Liberty Media Reports Revenue Gains, Prepares To Launch Formula 1 Streaming Service

Liberty Media, the company controlled by billionaire John Malone whose holdings include the satellite radio company SiriusXM, the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Formula 1 racing circuit, reported revenue and earnings gains in it first quarter.

The company reported earnings of $131 million, compared with a loss of $21 million a year ago. Revenue rose to $1.5 billion, up nearly 9% from last year’s consolidated revenue of $1.4 billion.

The company’s Liberty SiriusXM group reported $1.4 billion in revenue, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.36 billion. Adjusted operating income grew to $525 million, up 6% from a year ago.

SiriusXM saw an increase in revenue as the number of subscribers grew to a record 33 million. Liberty owns 70% of the satellite radio broadcaster, whose earnings are reported separately.

Liberty’s Formula One Group, which derives its revenue from a combination of race promotion fees, broadcasting fees and advertising and sponsorship, reported an operating loss of $118 million.

The group struck a long-term partnership with China Central Television, the state-owned broadcaster, to bring programming of Formula 1 back to the country for the first time since 2012. It’s also poised to launch the F1 TV Pro streaming service this weekend, timed to coincide with the Barcelona Grand Prix.

“We’re very excited to move forward with this important new dimension of our business,” said Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey.

The Braves, meanwhile, are in first place in the National League East. Ticket and concession sales are up from a year ago, because the team has hosted three home games (compared with none a year ago). However, the group posted an operating loss of $49 million because of costs associated with the Braves’ use of SunTrust Park.

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