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Following F1 is "bloody expensive" admits Hamilton

NEWS STORY
06/03/2019

From this year, F1 fans in Britain who do not have Sky Sports will only have live coverage of one race, the British Grand Prix, which is itself in the final year of its contract.

While Channel 4 will continue to show F1, other than live coverage of the Silverstone event, its broadcasting of the remaining twenty will be limited to highlights only.

Consequently, fans in Britain, the so-called home of the sport will either have to pay out for Sky Sports or go without live coverage.

While much has been made of the fact that Sky has made its F1 channel available for 10 a month, the fact is that fans that don't already have access to Sky will still have to buy the basic package at around 22 a month, which means a minimum monthly outlay of 32.

Though he is one of the highest paid drivers in F1, Lewis Hamilton sympathises with fans who are increasing being pushed to spend more on their favourite sport.

"It is bloody expensive nowadays with everything you have in your home, with all your insurance and all the things you do end up paying," said the Briton, according to Motorsport.com.

"And on top of that you have to pay for TV and for a TV licence, which is ridiculous," he added. "I'm pretty sure that number is not going to change, because the economy, it is a difficult time for everyone particularly now, so it is a shame that the fans are not getting to see as much."

The world champion also admitted concern at ticket prices, a move that will surely further endear him to Chase Carey.

"The more people you have at a grand prix, the more atmosphere it is," he said. "It is the fans that makes the sport what it is, so the more you block them or deter them the worse the business is going to be for the people that own it.

"But that is nothing to do with me," he added. "When the fans do come or the people that I do get to meet at the races, I try to utilise the opportunity to connect with them."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Steve W, 08/03/2019 11:00

"I live in the USA and for 2019, I'll get to watch the three practice sessions, and commercial-free qualifying and the race for 'free'. Oh, wait... My TV and Internet services costs me $200 a month. So, don't ask me about pay-per-view costs on top of all this..."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 07/03/2019 18:01

"Hamilton has hit the mark by comparing the cost of entertainment with necessity. It all comes down to priorities as the pie everyone has often doesn't grow as fast as the expenses that make up the pieces. The pieces of the pie shift in size as the necessities get larger and the nice to haves get smaller.
Cost of F1 in NZ was when on Sky, $26 for basic, $30 for sport.
Now, $20 plus an internet connection.
The catch? Sky Sport has MotoGP, NASCAR, IRL (Scott Dixon), Supercars (McLauchlan, Van Gisburgen + Aussie GT and more).
Free to Air?: Delayed Formula E, Delayed domestic series. By a week.

I'm still trying to decide to either drop F1 and go with Sky's other series.
I still like F1 (missed watching 3 races since 2000) however the racing is better in the other series.

Decisions, decisions...
"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 07/03/2019 14:50

"Hamilton is spot on. It's fans, especially fans going to the races that make F1 what it is. Drivers come and go. "

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4. Posted by mickl, 07/03/2019 13:27

"NowTV, a Sky subsidiary has announced an F1 season pass for 195 which gives all the races and coverage in the season and all the sky sports channels during that period. You'll need t'internet and a box or a PC/tablet/phone to watch it.

Not free but better than the normal sky subs where you have to pay for the basic package on top."

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5. Posted by Kallie61 , 07/03/2019 10:49

"I have been a fan of F1 for over 50yrs, have been to a couple of races twenty years ago, but then it got so expensive to actually go,so that was that. I was left with only Tv coverage, now even that has gone. I can't justify over 300 a year for a tv channel just to watch F1. I will just have to watch highlights, at least that's not on download only yet, cos those in towns running tv channels tend to forget that a lot of rural areas still don't have fast let alone super fast download speeds...disappointed!!"

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6. Posted by trackrecords, 06/03/2019 19:24

"He'll I baulk at paying 120 a year especially as that is for 3 months with no GP taking place. I didn't realise you have to pay for a basic subscription too: 384 could buy me a decent new fridge-freezer, or washing machine or better TV, or a faster computer and find someone who has kindly put the GP coverage online...
"

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7. Posted by GarH, 06/03/2019 18:56

"The season hasn't started as the Hamilton bashing has started.

Not once have I heard anyone make comments about how much Alonso was picking up for not winning in the the McLaren. Some sportsmen earn a lot of money, because they produce the goods, get over with it.
"

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8. Posted by AudiFan68, 06/03/2019 17:17

"Look who is talking...Happy to have renegotiated a stratospheric annual salary but does very little to be an advocate to make the races more affordable to the general public. Pathetic the cost increases over the years including some of the salaries paid to a few drivers. I used to attend and have been to live races but the cost is out of touch with reality only to fill the pockets of a few. The quality of show has not improved to make it worth while paying to subscribe to watch races on TV. "

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9. Posted by Batman, 06/03/2019 16:40

"Agree ... but ... some drivers are unbelievably expensive too.
"

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10. Posted by husoi, 06/03/2019 14:43

"My very first F1 race on TV was Monaco back in 1973 (I was 11 then) with Jackie Stuart epic victory.
Since then I become a fan of F1 and pretty much watched most races.
Back in the 80's I was a track marshal in the Portuguese gran Prix in Estoril. Even saw Mr Ecclestone making a fool of himself in his unique way. (memorable times)
I see the point of paying a ticket to go and watch the race live and to be a few meters from the cars and watch what isn't shown on TV.
If F1 owners think that for a moment I will waste my money watching the race on TV they're better get comfy because they will be waiting for a veeerryy long time.
No way in hell I'll be paying to be a fan of any sport.
Furthermore, F1 has become a wasp's nest where politics took over what used to be the best sport ever.
Shame I won't be hearing the great comments from Kimi but hey, we can't have everything."

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