Formula One revenues dropped by $877 million in 2020

FILE PHOTO: Ferrari Formula One team principal Stefano Domenicali looks on during a news conference at the Wrooom, F1 and MotoGP Press Ski Meeting, Ducati and Ferrari's annual media gathering, in Madonna di Campiglio January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One's revenues took an $877 million hit last year, falling 43% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, owners Liberty Media reported on Friday.

Revenues amounted to $1.145 billion compared to a previous $2.022 billion in a year that featured 17 races, mostly without spectators, and had highlight events such as Monaco and Singapore cancelled.

The previous year had 21 races and 22 had been planned for 2020 with 23 scheduled for 2021.

The sport reported an annual operating loss of $386 million, compared to a previous profit of $17 million, and the 10 teams shared $711 million -- $301 million less than the previous year and a drop of 30%.

Formula One's primary revenues are derived mostly from race promotion fees, broadcasting deals and advertising and sponsorship.

The revenues also provide a significant part of the budget for smaller teams.

"Due to the reduced number of races, the duration of the season and almost no fan attendance, unsurprisingly primary revenue declined," said new chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

He said his predecessor Chase Carey had, however, left strong foundations for future growth and the sport was well positioned with commercial partners.

Domenicali said all race promoters were clear that their events should go ahead as scheduled this year, and the sport had demonstrated in 2020 that it could race safely during the pandemic.

The new season starts in Bahrain on March 28.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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