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Drive to Survive Faces Viewer Decline with a 23.2% Drop After Season Six Release

The figures, released by Netflix, indicate a notable shift in audience engagement, raising questions about the sustained appeal of the show....

In a surprising turn of events for Netflix’s highly popular Formula 1 documentary series, Drive to Survive, the latest statistics reveal a substantial 23.2% decline in viewership during the first three days following the release of its sixth season. The figures, released by Netflix, indicate a notable shift in audience engagement, raising questions about the sustained appeal of the show.

According to the data, 2.9 million viewers tuned in to watch Drive to Survive in the initial days after the release of its latest season, reflecting a significant drop from the previous year’s numbers.

While Drive to Survive has undeniably played a pivotal role in expanding the fanbase of Formula 1, it has not been without its share of criticism. The series has faced accusations of creating false narratives and presenting races out of chronological order, challenging its credibility as a documentary. These concerns may be contributing to the observed decline in viewership.

Netflix, a platform notorious for guarding its viewership data, has remained tight-lipped about the comprehensive figures for Drive to Survive. However, the series is acknowledged as one of the streaming giant’s triumphs, evident in Netflix’s pursuit of creating similar docu-series in other sports such as golf and tennis.

F1 broadcasting journalist Dave Nelson first reported the decline, revealing that 23.2% fewer individuals engaged with the series during its initial release days. Additionally, there was a substantial drop in total hours consumed, with 21.8 million hours recorded compared to the 25.76 million hours from the previous year, indicating a 15.4% decrease in overall viewer engagement.

Executive producer James Gay-Rees, addressing the launch of the sixth season, highlighted the extensive footage available for the production, emphasizing the challenges of distilling a vast amount of material into cohesive episodes. He explained the industry standard for ‘access shows,’ such as Drive to Survive, operates on a 20-to-1 shooting ratio, illustrating the demanding nature of the editing process for such observational filmmaking.

While Drive to Survive remains one of Netflix’s successful ventures, the recent decline in viewership suggests that even a well-established and acclaimed series may face challenges in maintaining audience interest over multiple seasons.


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