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Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei Discusses Live Nation and Ticketmaster Amid DOJ Scrutiny

Liberty Media’s CEO, Greg Maffei, recently reassured stakeholders by aligning with Live Nation CFO Joe Berchtold’s stance against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) scrutiny that could lead to a split between Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Maffei emphasized during a recent analyst call that the DOJ’s concerns are centered around particular business practices rather than the overall merger or structure. He asserted that separating Live Nation from Ticketmaster wouldn’t be a legally viable solution.

This development comes amid ongoing discussions between Live Nation and senior DOJ officials aimed at preventing a potential breakup following their merger in 2010, which had received DOJ approval.

Furthermore, Liberty Media, which owns assets like SiriusXM and the Formula 1 racing circuit, showcased robust financial growth in its first-quarter results. The Formula 1 Group saw a significant revenue increase, jumping 45 percent to between $553 million and $1.23 billion. The Liberty SiriusXM Group also reported a slight revenue uptick, with figures climbing to $2.16 billion from the previous year’s $2.14 billion, and net income rose from $233 million to $265 million.

Maffei shared that the planned merger of the Liberty SiriusXM Group with SiriusXM is proceeding smoothly, anticipating completion in the third quarter of 2024, with all necessary regulatory approvals on track.

He also highlighted Live Nation’s strong performance post-pandemic, with bookings for large shows surpassing previous years’ numbers. Maffei remains optimistic about continuing this upward trajectory through 2024.

The discussion also touched on the TV rights for the Atlanta Braves, particularly in the context of Diamond Sports Group’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Maffei expressed confidence in handling potential outcomes, citing a highly valuable broadcasting territory and multiple alternatives should Diamond Sports Group fail to recover. This point was underpinned by Atlanta Braves CEO Derek Schiller during the call, who addressed a related carriage dispute involving Bally Sports and Comcast, emphasizing the need for a resolution between the two.

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