This argument would hold more water if we hadn't just come out of almost a quarter of a century of live free-to-air coverage of the whole F1 season. Fact is we had a system that worked for everyone, commercial contracts on FTA stations guaranteed free access for the fans, huge global TV audiences which drove healthy commercial sponsorship deals for teams and drove high levels of interest to provide circuits with healthy ticket sales, it also provided a ton of cash for the commercial rights holders in exchange for very little outlay. It worked for everyone, this paywall nonsense only works for Liberty.
I repeat, I did not do the deal - Bernie did. He never had any time for fans who were not wiling to pa. He wanted money and he got it. He could have easily sold non-exclusive coverage and made a reasonable amount of money, but he wanted to maximise the income.
But who can blame him? That was his job - to maximise the income. If that meant ditching the long-term fans for ones that would stump up cash, he didn't mind. And this is what is happening now. They will lose me as a fan, they will lose others. But they will still make the money because others will stump up. Less fans is not a problem as long as those fans pay big.
You say that it worked for everyone. Perhaps so. But now (then think) it works better for them - and that's what counts. Remember that this is not the FIA or the teams - it's FOM. FOM are the commercial side of F1 - they will only be concerned about the fan base, viewers and grand prix attendances if it affects their revenue. But also remember that their revenue comes from hosting fees and TV contracts - not from bums on seats.
We're all pretty pissed off that the coverage has largely disappeared behind a paywall, but be thankful that you can get something for no extra cost It's not a step backwards for FOM, it's only a step backwards for F1 and the fans,