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Liberty eyeing more music in ATL with The Battery

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has told investors Liberty is “increasingly a company [involved] in live performance”, as he unveiled plans to leverage his company’s stake in Live Nation to bring more live music to Atlanta, Georgia.

In an investors’ meeting yesterday afternoon, Maffei said The Battery – an under-construction entertainment district surrounding the new SunTrust Park (41,149-cap.) stadium, home to the Liberty-owned Atlanta Braves baseball team – said his focus is on “getting the rest of The Battery leased [and] seeing increased events around the whole experience, like more concerts from Live Nation”, with the promoter a “big part of” the company’s future plans.

The Battery has already hosted several live events, with John Mayer, TI, Glass Animals and comedian Dave Chappelle already having placed the 3,000-cap. Coca-Cola Roxy venue and a “strong line-up of concerts” planned for the summer and autumn, Maffei said.

The stadium itself, operated by Liberty’s Atlanta National League Baseball Club Inc. company, has also hosted headline shows by Billy Joel and Metallica.

“The Braves have begun a path to creating an awful lot of experience which is more than just putting a baseball team on the field”

Other major stadia in Atlanta include Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000-cap.) and GWCCA’s Georgia Dome (80,000-cap.), the latter soon to be replaced by the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“Liberty is increasingly a company which has investment and operations in live performance, whether it’d be live concerts or live sporting,” Maffei told investors. “And I think you’ll see that the Braves have begun a path to create an awful lot of experience which is more than just putting a baseball team on the field. [The] Battery’s a part of that.”

In addition to Live Nation, Liberty’s other investments include motorsports series Formula 1, which it agreed to acquire last September, and satellite radio service Sirius XM, which last month pumped US$480 million into Pandora as the company sold off Ticketfly.

Live Nation rival AEG has of late been investingly heavily in Battery-style mixed-use entertainment districts, including in Tennessee’s Nashville Yards and Puerto Rican capital San Juan.

 


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Liberty Media hails LN results after record Q3

Despite having forked out US$746 million for Formula 1 in September, Liberty Media Corporation posted record turnover of US$1.3 billion in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016.

The radio and mass media group, which owns a 34% stake in Live Nation, recorded a 9% increase in revenue and a 16% climb in net income, to $194m, buoyed by what its president and CEO, Greg Maffei, calls “outstanding results” in Q3 from Live Nation. Speaking to investors, Maffei (pictured) also praised the strong performance of satellite radio group SiriusXM and baseball team Atlanta Braves.

“We were thrilled to announce our planned acquisition of F1, the iconic global motorsports business,” Maffei told investors. “We see tremendous opportunities and are excited for [new F1 chairman] Chase Carey to bring his media and business experience to the sport.

“Live Nation produced outstanding results, with record quarterly growth in operating income and adjusted operating income across each core division”

“SiriusXM again turned in stellar results, now servicing nearly 31 million customers, and also intends to institute a quarterly dividend. Live Nation also produced outstanding results, with record quarterly growth in operating income and adjusted operating income across each core division. The Atlanta Braves dramatically improved on-field performance in the second half of the season, and we look forward to moving to SunTrust Park in 2017.”

It also emerged in Liberty’s earnings call that funding for the remaining cash component of its $1.1bn acquisition of Formula 1 is expected to come partially from a $500m loan with shares of Live Nation and Viacom pledged as collateral.

 


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