Does Hockey Needs Its Own ‘Drive to Survive’?

The Netflix kind of series is something that may drive eyeballs to hockey in India. Everyone loves stories. Dribble to Survive?

ESPN said in 2021 that its ABC channel averaged 1.2 million viewers for the US F1 Grand Prix on 24th October, with a peak audience of 1.6 million. The number of people watching was up 42% over the previous year.

With a rise of 56% over the 2020 season (608,000 viewers) and 41% above the 2019 season average of 940,000 viewers, the 2021 Formula 1 season now attracts 947,000 viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC (672,000 viewers).

Over the first 17 races of 2019, an average of 947,000 people tuned in, a 44% increase (658,000 average viewers).

In neighbouring Mexico, the Grand Prix drew an average audience of 968,000 viewers and a peak audience of 1.2 million viewers. Since its reappearance in 2015, this has been the most-watched Mexican Grand Prix.

F1 claims that social media engagements in 2020 increased by 99% year-on-year to 810 million, demonstrating the growing interest in the sport. There was a 36% increase in the number of followers on all of the company’s social media sites. There were 70.5 million unique visitors to and the F1 app, an increase of 26% from last year.

In the 12 months leading up to March of last year, 73 million new consumers professed interest in F1, according to a Nielsen Sports survey based on 10 significant global markets. 77% of the new fans were between the ages of 16 and 35.

The popularity of F1 has increased significantly in the last several years and to large extent, Netflix has created this significant impact.

This is particularly true in the United States, where F1 has never been a particularly well-liked sporting event. Aside from the one American team, Haas, no American drivers are competing on the circuit.

Netflix’s Drive to Survive is largely responsible for the recent growth in popularity. F1 has gained a new generation of die-hard fans because of the series & the sport, which has helped to break down many of the previous obstacles to entry.

Drive to Survive is not attempting to provide an accurate season review for Formula One fans. Making F1 grid personalities and characters more approachable for casual sports fans, as well as providing new information on some areas even for the most ardent racing fans, is the goal of the series.

The dangers associated with motorsport are well-known, yet they are not the primary focus of the racing enthusiast. It’s all about the rivalry. However, to appeal to a broader audience, Drive to Survive plays up F1’s risk factor—after all, what other sports have it? Because of this, crashes are hyped, with additional sound effects.


Professional golf is going the same route, as Netflix has cut a deal with the PGA Tour for an episodic documentary series, featuring the world’s best golfers as they embark upon the 2021-22 season. It has been said that viewers will get more than a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes


Field hockey, for example, was once quite popular in India, and this kind of a series could help bring it back to the spotlight. Field Hockey’s popularity has declined for a variety of reasons. One of them has indeed been a lack of international success, but it is by no means the sole one. Changes need to be done in terms of both the game and the formats, as well as how it is presented as entertainment, it needs to be repackaged and conveyed in a new way. Cricket has more glitz and, maybe more crucially, greater clout. Additionally, the governing board has looked at a variety of ways to connect with the public.

As it turns out, a precedent has already been set. Shimit Amin’s Chak De! India, a highly acclaimed 2007 Bollywood film in which Shah Rukh Khan’s character Kabir Khan coached an Indian women’s team to a World Cup triumph, had a tremendous cultural impact on a generation of Indians.

A great story has the power to captivate even the most jaded of audiences. Maybe it’s time to get back to dribbling some more.

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