F1 posts $596 million drop in Q2 income
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 11th August, 2020 - 8:21am
Formula 1 has announced its second quarter revenue fell nearly USD $600 million (AUD $839 million) to just USD $24 million.
It’s a reversal of a USD $14 million profit from the April-June period in 2019 to a $136 million loss in 2020.
Formula 1 derives its income from three primary sources; race hosting fees, television rights, and a combination of track-side sponsorship and corporate hospitality.
No racing took place in the three months to June this year whereas seven events were held in the corresponding period in 2019.
“Since there were no events held during the second quarter of 2020, revenue recognition was limited, with recognised primary F1 revenue in the period consisting only of the elements of sponsorship contracts associated with non-race related rights,” Liberty Media’s Q2 report stated.
“No race promotion fees nor broadcasting fees were recognised.
“Similarly, other F1 revenue decreased due to zero revenue being generated from the Paddock Club and other event-based and television production activities.”
It was also revealed that there were no team payments made, due to the fact they are tied to events.
Holding races behind closed doors, Formula 1 is currently unable to charge promoters race hosting fees.
Instead, it is having to pay venues a circuit hire fee, a point which hits its bottom line.
Anticipating a difficult period, Liberty Media injected USD $1.4 billion into the sport in April by transferring a stake in the Live Nation event promotion business to SiriusXM.
Improved results in the next quarter as the season finally commenced in Austria at the start of July with a total of 10 events to be held from July-September.
Chase Carey, the sport’s Chief Executive Officer, acknowledged the difficulties facing the sport in a call with Wall Street analysts, though expects it will bounce back in 2021.
“If you go back at the beginning of this year, I feel we were actually pretty much on the track we had laid out three years ago,” Carey said.
“We have been clear, we were expecting 2020 to be another significant step forward, and 2021, to continue to be a further step forward.
“So we were very much on a trajectory to moving, and it wasn’t going to be in 12 months, but moving to delivering the type of growth that got us to a place.
“I think we felt at the beginning of this year, we were on a good track, and we’ve got a pretty predictable business model.
“So ex- the virus, we were very much moving to deliver the type of long-term growth that we had talked about. Obviously, the virus turned it all on its head.
“At this point, we’re planning on a 2021 that is probably not quite, but pretty close to the 2021 we would have planned,” he added.
“Now, planning anything in the virus era has obviously got complexities, because we don’t know what are going to be the issues in terms of limitations on fan attendance.
“One thing we do believe is that the world has to start to function in the ways we know the world. We do believe 2021 can be pretty close to back on the curve, or on the slope, we had planned for the business.
“But none of us have the visibility we’d like to the virus.
“I guess, excluding unexpected continuing encumbrances from the pandemic, we expect in 2021 and 2022 to be largely back on the curve we would have been on from sitting at the beginning of this year, with ’19 being a year of growth, and ’20 being a further year of growth.”
With a total of 13 races now confirmed for 2020, and five having been run, Carey remains confident the season will comprise of 15-18 events.
The United States, Mexican, and Brazilian Grands Prix have all been cancelled, while there are doubts surrounding the Chinese Grand Prix.
It is expected Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will host the final two rounds, with the former potentially hosting two events to take the calendar to 16 events.