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Liberty Media Buys Formula One for $4.4 Billion

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Formula One racers twisting through a course at the 2015 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Formula One’s viewership in the United States has grown 40 percent since 2013.

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Grigory Dukor/Reuters, via Reuters

Formula One auto racing has long been synonymous with high speeds, glamorous cars and exotic settings like Monaco and Abu Dhabi.

Now, the home of Ferrari and McLaren racing will be controlled by an American media company with humbler roots — Englewood, Colo. (population: about 30,000).

Liberty Media, a cable television conglomerate with stakes in Charter Communications, SiriusXM radio and the Atlanta Braves, announced a $4.4 billion deal on Wednesday to purchase the 67-year-old racing series from a group led by CVC Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based investment fund.

With more than 400 million global viewers, Formula One is among the world’s most popular sporting organizations. But it has struggled to break into the American market, where scrappier racing series, in particular Nascar, reign supreme.

But Formula One’s American television audience has…

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