Liberty Media’s John Malone is still bullish about live events

John Malone, Liberty Media

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The pandemic has pushed events online out of necessity. But Liberty Media president John Malone is still optimistic about the future of live events.

“I think the thesis of live events is still good,” said Malone. said during Thursday, annual meeting of Liberty Media shareholders. “Human beings are gregarious by nature. And I can tell you here in Florida, the bars are open and they are quite crowded. So … we’ll see.”

Malone is an icon in the media and cable industries, who built the TCI cable empire in the 1970s before selling it to AT&T in 1999 for around $ 50 billion. Liberty Media Corporation operates and holds interests in media, communications and entertainment, including interests in the Atlanta Braves baseball team and concert producer Live Nation.

Malone said he thought there would be therapy and / or a vaccine for Covid-19 “as soon as possible which will bring us closer to normal”.

“There will undoubtedly be a hangover in terms of evaluations and like everything else, if this depression of evaluation is excessive, it offers an opportunity to those of us who believe in the longer thesis term that it’s a good place to be, live events, “” he said. “Particularly where you have a substantial share of revenue that has little to do with door traffic and a lot to do with television and digital distribution. “

Greg Maffei, who is president and chief executive officer of Liberty Media as well as president of Live Nation Entertainment, Sirius XM and TripAdvisor, said the company had found demand for live events to persist. He said that “far less than” 10% of concert customers have asked for refunds for deferred concerts, and mentioned that there are Atlanta Braves ticket holders who deferred tickets instead of asking refunds.

“There is a demand for live events,” he said. “The question will be what can we do in the world of vaccines and therapies and social outreach to make sure that they work for everyone concerned, safely.”

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