US media giant Liberty, which owns Formula 1 (F1), has reported a 25% rise in the motor racing series’ revenue during the 2023 financial year thanks to a strong fourth quarter boosted by the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

That strand of the Liberty empire – known as Formula One Group – brought in $3.2 billion in total during the 12 months up to December 31, 2023, compared to $2.57 billion in 2022.

The revenue was split most prominently between race promotion (29.3%), media rights income (32.2%), and sponsorship fees (18%).

It led to an operating income figure of $297 million across 2023 for F1, and adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization of $686 million.

The significant 25% revenue increase was boosted by the sport’s return to Las Vegas (in November) after a four-decade absence.

In promoting the race itself, F1 was able to increase revenue through sponsorship deals, ticket sales, and hospitality.

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With the Las Vegas race taking place in the fourth quarter, this contributed heavily to revenue of $1.23 billion in the period, up from $754 million in the previous year.

Media rights revenues, meanwhile, grew due to increased fees under new and renewed contractual agreements and continued growth in F1 TV subscriptions.

The series also claims it generated 1.5 billion cumulative TV viewers and 70.5 million social media followers in 2023, while in-person attendance was up to 6 million, a rise of 5% compared to 2022.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix race week also recorded 16 billion global social media impressions.

Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 president and chief executive, has said: “2023 marked another incredible season for Formula 1. We had strong engagement across all platforms, with record race attendance and F1 holding its position as the fastest-growing league on social media for the fourth consecutive year.

“F1 saw continued fan growth especially in the US market, strengthened by the successful Las Vegas Grand Prix, and across a younger and more female audience. We are excited for the 2024 season as we focus on deepening our relationships with fans and optimizing our commercial partnerships to bring incremental value.”

F1’s financial results have been disclosed ahead of the start of the 2024 season, which begins in Bahrain on Saturday (March 2).

There will be a record 24 races, including a return to China for the first time since 2019.

F1 has concluded several commercial and broadcast deals recently, in advance of the new campaign.

This week the series extended its sponsorship deal with DHL, the international logistics heavyweight, and renewed with Saudi Telecom Company to continue as the title rights partner of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

F1 also signed a 10-year media rights deal with international pay-TV broadcaster BeIN Sports in the Middle East, Turkey, and North Africa, and struck a multi-year agreement in Romania with the free-to-air network Antena.

In recent months, meanwhile, it has announced multiple race promotion deals, including a new multi-year agreement to race in Madrid from 2026 and renewals of British, Japanese, and Brazilian Grands Prix.

Overall, Liberty posted revenue of $12.5 billion for the year.

In January, the company completed its acquisition of QuintEvents, the travel and events company that provides ticketing and hospitality services for major sports and entertainment rightsholders.

Liberty purchased more than 90% of Quint for $313 million. The company will be attributed to Formula One Group. F1 and Quint will continue to be operated as separate companies, however.