JUNE 17, 2024

French government enforces tobacco ad ban on F1 TV

French Formula 1 fans are digesting the bad news that watching old grands prix has suddenly become much more difficult.

Pierre Gasly, Canadian GP 2024
© Alpine

According to L'Equipe, F1's official streaming and broadcast service, F1 TV, has been forced by the French government to block archival footage that features cigarette advertising.

As of July 11, replays, summaries, and pre and post-race shows will all now be blocked for French subscribers as well as documentaries and other content.

L'Equipe said the move is to ensure compliance with France's anti-smoking laws, which prohibit propaganda or advertising, direct or indirect, in favour of tobacco or tobacco products.

The move will also affect 2024 Formula 1 content, with McLaren for example being sponsored by British American Tobacco. Although McLaren does not promote cigarettes for BAT, who insist they are pushing for a smokeless world, other products offered by the company are shown on the F1 livery.

F1 TV has reacted by lowering prices for French subscribers.

These same French subscribers will still be able to watch grands prix via live streaming, and Canal Plus' live transmissions are also unaffected.