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Liberty CEO insists F1 balance sheet remains strong after losses

Formula 1 revenues fell by 44% year over year in 2020, pushing the sport to a loss for the year as the global pandemic hit income.

Greg Maffei, CEO of Formula 1 parent company Liberty Media, has said that he remains confident in the sport’s balance sheet and financial stability in the coming season despite recording a $386 million operating loss in 2020. Speaking to Wall Street analysts following the release of the group's 2020 results, Maffei said he is "not worried" about F1’s balance sheet despite the loss of spectators and other income sources due to the pandemic last year. "I think one of the things about being part of the Liberty group is we have the ability to hopefully look ahead and be thoughtful with the benefit of our operating companies," he said. "The F1 balance sheet is very, very strong. I think the operating levels that we have in our agreements are fine. And then when you look at the cash flow level, it’s quite strong. So I'm not really worried about the balance sheet." And while Maffei said the group expects a more normal broadcast income level for the coming season compared to last year especially given the expanded calendar of 23 races, he also warned that developments around the pandemic could still derail the plans. "We expect a fairly normal broadcast revenue stream in light of our 23 races. Now, again, no crystal ball about exactly how COVID plays out,” he said. "But our goal was to try and take the pain in 2020, to the degree that we rightly had to make concessions to some of our broadcasters - our goal was to as much as possible make that a 2020 event, and bring 2021 back to normal. "That is our hope and our expectation. But COVID could change that, as a warning."

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