Lewis Hamilton Voices His Displeasure Against F1’s Pay TV Greed

Published 06/14/2021, 12:32 PM EDT
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 09: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain Mercedes AMG Petronas looks on in parc ferme next to Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Red Bull Racing after winning the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 09, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Lewis Hamilton, 7-time world champion, has expressed his displeasure on the paid TV rights in F1. In recent years, Mercedes’ driver has often called out F1 for being too expensive. He famously spoke the words ‘cash is king’ about F1 in Australian Grand Prix 2020, addressing his views on the Covid-19 situation.

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A few years back, BBC in Britain announced it would forego the broadcasting of the sport. In 2012, the broadcaster was sharing its TV rights with Sky to save money. Subsequently, Channel 4 took over from BBC but from 2016, it showed just 10 Grand Prix live.

Lewis Hamilton has once again called out F1 for being too money-minded as the broadcasting moved towards Pay TV from free broadcasting by BBC.

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 I think it’s a shame that no more people can watch Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton

According to speedweek.com, the 7-time world champion was concerned about TV rights in 2019, too. In 2008, 9 million people watched Lewis Hamilton become a world champion at Brazilian GP, while only 2 million people watched him become champion in 2018.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren is interviewed by the media during previews of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

I grew up so that we tuned in to the BBC at home, and then came Formula 1. That was brilliant,” said Hamilton.

“I know: people have to pay their bills at the end of the month, then pay TV comes along, and on top of that they have to pay the telecommunications fee. I think it’s a shame that no more people can watch Formula 1. The fans make this sport something big,” said the 7-time world champion.

Hamilton, though, has praised F1 and its new owners for promoting the sport on social media –

“I just hope that people stay loyal to the sport and at least follow it on social media. I think Formula 1 is doing a good job here to make the sport more accessible to the fans. And there has to be more if the fans want to be persuaded to pay for Formula 1 television.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Is Lewis Hamilton the most influential driver in F1 history?

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“There seems to be a tendency that you have to pay for what you want to see on television. You have to pay for Netflix too. I see this as a kind of transition. The world has changed in this regard,” said Hamilton who recently commented on Pay tv subscriptions.

Lewis Hamilton calls out F1 often when he thinks that the sport is not responding to some key issues. He was influential in bringing key brands and sponsors into F1 such as Tommy Hilfiger. He recently has been at the front in speaking out on the lack of diversity in Formula One. All these issues have made Lewis Hamilton arguably the most influential driver in F1.

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Do you agree F1 is becoming too money-minded? Comment below to let us know your thoughts.

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Devang Chauhan

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