuits need to start pulling in the same direction and, with any luck develop a clear 5 year plan of where the sport is going and stick to it.

This is a great opportunity to create an exciting new era for F1. Let's hope we don't find ourselves with a status quo and look back in 12 months and think nothing has improved!
263 days ago
Nigel Geach
We can say with some certainty that the future for F1 is bright. Whilst the fragmented media markets around the world and for F1 specifically continue to paint a complex picture of the size of audiences, largely due to moving between free to air and subscription based services, global interest in the sport remains constantly high.

The current trend we are seeing globally is an increase in programming around the live races themselves which is going a long way to negating any loss of viewership market by market which subscription TV may have had an impact on. This is certainly true of audiences in F1's traditional heartlands of Germany, Italy and Brazil which are all up this season, which is very encouraging to see.

F1 still poses a fantastic vehicle for brands looking to engage with not just avid fan bases, but a fan base which is truly global. New markets like Indonesia and Holland, largely encouraged by the success of their drivers in recent years are coming to the fore and audiences are certainty tuning in. In this purchase of F1 we will most likely see a marketing push to grow the sport further and to build interest among a wider and potentially younger audience base.
263 days ago
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