What: John Malone, the leading executive at Liberty Global and Liberty Media, is about to buy 49% stake in the Formula One racing brand in partnership with Discovery Networks, according to reports. Discussions are still preliminary.
Why it matters: If the purchase goes through Formula One would be valued at US $ 9billion.
John Malone, who runs Liberty Global and Liberty Media, is about to buy a 49% stake in Formula One racing valuing the brand at more than US $9 billion. Malone would by the fabled Formula One brand in partnership with Discovery Communications, according to reports.
Malone had held preliminary talks with CVC Capital Partners, which owns about 35% of Formula One.
This purchase may change media companies and live sports rights’ owners relationship. Still, Malone and Discovery have not made any formal offer so far and talks are at an early stage. The move could also affect Malone’s rival Rupert Murdoch, who attempted and failed at bidding for the event back in 2011.
Malone is known for having spent almost US $30 billion on European cable assets in the past two years while Liberty Media is the middle of a US $61 billion battle to control Time Warner Cable and unite US cable.
BskyB is the current owner of the television rights to Formula One and has seen its pay TV sports rights challenged in recent years by a competitor, who has secured the right to Premier League and Champions League matches.