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Hamilton hopes fans stay 'loyal' in pay TV era

Hamilton hopes fans stay 'loyal' in pay TV era
© Reuters
Lewis Hamilton hopes Formula 1 can ride the wave of its "transition" from free television coverage.

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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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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