Formula One teams and sponsors have long chafed at the lack of a marketing and digital strategy for the sport, with Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone, 85, focusing on generating piles of cash for shareholders through TV rights and race hosting fees.
"I can't really think of a better buyer," said Zak Brown, CEO of CSM Sport & Entertainment, which represents many of Formula One's leading sponsors. "If you had to write down a list of who you would want to buy Formula One, Liberty would be top of that list."
Brown saw Liberty's arrival as bringing longer-term vision that could see the sport embark on significant growth in areas such as the U.S. He said sponsors were excited by the prospects of attracting a new and younger audience.
"They've sold it to a strategic buyer as opposed to another financial buyer," he said. "So they will be making decisions that are strategic-led, what's best for the growth of the sport and the fans and the sponsors."
Changes will take time, though, given that Ecclestone has negotiated lengthy TV contracts that will help to generate estimated revenue of $1.8 billion from 21 grand prix races this season.
Liberty Media has acquired an initial 18.7 percent stake from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and plans to complete a cash and shares deal by the first quarter of 2017.
Analyst Allan Nichols of Morningstar said the Formula One deal could help to strengthen Malone's American Charter cable business.
"He's looking at this as a way to helping distinguish his Charter in the U.S.," Nichols said, adding that Charter might seek to oust NBC as the rights holder with the contract coming up for renewal.