Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Basis of Presentation

Basis of Presentation
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2015
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation

(1)   Basis of Presentation

The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include all the accounts of Liberty Media Corporation and its controlled subsidiaries (formerly named Liberty Spinco, Inc.) ("Liberty" or the "Company" unless the context otherwise requires).  All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.

Liberty, through its ownership of interests in subsidiaries and other companies, is primarily engaged in the media, communications and entertainment industries primarily in North America.  The significant subsidiaries include Sirius XM Holdings Inc. ("SIRIUS XM") and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. ("ANLBC"). Our significant investment accounted for under the equity method is Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. ("Live Nation"). 

The accompanying (a) condensed consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2014, which has been derived from audited financial statements, and (b) the interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") for interim financial information and the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X as promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and footnotes required by GAAP for complete financial statements. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring accruals) considered necessary for a fair presentation of the results for such periods have been included. The results of operations for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results for the full year. Additionally, certain prior period amounts have been reclassified for comparability with current period presentation.  These condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto contained in Liberty's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The Company considers (i) fair value measurement, (ii) accounting for income taxes, (iii) assessments of other-than-temporary declines in fair value of its investments and (iv) the determination of the useful life of SIRIUS XM’s broadcast/transmission system to be its most significant estimates.

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued new accounting guidance on revenue from contracts with customers.  The new guidance requires an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. The updated guidance will replace most existing revenue recognition guidance in GAAP when it becomes effective and permits the use of either a retrospective or cumulative effect transition method. This guidance is currently effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2017.  The Company is currently evaluating the effect that the updated standard will have on its revenue recognition and has not yet selected a transition method but does not believe the standard will significantly impact its financial statements and related disclosures.

In April 2015, the FASB issued new accounting guidance on the presentation of debt issuance costs,  which requires debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability to be presented on the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the debt liability. The new guidance intends to simplify the presentation of debt issuance costs. In August 2015, the FASB issued new accounting guidance on the presentation or subsequent measurement of debt issuance costs related to line of credit arrangements, which provides that such cost may be presented as an asset and amortized ratably over the term of the line of credit arrangement, regardless of whether there are outstanding borrowings on the arrangement. The amendments in these new accounting standards are effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015 and interim periods within those years.  Early adoption is permitted for financial statements that have not been previously issued and retrospective application is required for each balance sheet presented.  We plan to adopt this new guidance in the fourth quarter of 2015.  The Company is evaluating the effect that the new guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures but other than a reclassification of deferred loan costs on the consolidated balance sheets, the Company does not believe that the standards will significantly impact its financial statements and related disclosures.

As a result of the Broadband Spin-Off (defined below) and repurchases of Series A common stock, the Company’s additional paid-in capital balance was in a deficit position as of September 30, 2015. In order to maintain a zero balance in the additional paid-in capital account, we reclassified the amount of the deficit ($399 million) to retained earnings as of September 30, 2015.  

Liberty holds investments that are accounted for using the equity method. Liberty does not control the decision making process or business management practices of these affiliates. Accordingly, Liberty relies on management of these affiliates to provide it with accurate financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP that the Company uses in the application of the equity method. In addition, Liberty relies on audit reports that are provided by the affiliates' independent auditors on the financial statements of such affiliates. The Company is not aware, however, of any errors in or possible misstatements of the financial information provided by its equity affiliates that would have a material effect on Liberty's condensed consolidated financial statements.

During 2014, Liberty’s board approved the issuance of shares of its Series C common stock to holders of its Series A and Series B common stock, effected by means of a dividend. On July 23, 2014, holders of Series A and Series B common stock as of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on July 7, 2014, the record date for the dividend, received a dividend of two shares of Series C common stock for each share of Series A or Series B common stock held by them as of the record date. The impact of the Series C common stock issuance has been reflected retroactively due to the treatment of the dividend as a stock split for accounting purposes.

On November 4, 2014, Liberty completed the spin-off to its stockholders common stock of a newly formed company called Liberty Broadband Corporation ("Liberty Broadband") (the “Broadband Spin-Off”). Shares of Liberty Broadband were distributed to the shareholders of Liberty as of a record date of 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on October 29, 2014. Liberty Broadband is comprised of, among other things, (i) Liberty’s former interest in Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”), (ii) Liberty’s former subsidiary TruePosition, Inc. (“TruePosition”), (iii) Liberty’s former minority equity investment in Time Warner Cable, Inc. ("Time Warner Cable"), (iv) certain deferred tax liabilities, as well as liabilities related to Time Warner Cable call options and (v) initial indebtedness, pursuant to margin loans entered into prior to the completion of the Broadband Spin-Off. Prior to the transaction, Liberty Broadband borrowed funds under margin loans and made a final distribution to Liberty of approximately $300 million in cash. The Broadband Spin-Off was intended to be tax-free to stockholders of Liberty, and in September 2015, Liberty entered into a closing agreement with the IRS which provides that the Broadband Spin-Off qualified for tax-free treatment. In the Broadband Spin-Off, record holders of Liberty’s Series A, Series B and Series C common stock received one share of the corresponding series of Liberty Broadband common stock for every four shares of Liberty common stock held by them as of the record date for the Broadband Spin-Off, with cash paid in lieu of fractional shares. The Company’s former investments in and results of Charter and Time Warner Cable are no longer included in the results of Liberty from the date of the completion of the Broadband Spin-Off forward. Based on the relative significance of TruePosition to Liberty, the Company concluded that discontinued operations presentation of TruePosition is not necessary.

Liberty has entered into certain agreements with Liberty Interactive Corporation (“Liberty Interactive”), Starz, Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, Inc. (“TripCo”) and Liberty Broadband, all of which are separate publicly traded companies, in order to govern relationships between the companies. None of these entities has any stock ownership, beneficial or otherwise, in any of the others. These agreements include Reorganization Agreements (in the case of Starz and Liberty Broadband only), Services Agreements, Facilities Sharing Agreements, a Lease Agreement (in the case of Starz only) and Tax Sharing Agreements (in the case of Starz and Liberty Broadband only).

The Reorganization Agreements provide for, among other things, provisions governing the relationships between Liberty and each of Liberty Interactive, Starz and Liberty Broadband, respectively, including certain cross-indemnities. Pursuant to the Services Agreements, Liberty provides Liberty Interactive, Starz, TripCo and Liberty Broadband with general and administrative services including legal, tax, accounting, treasury and investor relations support. Liberty Interactive, Starz, TripCo and Liberty Broadband reimburse Liberty for direct, out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Liberty in providing these services and, in the case of Liberty Interactive and Starz, Liberty Interactive's and Starz's respective allocable portion of costs associated with any shared services or personnel based on an estimated percentage of time spent providing services to each respective company, while TripCo and Liberty Broadband pay an annual fee for the provision of these services. Under the Facilities Sharing Agreements, Liberty shares office space and related amenities at its corporate headquarters with Liberty Interactive, TripCo and Liberty Broadband.  Under these various agreements approximately $1 million and $4 million of these allocated expenses were reimbursed to Liberty during the three months ended September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and $13 million and $12 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively.  Under the Lease Agreement, Starz leases its corporate headquarters from Liberty.  The Lease Agreement with Starz for their corporate headquarters requires a payment of approximately $3 million annually, subject to certain increases based on the Consumer Price Index.