Sky launch dedicated UK F1 channel

2012 F1 season

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

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148 comments on Sky launch dedicated UK F1 channel

  1. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 25th November 2011, 14:00

    Right so after realising they’d lose a significantly large proportion of their audience they’ve now set up this to try and squeeze the money out of the remaining people who don’t have Sky Sports. It’s still way too much and Murdoch is not having a penny of my money.

  2. Steven Ray said on 25th November 2011, 14:04

    The £10 per month deal rumoured, although not available to Freeview subscribers, is in effect available by taking SkyHD at £10.25 per month, as there’s no need for Sky Sports. And you also get all the other HD content on Sky too. More of a feasible option than the Sky Sports only option most feared.

    • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 25th November 2011, 14:13

      That’s not £10 per month unless you already have a Sky package of some description (though even the basic one will do, which some current Sky customers might find more attractive).

      • Steven Ray said on 25th November 2011, 14:36

        That’s true. Thinking as someone who already has Sky although articles yesterday suggested that it would be £10 extra to Sky customers – which it kind of is. Doesn’t help those without any Sky package yet.

  3. PaulM (@pmelton) said on 25th November 2011, 14:06

    I do feel for people who do not have Sky yet, and have to fork out loads of money to continue watching a sport they love, and which by rights should be free-to-air.
    I had to subscribe to Sky Sports sometime back, as (having come from South Africa and therefore being a sports nut) I would have otherwise not been able to watch the sports I love.

    • My family had to get rid of Sky about 2 years ago because we couldn’t afford it.

      No matter how hard Sky and the BBC try to reassure angry F1 fans, I still won’t be able to watch half the races live. The damage has already been done.

  4. vho (@) said on 25th November 2011, 14:41

    As I’ve said in the past, I wouldn’t mind paying for a dedicated F1 channel that plays F1 24/7 – just like they do here with AFL on FoxSports in the past. However, at 363GBP – Owwwwwch!!!! I’m on a package that gives me everything at the moment except the On Demand stuff and pay per view. Hope Fox includes a dedicated F1 channel in Aus as part of my package…. between F1fanatic, F1 2011 on PS3 and FOX then I’ll definitely get no sleep.

  5. peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 25th November 2011, 14:47

    I already have Sky, simply because there is no virgin cable (which is vastly superior) in my area since I moved last year. And already have HD because with a cashback deal I got it is effectively free.

    So, as I understand it, I will be getting the F1 channel at no extra charge to myself. You know what I’m still NOT going to watch it, I so desperately want this mess of a deal to fail I’m boycotting out of principle. Less viewers, less advertising revenue, less chance of them keeping the rights.

    Probably cutting off my nose to spite my face, but there you go. I’m so deeply against this deal I’m going to stick to my principles. Who’s with me?

    • JohnH (@johnh) said on 25th November 2011, 15:18

      Me too!

      Last year I got a the basic Sky+ HD package (£30/month) so I could watch F1 in HD. The maths worked out that getting FreeView HD or Freesat HD with a PVR wasn’t much difference from just getting Sky over the course of the year (there was an awesome Quidco deal for Sky at the time).

      Now, a year on, paying £30 a month for Sky started to bite, given it’s swamped with ads all the time, and with the news that F1 was going away one of the main reasons for having HD diminishes, so I was about to give it up completely and switch back to FreeView HD. And maybe spend the £360 quid I’d save by going to a race for real.

      Now this news is really frustrating. I’d got it into my head that I was going to bin Sky! And now if I just do nothing, I get to keep watching F1… (but pay £360 a year)

      • “there is no virgin cable (which is vastly superior)”

        I’d disagree with that, Had Virgin for a while about a year ago & it was terrible. Had a fair few technical problems & the service wasn’t very reliable (Had a lot of TV & Internet drop-outs).

        Moved to Sky+HD & think the service (Including Phone/Broadband) is a great deal better.

        I’ve had Sky for just over a year (1st time I ever subscribed to Sky) & would honestly not ever consider going back to Freeview or Virgin.

        • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 26th November 2011, 14:38

          @Dizzy I’ve honestly never heard complaints like that about Virgin, being directly cabled there’s not a lot to interfere. I had Virgin (well started as telewest before Virgin bought them) for 9 years and in all that time lost internet for a day once due to a flood, literately zero errors other than that in all that time.
          I’ve had Sky exactly a year and they’ve already been out 3 times to fix it and I’ve lost my internet countless times for hours or days which they have ‘fixed’ remotely. From my friends this does not appear to be uncommon. The + box and TVOD are also vastly inferior to Virgins offering.
          For all this inconvenience I pay approaching double what I was paying Virgin. I really hate Sky, all they stand for and the way they operate but until Virgin get round to cabeling my village (ie never), I’m stuck with them. But give them even more for weaselling in on F1, not a chance.

  6. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 25th November 2011, 14:56

    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

  7. scribbler (@scribbler) said on 25th November 2011, 15:00

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

    • 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.

  8. Richard F150 - I am not a truck said on 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).

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th November 2011, 15:30

    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

  10. SupaSix-1 said on 25th November 2011, 15:32

    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.

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th November 2011, 15:42

    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?

  12. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 25th November 2011, 15:44

    “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…

  13. braisim (@braisim) said on 25th November 2011, 15:57

    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).

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 25th November 2011, 17:50

      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.

  14. cubejam (@cubejam) said on 25th November 2011, 16:05

    Great news. I have HD. Crisis avoided!

  15. 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.

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