F1 revenue falls by $200 million following cancelled races

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 brought in less than $40 million of revenue in the first quarter of 2020, when the season-opening races in Australia and Bahrain were called off.

Revenue during the period fell from $246 million 12 months ago to $39 million this year. The Formula 1 Group reported a loss of $152 million for the quarter, almost $100m more than was lost in the same period 12 months ago.

The lack of races in the first quarter meant “primary F1 revenue consisted only of the elements of sponsorship contracts associated with non-race related rights that were recognised during the period” said the series in a statement. “No race promotion fees nor broadcasting fees were recognised.

“Similarly, other F1 revenue decreased due to zero revenue recognised from the Paddock Club and other event-based activities and television production activities.”

The sport’s revenue is likely to remain low in the second quarter of 2020 as all eight races which were due to be held have been postponed or cancelled. “We currently expect no races to take place in the second quarter of 2020,” the statement confirmed.

“We are thankful to the FIA, teams, promoters, our employees and other key partners for their support and efforts during this challenging time,” said F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey.

“We are moving forward with our 2020 plans, while working to strengthen the long term future of Formula 1 through new technical, sporting and financial regulations that will further improve the competition and action on the track and make it a healthier business for all involved.”

The championship intends to begin its season with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5th.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “F1 revenue falls by $200 million following cancelled races”

  1. “No race promotion fees nor broadcasting fees were recognised.

    Does that mean it’s been refunded, or it’s just not being accounted as realized income?

    I’m actually surprised that they’ve had a non-zero income. Nearly $40 million of sponsorship income when there’ve been no physical events is impressive, although that might be for exposure gained in the two-and-a-half months prior to the Aus GP.

    1. Maybe they get that much from Netflix for the background series?

      1. @bascb – very good point, I’d totally forgotten about DTS. That could very well be it, and it would explain the timing as well.

        1. ColdFly (@)
          7th May 2020, 16:10

          NetFlix doesn’t pay FOM a lot according to Ross Brawn in an interview earlier this year, @bascb, @phylyp.

          Netflix in itself wasn’t for us a hugely profitable venture, in terms of giving greater coverage for F1, it’s been fantastic. (Ross Brawn)

          1. To be fair, @coldfly, $40M isn’t a huge amount of money to Brawn, Liberty or Netflix. Although… not sure Netflix will pay that much this year to record Steiner cursing on skype about how they’ve been struggling to setup their Pirelli gloves and masks as well as the fashionista teams.

          2. I remember reading that too @coldfly. I agree that it is probably more than just the Netflix thing, but that could well be a large chunk of the money. And as @jimmi-cynic mentions it’s a relatively minor amount for a sport like F1 even if it would be just netflix

    2. @phylyp Sponsorship obligations met in testing and the like would have yielded income.

  2. @coldfly – that’s interesting, thanks for clearing it up. And thank you for that link as well.

  3. I wonder at what level of losses Liberty Media goes bankrupt?

  4. How can they post revenues of 39M when Bahrain had already paid them inadvance the full hosting fees ( estimated between 40-45 million) ??!!

    1. it’s actually 53Million by now ( 40-45million was about 10 years ago)

    2. They received that amount LAST year though. Races pay up front

    3. @triples It probably arrived in a different quarter (my guess is the quarter before this one) and the likely refund would be the quarter we’re currently in.

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