Formula E Backed By Discovery, Liberty Global

Liberty Global and Discovery Communications are buying a minority stake in Formula E Holdings, the new racing circuit featuring electricity-powered vehicles.

The FIA Formula E Championships kicked off a 10-event global calendar in September 2014 with a race in Beijing (the next race, on March 14, is in Miami, Fla.). The aim is to promote interest and investment in sustainable motoring. The vehicles are capable of reaching speeds of 220 kilometers per hour (about 136 MPH) with zero emissions, according to the organizers. In the United States, Formula E events are televised on Fox Sports 1 and other Fox outlets (Saturday's race in Miami begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2). Television rights are not part of this investment by Discovery and Liberty Global.

“It is a significant step forward for Formula E to receive the backing of two major global media companies when we are barely halfway through our first season,” CEO Alejandro Agag said in a release. “The experience and knowhow they bring will provide a significant boost to Formula E. We look forward to creating new opportunities together to develop and promote premium content for a global audience.” 

Niall Curran, president of Liberty Global's media investments group, said in the release, “Like Formula E, our business is closely connected to sustainability, speed and entertainment, so this is a great match. We are delighted to be supporting Alejandro and his team in building this new global sports media property, while building our portfolio of strategic content investments.”

“We are very pleased to join Formula E’s ownership group. With unmatched global distribution, our Velocity, Turbo and Eurosport brands, and 30 years of experience as a global media company, Discovery’s unique expertise will help develop this new and unique motor sport,” Bruce Campbell, Discovery Communications chief development & digital officer and general counsel, added in the release.