There was actually an academic analysis I saw of it once with snooker of all sports. When it hit its highest popularity in the 80s people were attracted by the rather eccentric cast. They even managed to make a theme out of Steve Davis having a boring personality. After a while and the prize money increasing on the back of that they were replaced by some very earnest and dedicated young men who did nothing but play snooker, they were techically better but very bland. Only Ronnie O’Sullivan kept up the interest as he’s a bit nuts and ridiculously talented if indisciplined.
I remember the brief surge in interest in NFL in the UK in the mid 80s, it was based almost entirely around William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry.
In F1 Lewis Hamilton does have a personality and story (first black driver, gets into spats, dated a Pussycat Doll) but mostly is presented sat behind a desk discussing tyre wear. I understand that’s what the real dedicated fans of the sport want most of all but it’ll likely end up in a dwindling audience.