F1: Hamilton hopes fans stay ‘loyal’ in pay TV era

(GMM) Lewis Hamilton hopes Formula 1 can ride the wave of its “transition” from free television coverage.

Across the spectrum of the sport’s broadcast markets, the trend towards pay-TV coverage is growing by the month and year.

“We used to have 8 million fans on TF1 in France,” said F1 legend Alain Prost.

“Now there are less than 750,000 on digital television on Canal Plus. But that’s how it works when you move everything to pay TV.”

According to Speed Week, seven time world champion Hamilton is also concerned.

“There seems to be a tendency that you have to pay for what you want to see on television,” said the Mercedes driver. “You have to pay for Netflix too.

“I see this as a kind of transition. The world has changed in that way. I just hope people stay loyal to the sport and at least follow it on social media.

“I think Formula 1 is doing a good job to make the sport more accessible to the fans, but there has to be more if they’re going to be persuaded to pay for F1 on television,” he added.

Former F1 driver David Coulthard has an even stronger position on the matter of pay TV.

“Formula 1 belongs on free television,” he said. “But I understand the economics of it.

“I’m happy that Channel 4 has found a solution with Sky so that at least the highlights of the other races are shown,” the British broadcaster added.


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