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. pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 25th November 2011, 17:48

    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…

  2. Dave_F1 said on 25th November 2011, 18:15

    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!

  3. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 25th November 2011, 18:32

    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.

  4. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 25th November 2011, 18:34

    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.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 27th November 2011, 8:49

      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.

  5. Maaarsh said on 25th November 2011, 18:56

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

  6. NickTheGeek (@nickthegeek) said on 25th November 2011, 19:03

    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”

  7. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 25th November 2011, 19:44

    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.

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

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

  10. McG (@mcg) said on 26th November 2011, 3:36

    Nice advert for Sky Keith.

    • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 26th November 2011, 9:44

      @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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2011, 12:52


      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.

      • McG (@mcg) said on 2nd December 2011, 0:38

        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.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd December 2011, 8:08


          “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.

  11. motorsport fan said on 27th November 2011, 7:48

    Well, I know this is a touchy topic, but why not broadcast F1 for free over the internet via Google’s YouTube? This point is well articulated here and it mentions that the Indian Premier League already does this. Has Mr. E missed a trick or two here? What do you fans think? Would you watch F1 on YT?

    • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 27th November 2011, 8:02

      I watched the Bathurst 1000 stream on Youtube this year right along side Speed Channel. As a fan it was definitely a plus as while the main race coverage was the same, Channel 7 in Australia showed driver interviews and stuff that us here in the States didn’t get to see on Speed. Plus when Speed went to a commerical break there were times when Channel 7 didn’t have theirs at the same time so you missed less of the action.

      That being said F1 Viewership (and the TV money that comes from & goes into it) is a whole different animal then the AussieV8s and a completely different species then the Indian Cricket thing.

  12. kenty (@kenty) said on 28th November 2011, 2:52

    I’m in the fortunate position that I already take the HD package from Sky, but otherwise I couldn’t justify taking a package out just to watch the racing and I certainy wouldn’t want the package the BBC have cobbled together. I feel for those fans who simply cannot afford to take the Sky package.

  13. nightshade said on 28th November 2011, 18:27

    Well, I’m gutted like most of you.
    Although this is a personal thing, Brundle makes a lot of F1 for me. Love the guy. So whilst I’m a sky subscriber, I can’t afford the upgrade especially when I consider that 95% of the extra content I don’t care about (football I believe). So whilst I can get half the races for free, no Brundle. What’s the betting the beeb drag Jonathan Legard or someone worse out to fill the spot?
    I thought there was an agreement between teams to broadcast free to air, has this been ditched?
    Oh and while I’m here -how do we get classic gp’s on the red button – I’ve never found them :(

  14. braisim (@braisim) said on 7th December 2011, 16:05

    Anyone know if Sky Go Monthly is available outside the UK? Is the sports stuff blocked to non-UK IP addresses?

  15. Paul F said on 8th December 2011, 7:52

    After yesterday’s announcement of the Sky team, plus the rumours (no matter how unlikely) of Jonathan Legard or James Allen at the BBC, I decided to look into the Sky+HD package. I believe I have had a decent amount of success. It should be £363 p/year (as has been pointed out) = £30.25 p/month. If you buy before 21st December you get £100 M&S vouchers. After some asking around I’ve managed to sell this to a few family members at face value. Score. That takes it to just under £22 p/month over the first year. I also purchased the Sky package through a cashback site, which (although provisional at the moment – anecdotal evidence on moneysavingexpert suggests a lot of success with these sites) will take a further £101 off, taking it down to £162 over the first year = £13.50 p/month. This is within my budget, and gives me the chance to assess the first year, and then opt out if it’s not worth it, or haggle if it is. Plus I get 50 HD channels to finally get some proper use out of that 40 inch TV I’ve had for three years. I couldn’t see this tactic already explained, so hopefully this will be new information.

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