Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Sky launch dedicated UK F1 channel

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Sky has launched a new channel for its Formula 1 coverage in the UK 2012.

Sky Sports and Sky HD customers will receive the Sky Sports F1 channel as part of their subscription.

A standard definition Sky Sports subscription costs ??40 per month for a minimum 12-month contract, plus a ??30 set-up fee, totalling ??510*.

The F1 channel will also be available to HD pack subscribers without Sky Sports, at an annual cost of ??363*.

BBC will continue to show half of next year’s races live free-to-air, with delayed highlights of the remaining races.

Sky say their channel will show every race plus all the practice and qualifying sessions live. They will offer extra live content during races including, “on-board cameras… behind the scenes with the teams in the pits and… race data.”

Managing director of Sky Sports Barney Francis said: “Formula 1 followers are hungry for more and we want to give them the ultimate experience. It’s not just every minute of every race but a channel devoted to Formula 1.

“We can now tell the whole story of the season, from every Grand Prix, from start to finish.”

Over 35,000 British F1 fans have signed a petition urging the government to require F1 to be broadcast on free-to-air channels.

*There are the lowest prices I could find for new subscriptions via Sky’s various configurations. If you can find cheaper deals, please post details in the comments.

F1 on television

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

148 comments on “Sky launch dedicated UK F1 channel”

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  1. Does anyone know if this channel will be available on sky player for xbox 360? That is how i plan to watch next year, currently they have all the sports channels on there I believe. This one might not though which would be awful

    1. How much is the Xbox package anyways? I’d seriously give F1 a watch on that if it’s cheap enough.

    2. Yes it will be available on Xbox 360. I called sky specifically to ask them this. Not sure when it will go live but i was told by two different call centre personnel it will be on xbox 360.

  2. I have the Virgin XL Package with HD channels do you think this will be available to me then

    1. Just this announcement,

      Sky announces new Formula 1 channel

      Sky announced today that it will be creating a new channel devoted to Formula 1, after Sky Sports and the BBC were awarded the rights to broadcast Formula 1 in the UK from 2012 to 2018, back in July.

      We always want to give you the best TV line up, so we’re talking to Sky about acquiring this channel.

      The new Formula 1 season doesn’t kick off until March next year, so there’s a while before the action starts up. We’ll be updating this page as soon as we have more information for you, so check back here for the latest news.

  3. Richard F150 - I am not a truck
    25th November 2011, 15:27

    Hang on… has anyone considered the non-financials here?

    Generally when watching F1:
    1.) The wife nags and moans about the noise of cars going round in circles.
    2.) The wife nags the schedule clashes with [insert tedious soap/xfactor here]
    3.) The kids nags that they want to watch [insert tedious child TV prog here]
    4.) Constant interuptions to do housework/pick in-laws up etc

    But with F1 not on the TV I am going to be “forced” out of the house to watch it at elsewhere… so any idea which pub’s are going to be showing it? (hopefully DullBall won’t take preference at all pubs).

    1. Always look on the bright side of life, eh!

    2. It’s best to do a quick google of sportsbars in your area, though bear in mind that with races being on Sky they’ll probably clash with some Sunday football matches.

      I had to watch this year’s Belgian GP in German in a Dublin pub because Celtic were playing somebody in their domestic league.

    3. I guess you could Sky+ the race to avoid some of the nagging wife / kids?

    4. Ino (@f1givesyouwings)
      25th November 2011, 18:07

      The other problem with your pub plan (which I was considering too) is that no many pubs will be open at 6 in the morning on a Sunday to show the fly-away races :(

  4. Seems the Murdoch empire is tightly knit – K. Eason (@easonF1) is really doing the Sky tweet stream here:

    Word is that Simon Lazenby will be lead presenter, David Croft and Brundle in the box. Ted Kravitz in the pits

    Sky unable to make full announcements until after final race here in Brazil

    Expect BBC to use Sunday race show to outline some plans for next year and to stress they are still showing F1

  5. Am I the only one thinking that this is still very expensive?

    It’d be nice if sky can also offer a basic F1 package without all the flashing lights & gimmicks.
    -I dont car for fancy pre and post race production, cockpit cams, underwear cams and nostril-cams…I just want to see all practices, quali and race live & in full with unbiased commentary – anything else I just dont give a hoot about.
    -even if that meant the coverage starts from formation laps etc.

  6. The Twitter account for the channel indicates it’s going to be all-F1, indicating no GP2, GP3, Porsche Supercup or other support races.

    20 F1 races gives Sky roughly 7,020 minutes of action per year. What are they going to screen for the other 520,020?

    1. Niki Lauda telling Schumacher to retire?
      Tavo Hellmund and Bernie Ecclestone blaming each other for what’s happening in Austin?
      Re-runs of Martin Brundle gridwalks?

      1. Re-runs of Martin Brundle gridwalks?

        Yes PJ, maybe that one in Brazil 98 where he stole Schumacher’s cap. XD

    2. Richard F150 - I am not a truck
      25th November 2011, 15:46

      Ross Kemp on F1

      1. Ross Kemp on F1

        Haha. Like button required. Wouldn’t put it passed them. As someone just said on Twitter we have this to look forward to…

        “It’s Sky F1. It’s in HD. It’s Super Speedy Sunday. It’s the Brazilian Grand Prix. AND ITS LIVE. Next, after this short break…”

  7. “We can now tell the whole story of the season, from every Grand Prix, from start to finish.”

    Keith’s been doing that for years and we don’t have to pay him over £300 for it either…

    1. @pjtierney Don’t give him any ideas! Although he’s not some Sky , so I doubt he would do that to us.

      1. *not some Sky *insert choice word blocked by moderation filter here*
        triangle brackets suck

  8. I don’t mind paying something to watch F1, but I do object to having to subscribe to Sky for the purpose and have to pay for all of the Sky c**p just to get F1, which would cost me north of £500 per year. Bundling channels sucks. Why not just let us pay for what we want. F1 is pretty much the only TV I ever watch, except for the news and a couple of documentaries on the BBC (maybe once or twice a week).

    1. I can’t remember writing this? But it could have been me :)

      Right with you – I find the whole concept of ‘Sky’ depressing and their content is enough to make you suicidal.

  9. Great news. I have HD. Crisis avoided!

  10. This announcement makes no difference to me as I still can’t afford Sky so will not see half the races live.

    In the 20 years I have followed F1 I have missed the odd race live due to circumstances out of my control, while I couldn’t put a number on those races I will probably miss more races next year than I have in all of those 20 years put together.

  11. There’s nothing good about having to pay shed loads for something we pay for indirectly in some form or another. Especially when it’s on the back of 62 years of historic competition that has been provided for in broadcast, free of charge in all that time.

    This is akin to having to turn a blind eye to your partner’s infidelities to keep the family together.

    It’s just appalling and I hate F1 for how it has allowed this to happen. I’ve hardly missed a race in 36 years…

  12. Im very happy that Sky now have F1 because I can see them offering fans much, much more than the BBC ever did/could.
    Practice in HD, Sounds like there will be a lot of Interactive goodies avaliable not just on TV but also online & on the SkyGo mobile service.

    Sounds like the coverage is going to be a lot more in-depth with a lot more information avaliable & I for one am extremely happy with what will now be avaliable.

    Im looking forward to the coverage, Its going to be fantastic!

    1. congrats for all sky subscribers…
      but its hurt for me as free-to-air lover in BBC :(

    2. @Dave_F1 – Surely it is Rupert_F1? ;-)

  13. I don’t see what the big fuss is. For me to watch F1 here in the states in my location I’m fortunate enough to have Speed Channel on my Basic Cable lineup (about 70 channels for around $60 a month) which comes out to about $720USD a year. That $720 = roughly £465.

    Now like I said I’m fortunate to have Speed Channel on my Basic Cable while several other cable systems here in the USA make you buy a “Sports Tier” to get Speed Channel. So those people have to pay whatever their Basic Cable cost is + the “Sports Tier” cost.

    So yeah looking at it from an outsiders perspective I don’t really see what the big fuss is.

    And just to put some Comparison on it… NASCAR has 3 National Touring Series, the Cup series, Nationwide Series & Truck Series. The Nationwide Series is exclusively on ESPN/ESPN2 which are dedicated Sports Channels and often times atleast ESPN2 comes on a “Sports Tier” (once again I’m fortunate enough to have both those on my Basic Cable package). The Truck Series is shown exclusively on Speed Channel.

    The Cup Series 36 point races are split between Fox, TNT, ESPN & ABC.
    Fox = 13 Races (Free Over the Air station also on every basic cable package)
    TNT = 6 Races (Cable, usually basic cable packages but not always)
    ESPN = 14 Races (Cable, usually basic, in “Sports Tier” for some providers)
    ABC = 3 Races (Free Over the Air station also on every basic cable package)

    So between those 3 top NASCAR series for 2012 it will be 91 Races that’ll be aired on live TV and only 16 are on Free Over the Air stations, which means for 78 races (20 in the Cup series alone) you’ll have to either have a Basic Cable subscription or that plus a special “Tier” to see the rest of the races.

    For further comparison there were 17 races on the 2011 Indycar schedule, 5 were on ABC (Free over the Air / On every Basic Cable subscription) and the other 12 were on Versus which while I have on my Basic Cable, many providers put it on a “Sports Tier”.

    So like I said, looking at this from an outsiders perspective I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.

  14. What an awful lot of money you guys have to pay! Don’t know exactly what rates are, but I pay 4 euro for my entire tv-package. Including free to air F1. But not much channels, we just don’t watch much tv.

    Bernie did many good things, but you can’t deny this being bad. Started by BBC or not, this’ll cost F1 fans.

    1. What frustrates me is that it will hurt the F1 fans who already aren’t in great circumstances, or aren’t hardcore about it.

      What about school kids who have parents not too keen on F1?
      What about people who can’t afford $500 a year?
      What about people who are only causal fans?

      This is the left winger of me getting out. But this isn’t fair. This isn’t right.

  15. You can ( I do) get sky online with skygo. Sky Sports £35 a month with no long term commitment.

  16. Are we sure that its available for normal HD pack subscribers. Sky normally phrase things like Skysports 1 and HD meaning, skysports 1 and skysports 1 HD.

    It doesnt make sense that they would make it available to people with just the HD pack to me to be honest. The only reason I could see them doing that is to tempt some of us anti-sky campers into going for a sky package with HD to get F1 only to move it to sports only next season during a “package regiggle”

    1. scrub that this is what sky are saying, i think my comment about what happens in 2013 still stands

  17. For anyone with BT Vision, who had been hoping to get F1 through the sports package that includes Sky Sports 1 and 2 I just got the following response from the Sky twitter feed:

    @SkySportsF1 @BSkyBPress @tvfrombt any idea if F1 channel will be available on BT Vision? Was looking at Vision Sport package for new season

    @graham228221 @BSkyBPress @tvfrombt Hi Graham that information is not yet available – as soon as it is announced we’ll let you know.

  18. How much does it cost to get it in South Africa?

  19. I can see a lot of people finding illegal online streams to watch the races. I’m very tempted to do the same.

  20. Nice advert for Sky Keith.

    1. @mcg Hey, that’s not fair. He’s reporting as it is, or are you going to accuse him of b!as? (it’s blocked by the filter)
      It’s not an advert, it’s well-known around here that Keith isn’t too happy about this deal but if he just abused Sky then he would be presenting a one-sided argument, which would indeed be b!ased. In reality, he’s expressed his opinion before, but in this article he’s presenting the facts. Would you prefer F1F if it was like The Daily Mirror or The Sun, and gave us random facts based on twisted interpretations of driver speech? No? I thought not.

    2. @McG

      You obviously have no idea how many emails, tweets, and other messages I’ve had from people asking how they are going to be able to watch F1 next year, and what it’s going to cost them. Of course I’m going to do a story on this, as has pretty much every other major F1 website as far as I can see.

      Try putting a little thought into what you say instead of taking mindless cheap shots at people.

      1. Ooooh touchy. Well it was this site that I got the info on the Sky prices. I only come here to check out the pics for a cool wallpaper and what do I see… The price structure for Sky HD and Sky Sports. And you know what… I will probably get the HD package.

        And I found all that out here. That’s called publicity. You could have handled it differently. But alas things change. We the peons have no control over it.

        1. @McG

          “Touchy”? No – this is is my website, my livelihood and I take pride in it.

          I pay attention to feedback from readers, that’s how know what they’re interested in and what they want.

          F1 in the UK is going from essentially free (on the assumption that practically everyone has a TV licence) to a paid subscription, and not a cheap one. Therefore the costs of watching has to form part of the story, otherwise an important element is missing.

          All this you have ignored in your desperate attempt to score cheap points off me with your crass and thoughtless remark about me giving Sky free advertising, which is obviously not the case.

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