Liberty Media sees value in Atlanta Braves ownership

US mass-media company Liberty Media has said it is committed to the Atlanta Braves, with the Major League Baseball franchise making money “at a pretty serious clip”.

Liberty Media acquired the Braves in 2007 and the team currently forms one of its three core business units alongside the Formula One motor-racing championship and satellite radio company SiriusXM.

Speaking at an investment conference in New York on Wednesday, Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei suggested that the company had no plans to offload the Braves whilst it was benefitting from the team’s financial turn-around.

Braves executives detailed that in the first nine months of this year, the team posted an operating profit before depreciation and amortisation of $105m (€92.9m), compared to $49m for the same period in 2017. Meanwhile, revenue rose by $44m to $410m.

“Look, I think there is a lot of good stuff that is going to go on at the Braves that we’d like to remain involved with for a period,” Maffei said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. “That includes for the buildout of The Battery, all of the development around there. That includes, frankly, the fact we are well set up for on-field performance with very attractive contracts.

“We are making money now at the Braves at a pretty serious clip, where historically the measurement was we didn’t lose money. That’s only going to get better as you approach the time when we renew in 2027 on our (regional sports network) deal. So all of those (factors) set up well to suggest – not that we’re going to hold (the Braves) 10 or nine more years – that there are a lot of positive things happening. I don’t think we’re in the exit mode today.”

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