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OMFG! MOTOGP HAS BEEN SOLD! THE SKY IS FALLING!

Everyone start yelling!

The sky is falling. Apparently.

 

An American concern called Liberty Media has acquired – or will when this purchase has been approved (hopefully by the end of this year) by various authorities who deal with foreign investments in an assortment of jurisdictions – 86 per cent of Dorna Sports SL, with Carmelo and his lot retaining some 14 per cent.

 

The deal will see Dorna remain an independently-run company, which retains the exclusive commercial and television rights for MotoGP. His Excellency will continue to run and manage the business with his team and family, and it will remain based in Madrid.

 

Upon the instant this was announced, the outraged howling began. Mainly from wizards.

 

There are people out there who are possessed of immense prescience. They know the future. They must be fucking wizards. They understand that as a result of Liberty Media buying 86 per cent of Dorna, the following will most definitely happen…

Grid girls will be consigned to Hell.

Everything will get heaps “cheesier”.

Ticket prices will rise.

The new owners will only care about money and not the sport.

It will become an American championship and Australia will be cut out from the calendar.

They will force the bikes to race on street circuits.

Most of the races will go to the Middle East.

 

So the sky is falling, according to the wizards. Mind your heads. And of course, all this horror will happen despite any input IRTA and the FIM might have to offer, right? Yep, that sky is sure as shit tumbling down upon us.

 

Or is it?

 

Who is Liberty Media? Well, according to its website it is:

 

“We are Liberty Media Corporation. Based in Englewood, Colorado, we own interests in a high-quality portfolio of assets across the media, communications and entertainment industries. Our interests are attributed to three tracking stocks: Liberty SiriusXM Group, Formula One Group and Liberty Live Group.”

 

Here, see for yourselves: https://www.libertymedia.com/

 

It’s not a new business. It has been around since 1991. If you look at its assets, you will see this:

 

https://www.libertymedia.com/about/asset-list

 

Liberty Media was founded by John Carl Malone. He was CEO of the huge cable and media Tele-Communications Inc. from 1973 to 1996. He is currently the chairman and largest shareholder of Liberty Media, Liberty Global, Qurate Retail, and owns seven per cent of Lionsgate and Starz Inc. He was the actual CEO of Liberty Media, until he was succeeded by  former Microsoft and Oracle Chief Financial Officer, Greg Maffei.

John also sits on the boards of  the Bank of New York Mellon, Expedia.com, Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

And, if that wasn’t enough, Johnno is also the second-largest private landholder in the USA, with 8900 square kilometres under his hand.

 

It’s unlikely he will go broke any time soon, huh?

 

But what about the destruction of our beloved MotoGP now this greedlord has bought Carmelo’s familial hobby horse?

 

Maybe seeing what has happened to Formula 1 since Liberty took 100 per cent control of that circus in 2017, and sent Bernie Ecclestone away, will give us some clue.

 

In 2016, Formula One audience was at 400 million – and it had been at around that figure for the past decade. In 2018, a year after Liberty Media acquired it, this live audience grew to 490 million. In 2019, the total global TV cumulative audience stood at 1.922bn, the highest since 2012, which represented an increase of nine per cent compared to 2018.

 

In 2022, according to Maury Brown at Forbes, big money was being made.

 

“With Formula One’s owner, Liberty Media, being publicly traded, we can see their financial reports each quarter. For the 2022 calendar year, F1 saw total revenues of $2.573 billion, up from $2.136 billion for calendar year 2021. More importantly, profits increased dramatically. Even with corporate losses of $66 million, operating income – a form of profit – for Formula 1 was $173 million, up a staggering 333% from the $40 million in operating income the racing league saw for 2021. Why the large increase? A few factors. For one, 2022 was the first year that attendance wasn’t capped due to the pandemic. Other factors included growth in sponsorships and hospitality. Cost increases included freight to move the teams around the globe, driver salaries, high hospitality costs, and general administrative costs namely through the planning and promotion of the upcoming inaugural Las Vegas night race.”

 

And this is the company that now owns our beloved MotoGP.

 

And this is the company, who, according to our wizards, is going to destroy the sport as a way of making more money. Though how those mathematics work is lost on me. You buy a thing, then destroy the thing, and big money is made, yes?

 

I have no idea what the new owners will do, if anything. Carmelo still runs the show, from what I can gather. He will continue to wear lederhosen and cavort with rich people. We will continue to see the fastest and most talented riders on earth break lap records and bitches hearts, and gouge each other’s souls every race.

 

I cannot see that changing. You can’t run bike races how you run car races. I would have thought that to be obvious, even to the wizards.

 

So I’m not going to yell about the sky falling until the pieces start hitting me on the head.

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Boris Mihailovic

Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.

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