ITV to broadcast all F1 sessions live online this year

ITV will show free practice, qualifying and races live on the internet this year.

I have criticised ITV for various shortcomings in their production in the past but this is definitely a step forward and I applaud them for it.

It’s not clear whether it will be available to those outside of Britain but I don’t think it’s very likely. They also haven’t said whether the coverage will be interrupted by adverts. But simply getting to see practice live when it was never broadcast before in Britain is a step forwards.

However ITV’s video player is not Apple Macintosh compatible, which will prevent a minority of viewers from being able to watch.

Fans will also be able to re-watch races up to 30 days after they have aired. A spokesperson for Formula One Management said:

With UK Formula 1 audiences reaching their highest levels in many years, it gives us great pleasure to fuel this resurgence further with the introduction of online rights to complement ITV’s broadcast coverage.

ITV’s F1 audience grew by 40% in Britain last year as Lewis Hamilton led the championships standings for much of the year.

To find out what times all the sessions are happening in Britain, see the list of races at the bottom of this page. Here are the times for the Australian Grand Prix.

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48 comments on ITV to broadcast all F1 sessions live online this year

  1. Robert McKay said on 13th March 2008, 18:39

    I suppose they’ll slot ads into the simulcast of quali and the race, but I wonder if they’ll leave free practice alone….?

  2. @ Tommy:

    "Live online streaming of Friday practice – not currently available to UK audiences"

    I took this to mean that it would now be available in the UK, having not been previously.  Have I got that wrong?

  3. D Winn said on 13th March 2008, 19:55

    From the video page –
    This action is currently not available on television to UK viewers.
    The link to First Practice opens fine in XP on Firefox.
    3 hrs and counting

  4. D Winn said on 13th March 2008, 20:05

    Also on the ITV F1 video page – the pic above ITV Exclusives shows Martin interviewing someone – my eyes are not too clever but it looks to me like Bernie with a face lift and a peroxide rinse

  5. Scootin159 said on 13th March 2008, 20:14

    Just found the link to the actual F1 videos.  When I click it from a US URL, I get the following: "Sorry, rights restrictions prevent us from displaying this video content to users outside the UK".

  6. Dan M said on 13th March 2008, 20:22

    Just find a UK proxy, it will make the server think your in the UK. I’m surprised that the UK doesn’t get Friday practice, SpeedTV broadcasts it even! (be it at 3 in the morning as not to interrupt 9 hours of pre race Nascar coverage.

    If you remember last year Fox cut out the podium of the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis’ first win….

  7. Robert McKay said on 13th March 2008, 21:26

    Well, I’m now even more psyched about the new season, if that was even possible. Live free practice on the net, and the quali and race too (which is on-demand for up to a month afterwards!), good stuff.

    Couple of interesting questions spring to mind: (a) how much is it costing ITV? (b) Is it a guinea pig experiment to be rolld out for other countries?

    I think a lot of us here have all thought it was high time F1 embraced the internet (you might have to at least think about amending the cool wall Keith?!). My surprise is really twofold in that if it did happen I expected it would be on Bernie’s site, and that it would have been a premium service requiring payment, like Moto GP. To do it for "free" (well, ITV paying, presumably, and us watching ITV’s ads, but still better than paying) is the real surprise for me.

  8. Dan nailed itNo big fan base in the US? mmmi wonder why!  

  9. This is actually very good and I will actually try it from here in Melbourne.

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th March 2008, 22:53

    Apparently if you do a search for ‘public proxy servers’ you can find sites that list them, put the details for a British one in your browser and you might be able to watch the coverage. No guarantees!

  11. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any free Flash streaming (RTMP) players yet.

    But if someone has the means, they can try going direct to the source: rtmp://

    Should at least get you around the country block, I would have thought.

    Ooh, and as I was typing this, the stream started!

    Go 2008! :)

  12. Is it just me, or is it widescreen video compressed into a 16:9 player?  Oh no, it’s been sorted.

    The ITV stream is getting a bit laggy already.  Must be popular (or under-provisioned)!

  13. Fred B said on 13th March 2008, 23:01

    This is very good, but it’s at the wrong aspect ratio on my screen…

  14. Fred B said on 13th March 2008, 23:02

    (ah, I refreshed the page and got it correctly 16:9)

  15. Scott Joslin said on 13th March 2008, 23:03

    is anyone finding it jerky? Or is that just my internet connection?

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