Christian Horner, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

Sky to raise F1 channel cost and offer cut-price stream

TelevisionPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Christian Horner, Buddh International Circuit, 2012The cost of watching F1 on Sky in the UK will rise to ??510 per season next month.

On April 9th the Sky F1 channel will become part of the Sky Sports package which costs ??21 per month on top of a ??21.50 per month Sky subscription (excluding offers), with a minimum 12-month contract.

The F1 channel is currently part of the HD pack which costs ??381 per year (discounted to ??349.50 at present). Existing Sky customers who receive the F1 channel through the HD pack will continue to do so after the move. According to Sky, 4.5 million subscribers have the HD pack.

Sky is also planning to offer on-demand access to Sky Sports via its Now TV streaming website. This service, which does not require a Sky contract, will offer 24 hours’ access to Sky Sports, including the F1 channel, for ??9.99.

Nine of this year’s nineteen races will be shown on free-to-air television in the UK. All the rounds are being shown on Sky.

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156 comments on “Sky to raise F1 channel cost and offer cut-price stream”

  1. This is just great! Really feel like bursting with anger at the moment!

    1. Sky is also planning to offer on-demand access to Sky Sports via its Now TV streaming website. This service, which does not require a Sky contract, will offer 24 hours’ access to Sky Sports, including the F1 channel, for £9.99.

      Wonder if that’s UK only…

      1. It will be, since Sky have only got broadcast rights to show F1 in the UK.

    2. This has been happening in North America for over 10 years now.

      1. @paulocreed You are right and it just go worse due to the fact that NBC sports network is on a more expensive package than speed channel was. So that means FOM probably did their research saw that the bid would bring in more money due to the shift, but will end up costing people $20 more on average it would seem (depending on your cable provider) I did the math for my area and the different providers.

        1. Good in theory, but NBC Sports Network comes on my basic package whereas SPEED was in a different tier.

          1. Same for me, I was able to drop a sports package that had Speed and NBC Sports is in my base lineup. Saved me $10 per month.

        2. I’m waiting for F1 to get on Netflix! :P

    3. You get robbed you brits!
      Here in France, you pay 40€/month (or 20€/month if you took christmas offer) for 5 channels, including newer movies, series, all european football championships, hockey, handball, basketball, golf, tennis, rugby and F1 in HD, ad-free, every practice, qually and the race.
      So, I pay it 50/50 with my wife (who likes series and films), so 10€ monthly, 120 € annually.
      Go get a vipbox stream mates!

      1. What’s this awesome deal you’re talking about, who is it with?! I’m interested: I’m in France and struggling to find a decent feed… Is vipbox reliable enough? The HD streams haven’t impressed me so far, not what you can really call HD! :-/

        1. @froddd Canal+, vipbox is reliable if you open 2 window cause there’s always one shutting down at some point, but it’sb low definition.

          1. I live in France and have English TV. I just find online streams for Sky’s races :P

    4. I am a Sky subscriber anyway (because my dad watches the rugby) but I wonder do Virgin do a more competitive deal inclusive of Sky F1 with their sports package?

      1. Virgin only carry f1 in lo res

  2. “Existing Sky customers who receive the F1 channel through the HD pack will continue to do so after the move.”

    Without this point, they would lose a LOT of subscribers

    1. I was about to say, my heart skipped a beat then. What?! But thankfully I’ll keep my HD subscription and therefore access to Sky F1.

      Presumably it will only be a matter of time before they cut access for HD subscribers though? 2013 I’m guessing?

      1. @jacklenox Perhaps not – see here.

        1. Thanks Keith, and thanks for investigating this. It sounds good, although “indefinitely” can be taken to mean, until further notice. Fingers crossed we’ll be rewarded for being early adopters!

          1. It is common sense to think that Sky Sports F1 will only become available via the Sky Sports pack at some point. How long before this happens though is up to Sky.

      2. I really hope they do keep it in the HD pack – we’ll need to get the 4.5 million subscribers to complain if they do remove it form the HD pack!

        1. Since there is only less than 1 million people watch the channel, I doubt that all 4.5 million HD customers will care. And of course not all the viewers watching will have the HD pack, they will have the Sky Sports pack.

    2. I almost had a small coronary mishap when I read that headline but at least it will stay on the HD pack for existing subscribers. I couldn’t justify the sports pack for F1 alone (I don’t watch any other sports apart from Wimbledon and the Australian Open).

      1. @robk23 – …and Wimbeldon is broadcast on the good ‘ol BBC still! I don’t watch any other sports apart from tennis and the six nations either, and they are usually on the Beeb so if it were me I would probably be rather peeved having to sign up to the Sky Sports pack!

  3. Nick.UK (@)
    7th March 2013, 16:18

    Still a rip off.

    Boo to the Murdoch empire!

    1. Or, you know, boo to the BBC for ditching their coverage early which is what gave Sky the opportunity to bid for the rights…

      1. Nick.UK (@)
        7th March 2013, 16:26

        I’m slating the criminal and evil no ethics media corportaion. I said nothing of the BBC/sky F1 situation… you know..

      2. I’m giving neither of them any of my month this coming season.

      3. The BBC didn’t ditch it early, and Sky didn’t bid either. The BBC approached Sky to share the coverage.
        The BBC have extended their contract which was due to end at the end of this year, but have reduced the amount they are showing to reduce costs, because of the cuts being made across the BBC budget, because of them having to find money to pay for things that they have not had to pay for before.

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          7th March 2013, 17:53

          “because of them having to find money to pay for” coverage of the olympics for 2 weeks every 4 years which was extended after they cut formula one coverage.

          Is that what you ment to say?

          1. No that is not what I “ment to say”.

            But of course that won’t have helped.

          2. They did ‘over-invest’ in the Olympics, but then it was in the UK, something that doesn’t happen often.

            Also, the BBC’s cover was nothing short of absolutely stunning. You only have to watch the hash NBC made of the US coverage and what C4 made of the Paralympics to understand how good the BBC’s coverage was.

          3. jimscreechy (@)
            8th March 2013, 11:38

            That may be so, but Sky coverage is head and shoulders above the BBC feed. The coverage the BBC gave was always lacking in content for the real enthusiast. Sky have really taken their coverage to heart. They are constantly evalutating it iimproving it and really getting stuck in with the coverage.

  4. Saw this coming a mile away! And next year it’ll be… “the F1 channel is no longer available to existing subscribers on the HD pack, it’s now only available as part of the Sky Sports subscription.” And what next after that?

    1. Well at least its not this…
      CNBC Joins Forces With Lotus F1 Team
      Looks like we here in the states are going to see alot of the Black and Gold

      1. Presumably the live feed will still be controlled by FOM, but that is an interesting item. Maybe Diffey and company will be wearing Lotus caps!

    2. After that PPV. Like boxing.

  5. I wish we had streaming in Canada :( I wonder if it will be possible to get around the geo-block with a low-cost proxy…

    1. There’s ways to find decent streaming : ) and I think this will be even more so with NBC joining the mix…

      1. I hadn’t thought about NBC, but that’s a good point. I miss proxying the BBC iPlayer, though.

    2. Tunnelbear. Look it up. Way simpler to use than a proxy server, reasonably priced.

  6. £10 for 24 hour access! So £20 to see qualifying and the race. A bit on the steep side if you’re only interested in f1 and none of the other sports available that weekend.

    1. Alex (@smallvizier)
      7th March 2013, 21:45

      I know the article says £10 for 24 hours. But the view from their website looks rather different.

      Month 1 free
      Months 2-4 for £9 each
      Months 5-12 for £15 each

      => £147 for the first year. That’s not too bad, really. It’s certainly better than £10 a day.

      1. @smallvizier I’d be wary of reading too much into that at this stage for the reasons I mentioned earlier.

        1. Alex (@smallvizier)
          7th March 2013, 22:09

          Hmm, good point. ‘Wary’ it is, then.

          But I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Sky make us an offer we can’t refuse.

      2. The prices you’re quoting are for the existing NOW TV movies package. The Sports Package is separate, and is indeed quoted at £10 for 24 hours of access.

        1. @tvpauld Have Now TV started advertising the Sky Sports deal now?

          1. “Advertising” is a strong word. The most they’ve said publicly to date is this on their official Forum. Their transparency is not especially penetrating, however they do state there and in a few other places on the community that Sports will be available “Pay-as-you-go” at the £9.99/24Hours rate – ie, without subscription. They’re still yet to confirm the public launch date, and it’s still not listed on the main website – not even in a “Coming Soon” capacity. I’d be surprised if it suddenly became available before Sunday, but Sky have shocked me before.

          2. @tvpauld Thanks for the info!

      3. @tvpauld @smallvizier Official details of Sky Sports on Now TV were released today, see here.

  7. Urgh. But I have to say it was always going to happen wasn’t it?

    I just wish we had a choice. But we’re pretty much held to randsom.

    1. I do not envy the Brits right now :/

  8. Okay I’ve read this over and over but I’m going to ask just to make 100% sure because this still worries me. As a Sky customer with the HD pack already, I will continue to get the F1 channel indefinitely after the move?

    1. @hydrouk continue: yes. indefinitely? hah… let’s give it a year and see…

    2. As far as I’m aware, yes you will.

    3. Not indefinitely, until they decide to change it so you have to be a sky sports subscriber.

      1. That is what INdefinitely means, “until we decide otherwise”, might be next year, might be after the next board meeting or might be tommorow .

        1. Actually, it can mean both. Either without limit or with no end defined

          1. Well said

    4. Thank you guys, I guess I’ll have to wait until they decide they want more money from me before cancelling my subscription.

    5. Yes for now, unless there’s some catch I haven’t seen. How long for though? There’s the question.

    6. @hydrouk @ajokay I asked Sky whether existing customers with the HD pack would continue to receive the F1 channel indefinitely and was told they would.

      I was surprised by that so I asked again later whether there would be a cut-off point after which existing HD subscribers would have to get the sports pack and was told there wasn’t one.

      I’ve spoken to three different people at Sky about this today.

      1. @keithcollantine That is surprising! Were they customer service advisers or people higher up, may I ask?

        Mind you, I would not be surprised if they changed their minds at some point.

        1. @iamjamm No, not customer service, this was all through their press people.

      2. Thanks Keith, good diligence…I suspect you probably knew you would be asked!

      3. Hi Keith,

        I am in the process of buying a new house and as a previous Virgin Media customer was planning on moving to the SkyHD package so that I would get the F1 Channel. Does this mean I will still get it as long as I order the installation before 9th April (I complete on the Easter Weekend at the end of March)?

        1. @asanator Not sure, I’d get on the phone to Sky about that.

        2. @asanator
          I was a Virgin Media customer and I have just had Sky installed myself last week and I have the channel. So as long as you sign up before April you should get it.
          If you sign up before the end of March you also get the HD pack at a reduced price of £5 per month too.

        3. Sign up now, you can choose your install date.

    7. Yes, I have had this confirmed to me by a number of Sky employees myself.

  9. Before everyone starts whinging about SKY/Bernie, just remember it was the BBC who decided to cut their rights deal early, which is what allowed Sky to bid for the rights in the first place. Sky’s business model is based on subscriptions and they’re entitled to charge you how they see fit.

    Also, if the BBC hadn’t overbid for the rights from the 2009 season in the first place, then you/the sport wouldn’t be in this situation.

    1. That BBC were fools doesn’t make Sky’s move any less *******.

    2. The BBC have had to make cuts to costs on all of their budgets. The F1 rights cost a lot. They have chosen to reduce the coverage to save money, they could have seen their contract out till it ran out at the end of this year and just dumped it completely, but they have not done this so it is not that they don’t want to show F1, just that with the budgets at the moment they cannot afford it all.

    3. The UK Government put the squeeze on the BBC in a number of ways, not least that the BBC has to pay for the installation of rural high-speed broadband out of licence fee income, to the tune of at least £300m. Labour and the Lib Dems had proposed a “levy” to pay for it, but the Conservative government rejected that. This is is the same government whose leader was (is?) close friends with Rebekah Brooks, CEO of New International and protegee of Rupert Murdoch (who owns BSkyB).

      I’m sure that the people who read and post here are aware of the many challenges facing the BBC (see, and the relationship the current government has with BSkyB, so I don’t really understand the vilification of the BBC or the defence of Sky. The gradual move from public to paid content is a result of a plan to weaken public broadcasting in the UK, and to strengthen companies like News Corporation, and empires like the Murdoch’s. And, sadly, as more and more people give Sky their hard-earned money, more programmes will be lost to the average viewer and will only be available to those who can afford it. Eventually we’ll all be over Sky’s barrel, and they’ll charge whatever they want.

      It’s like watching frogs being slowly boiled alive. At some point in the future all the people here breathing a sigh of relief that they’re not the ones being screwed this time around, will realise it’s their turn. And they’ll have funded it.

      1. Nick.UK (@)
        8th March 2013, 0:30

        @f1antics Well deserved comment of the day.

      2. Whilst there are indeed a number of challenges facing the BBC, they haven’t helped themselves, be it biased news coverage, social engineering or the high-handed manner in which their empire is run. Still, the thing that is most deserving of F1 fans’ ire is the manner in which they colluded with Sky during their original 3-year contract, to prevent rival free broadcasters getting in on the act, all the while telling us what a great deal it was for F1 fans in the UK. It still grates with me that they regularly claim live coverage of every race (yes, it’s true, but it’s deliberately misleading, and they know it).

    4. Sean N (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      8th March 2013, 14:09

      Why do the F1 rights cost so much? Who’s getting all the money?

      Bernie Ecclestone has ruined the sport I once loved. I’m so sad.

  10. Say you’re a diehard F1 fan with no interest in other sport and want to watch all sessions of all Grand Prix with Now TV; you have to expend £29.97 a weekend or £569.43 for the entire season…. What a rip off!

    1. I believe Now TV is only for people who occasionally watch sport and don’t wish to subscribe for 12 months, besides I believe you still can watch all other sports channels like ss1 with one access which includes footie as well, therefore you could enjoy lots of contents. P.s I’ll stick with BBC highlight for now. :-)

  11. So £20 for a race weekend plus the £15 monthly subscription….gonna be expensive with the back to back races.

  12. So for those of us who have the HD but not Sky Sports, we will still get it? Unless there’s some other catch I’ve missed. Sky is already a rip off. If I don’t get the F1 with my HD pack I’m going to cancel the lot. And as for £9.99 for 24 hours of sport!!!!??

    1. Yes Debs. Existing HD customers who have the channel will still continue to get it.

      I agree, £9.99 for 2 hours is just nuts.

  13. This is not annoying for me yet, as I am a current Sky HD customer (only have Sky for the F1, mind).

    But if we’re forced to go for the full Sky Sports package I’m not sure I could justify the cost. As it’s Sky, it’s likely they’ll offer some kind of reduced rate if and when the day comes that I threaten to leave, but I can see this potentially getting messy.

    Based on a sample of my friends that like F1, there aren’t many among us who are fans of ‘sport.’ For most of us, we like F1, some like motorsport as a whole, but… that’s pretty much it. There would be little benefit of having a whole bunch of channels dedicated to all that other sporty goodness as, frankly, we don’t care for it! I’d be interested as to whether this is the case across the board for other ‘hardcore’ F1 fans.

    1. Kinda the same for me, F1 attracts a different type of person. I like sports but F1 and other motorsports are the only “must see” events.

    2. Almost same here: I’m into F1 and NFL.

      I am really no fan most other sports (even motorsports, except 24 Heures du Mans).

      – Especially European football, which is pretty annoying here in Denmark where everyone keeps blabbering about this most boring of subjects.

      1. Here in Denmark, You can watch F1 on German RTL if You have Yousee basic TV package (Cable TV). But everyone can get a German IP adress via a VPN solution and stream both the qualifying and the race from RTL. Drawback is of course if You don’t understand German and if You do, You have to put up with a very German-driver biased commentary. With all the hooliganism and the european football only being transmitted on pay-TV channels I lost interest in it 20 years ago. I still appreciate a good technical detail in football, but I don’t want to pay money to be able to watch it. Then rather NFL, but it destroys my nights sleep certain sundays especially early in the year so I revert from it – i.e. I don’t want to be “hooked” on it, like I am with F1.

    3. I’m afraid I don’t fit your profile. I’m a Man United season ticket holder and follow not only football but cricket too. I’ll also watch most major sports events (Tour de France, Le Mans, Indy500, Olympics etc).

      As such, having Sky Sports is a must for me! However I can completely understand how those fans who aren’t into other sports must find it hugely frustrating to be faced with the prospect of having to pay a very expensive subscription for less than two live events per month.

      1. I’m in the same boat as you on that one – theres very few sports I won’t watch, so when I re-do my sky sports subscription it works out quite well for me.

  14. vuelve kowalsky
    7th March 2013, 16:38

    here in spain is still free, but they are talking about being may be the last year free. I have been a fan for more than 30 years, but i won’t pay to watch f1 races, i would go for moto gp and world superbikes, and get the info later about f1 on the internet. Sorry bernie, you won’t get this fan.

  15. Got my hopes up for a minute there. I’d definitely pay a tenner a month for F1 but 30 per race weekend to make sure I see all the action is ridiculous. Yes I can and I will blame Bernie. He needs to pull his wrinkly finger out and set up a streaming service. I’ve got money, he wants it. Why won’t he let me give it to him?

    1. I concur, since sky already offers all the Sky Sport and F1 channels on their Sky Sports TV app for £4.98/month. However the quality and reliability of the stream is woeful!

    2. @spawinte, Bernie tried the subscription-direct route back in the 90’s with the option to choose to view whichever camera you wanted or all cameras at once etc. but being Bernie (who apparently uses his daughters as a guide to peoples spending habits ) it was hugely expensive and failed to attract enough viewers.

      1. vuelve kowalsky
        7th March 2013, 18:09

        but he never stops trying. Now he is going this way, and it looks to me that he is succeding?!!! unless a big group of fans get together and make sponsors think about it, bernie is not going to stop. He believes has a god given right to get everybody’s cash.
        But i don’t see a united front in the blogs against it. I guess people in the uk have the means and the will to pay.

  16. To be honest, if you watch other sports (especially football) then Sky Sports isn’t a particularly bad deal, but I sypathise with those who have no such interest. The new streaming option is an interesting one — I wonder what take-up will be like…

    Football, rugby, cricket, and now F1 are on pay TV, at least to some extent. I’m not going to say whether it’s right or wrong, but I think we have to accept that this is the future.

  17. Wonder if this is going to have any effect with SkyGo. I use that mainly with the HD pack. I know last season it was funny about letting me use it on the Xbox at times (especially the on demand stuff) and this season I will purely be using that for watching live races too.
    Hope they dont try and mess things up more with that as really wont be happy.

  18. Over here in Canada I gradually got rid of my cable coverage. I now have no television service at all. Purely Netflix and, yes, downloading or streaming from sites. I watched all the races last year including some SKY coverage via various streaming sites. Sometimes live, sometimes later in the day. More often than not the video was clear and easy to see. I certainly would not pay $1000 per year subscribe to SKY to watch the coverage. If the streaming sites disappeared I just wouldn’t watch at all.

  19. thank god i don’t live in the uk.

    here in switzerland i could watch it on swiss, german and austrian tv, haha :)
    (for free)

    1. here in switzerland i could watch it on swiss, german and austrian tv, haha :)
      (for free)

      – for now you can @rigi

  20. sidecar_jon
    7th March 2013, 17:16

    Shame fully i applaud this move, the more unreasonable the price gets the less subscribers sky will get and the more the f1 sponsors will get shirty about falling numbers of eyes on their hard paid for moving adverts, sooner it might come back to the BBC fully.

  21. Anyone else got a sat box which decrypts Sky signal and feeling pretty good right now :)
    It’s a bit like Apple and downloading torrents, rip me off and I’ll be forced to find alternate means.

  22. “Sky is also planning to offer on-demand access to Sky Sports via its Now TV streaming website. This service, which does not require a Sky contract, will offer 24 hours’ access to Sky Sports, including the F1 channel, for £9.99.”

    This is interesting. However, would like to find out more! I could probably throw a tenner at sky for the odd race that I can not watch on the BBC… basically means finding up to £100 for the year. Just about acceptable to me. Still wouldn’t see qualifying for half the races, but its better than not seeing anything.

    However, is this on top of the £15 a month for the service? Or is it separate? I can’t really tell. The latter option is the only possibility to me.

    1. The guy I spoke to said there would not be a subscription fee for that, just the one-off charge.

      The website mentions a subscription fee but it also doesn’t say anything about getting the sports channels so it mustn’t have been updated yet.

      1. Well that’s good to know, thanks. I know that £9.99 is still a bit of a mickey-take for 24 hours of access, but if I am sitting in my lounge with no sky, knowing a race is due to start in an hour, I can well imagine the temptation will be there to throw a tenner at the internet to stream the race legally and reliably, without the hassle and stress of a contract.

        I just hope what you says is true! I guess it will become apparent soon enough when it is launched.

  23. £510 could get you tickets to silverstone and spa….

  24. I Love the Pope
    7th March 2013, 17:20

    Is the Sky coverage commercial free? We have cable in the States which is about $1400 a year and has commercials.

    Count your blessings.

    1. Practice features commercials, Qualifying/Race are commercial free.

  25. Ben (@scuderia29)
    7th March 2013, 17:23

    ill stick with bbc thanks, the highlights are really pretty decent even on the race weekends where they dont get to show the live event. A good team team too, the only person i like on sky is ted kravitz, bbc will miss jake humphreys though

    1. sidecar_jon
      8th March 2013, 15:33

      yep Sky is a charisma free zone…

  26. Just to point out that you can also get SSF1 on VirginMedia for less than £30 a month depending on what package you go for.

    1. Not in HD you dont.

  27. Here’s a thought: In France, we are moving towards Canal +, which is 40€ a month subscription (you do get great movies and programs besides F1, but I still find it a rip off). Obviously, I’m going to switch over and spend 400+€ for an activity which used to cost me 0€ (apart from the off year GP Week end, which is probably going to be slashed.) Anyway, just saying I know what you feel and even worse: we don’t get 9 free GPs a year ! All this gets me thinking: how is it going to change the viewing mix of F1 ?
    In France, we do not have a pub culture and watching F1 is more of a private matter (and a dwindling one, 2M viewers tops). I have a decent pay and can afford Canal + to get my F1 dose, but it didn’t come without heavy thinking (the wife is less hooked and had some objections). Of all my friends, I know only one (hardcore, much more than I am) who will pay the price. So from the 10 something friends I know which used to watch 2 out of 3 GPs, only one will continue doing so. It’s no scientific measure, but I feel casual fans will lose all chance of watching a GP.
    So who will compose tomorrow’s F1 viewers ? Hardcore fans and the off chance Football-fan who hoped to see a replay of the previous Champions league match. Let’s be real here : F1 does not have the pull of Football (it will have when karting is as cheap and accessible as football) so my guess is people being drawn to it through the TV (you know, Sunday morning, mum and dad are sleaping, there’s nothing to do…Ouh, shiny cars!) are by default going to become a rarity.
    The ever optimist then skips to the next train of thought : If this is so in England, in France, and is the future of sports viewership in the whole of Europe, what does it mean for F1’s future ? Well first, it will seem idiotic to speak about “a wider appeal” when your viewer base is solely comprised of die hard fans. Sure, this base will forever shrink, but its needs differ to the “broad audience”. Losing historic races ? “Never!”. Changing point system? “A heresy”. A P2P button ? “Is this Champ car or what?”. What I mean is, this might be the chance of a lifetime for real fans to have their voice heard, as it will be the one that really matters, as they will be the sole viewers….
    Obviously, reality is rather that F1 is shooting a bullet in its foot and compromises its future in both its historic countries but hey, one can always dream.

    1. You meant to say that there’s not going to be new fans watching f1? I agree, with Bernie’s greed, the new breed of f1 fans is non existant.

      I think Bernie will come back on this money making idea of his, as sponsors are in time less likely to step into f1, and the consequences will be well felt within the paddock.

      1. Simply put, exactly :)

  28. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th March 2013, 17:49

    Am I misunderstanding this? Does everyone need to pay 510 pounds just to watch F1 in the UK?

    1. @freelittlebirds If you want to be able to see all the races live on your TV and you don’t buy the Sky HD pack at the lower price (£349.50) before April 9th, yes.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        7th March 2013, 23:44

        Thanks Keith,

        510 is a lot – 350 sounds a lot better:-)

        I pay ~$210 dollars per month for TV/Internet/Phone. I suppose in a way I pay the same as you guys in the UK. F1 itself is not expensive in and of itself but the package is.

  29. For those without sky the TV deal was always a bad thing, However as a Sky subscriber I have been loving there F1 coverage.

    I especially love all the extra feeds they have throughout a race weekend. Been able to go over to an in-car feed or listen to team radio on the pit feed during any session was simply brilliant last year & im looking forward to been able to do the same this year.
    i know that bbc has these on there website, but only for qualifying & race & they no longer have them on the tv.

    I now watch the main broadcast on my big screen tv, the onboard feed on my laptop next to the tv, the pit channel on my ipad via sky sporst app & the timing app on my iphone.

  30. I have a simple solution I adopted last year.

    I bought the Sky Sports App on my iPhone. The subscription for the Sky Sports package including F1 is £5 per month.

    I then put this app onto my iPad. Expanded the app. Hey presto full F1 coverage for a fiver. Not HD. But pretty good quality. Even watched some F1 in the car when out and about…

    The Sky Sports designed for the iPad costs a lot more – yes its better quality but v expensive.

    Simple but v effective solution.

    1. I already have Sky HD but if I didn’t then I would probably do this – great idea!

      Does it even include Premiership football on the regular Sky Sports channels?

  31. unbelievable…. I’m stunned, gobsmacked, etc., etc.

  32. Looks like i’ll be upgrading my internet to fibre optic instead and find a good sky stream.

  33. This £10-for-24 hours deal sounded tempting if there were other sports the same day as the Grand Prix. I enjoy cricket and football as well, so had a look when the Ashes series is on this summer…

    Only one of the five 5-day test matches coincides with a Grand Prix (Spa)…and that’s live on BBC! (the winter 2013-14 series is the same: the First Test in Brisbane coincides with the Brazilian GP, and that’s another BBC race). No doubt there’ll be football on the same day as some GPs, but this isn’t exactly the closest Premier League season ever…

    All very cynical – particularly as qualifying starts exactly 24 hours before the race on most weekends. Anyway life’s too short for pay TV. I can do without HD Packs, connection fees, disconnection fees, 18-month contracts, discounts and half price offers designed to confuse, haggling and threatening to leave, cold calls selling “upgrades” and hours wasted on the phone altogether.

    Interested to see what Jake and his mates at BT can offer when they launch their service.

    1. But isn’t that just Pay TV too?

  34. I wonder if $ky mentioned that in their advertising campaign which I am seeing everywhere at the moment. I see a lot of ads of TV and even a special booklet that came with this month’s “F1 Racing” magazine (the booklet was very quickly put through the shredder and binned).

    Spending all of this money on advertising, and then bumping the price up like this, which will only put people off, must be costing them an absolute fortune.

    Combine that with the fact that they never exceeded 1m viewers for any race and averaged 0.6m over the season ( ), I fail to see how they can even afford to continue down this path.
    With a 16% drop in viewers on the previous season, bearing in mind last season was arguably one of the best ever seasons in F1, it seems as if F1’s first season on subscription TV in the UK has failed.

    Still, if they want to price themselves out of F1 and lose a ton of money in the process, then they can be my guest. I will not pay an extortionate amount of money to watch on $ky or any other subscription service. Ever.
    As already mentioned, I use that saved money to go to Silverstone, and then spend the other £350+ as I see fit, whilst still watching the entire of the season on the BBC (albeit at a hacked down version), for free.

    1. This month’s F1 Racing adverts does just seem like one big Sky Sports advert.

      Glad I only paid £1 for it.

  35. In the Netherlands this is going to be the first year that you have to pay monthly to watch formula 1 (unless you want to get German commentary). Not quite as much as what you have to pay, it’s astonishing. As a student, the only option for me seems to be ‘the grey area’ of less legal sky streaming. The quality Sky offers is great, but the price is extraordinary.

  36. The Solution
    7th March 2013, 18:40

    I would rather eat horse manure than subscribe to Sky :o

    I use an extra satellite dish, and point it to Astra 19.2E … I watch the non-BBC races on RTL instead. The installation cost less than £200, and it has already paid for itself …..

    1. I tried this too, but some rather inconvenient trees mean 19.2E is just impossible! Unfortunately, paying the £100 to Murdoch seems rather tempting now… should I be ashamed? Please forgive me.

  37. So basically if I want the F1 channel I need to get in straight away?

  38. No surprise there and if you think of it some £40 a month for all Sky have to offer is not too bad.

    Also the £9,99 deal means that one can see all the races live for less than £100 per season.

  39. Iv`e been through the gut wrenching feeling of F1 not being accesable but there is a lot to be said for watching the timing board via FOM with a good radio commentry. you can watch all the action sector by sector. But that`s me still missing free to air schedule of `The good old days`……

    1. I never watched anything apart from the on-track action on Sky last year, and even then reluctantly, because I don’t like their style of presenting. So instead, I think I’ll be quite happy this year with the F1 timing app, radio coverage, and the BBC highlights (for the non-BBC races). The app’s expensive compared to other apps, but if you look at it as a substitute for TV coverage it’s pretty good value – the visuals are impressive and there’s an awful lot of data to make the race exciting to nerdy F1 fans like me. I appreciate that not everyone has a smartphone or tablet, but if you do it’s worth investigating.

  40. I sadly called this move back at the start of all this.

    I would be an arrogant git and say “ah well its ok for me as I have HD etc” but that isn’t the point. It’s the fans that cannot stretch to it that upsets me. To be honest we really can’t but we don’t have any other vices.

    Part of me does wonder if they are using the scarcity tactic here. Its well known that people will go mad for something if they think the price is going to rocket or the item is going to be impossible to get soon. Will sky see a lot of fencers going HD before the deadline? maybe I am over thinking it.

    I suspect we will see it back in the HD pack if the change doesnt increase revenue. If they remove it from the HD pack then they can **** ***

    1. Oh interestingly they are running an offer at the moment to get it as part of the HD pack for £5 (on the basis that you are a non HD customer). I think I have their game.

  41. I seem to be the only one on here happy about this. £100 a year to watch the 10 sky races and the rest on BBC will do me just fine. Ok, I still have to pay Murdoch, but it’s nothing like it was last season for someone like me who can’t justify the spend on a tight budget with a family.

    1. I’m with you, to a point…
      Don’t forget you won’t fit qually and the race into 1 24hr period, so you’re looking at £20 per weekend or £30 if you want to watch FP too.

      1. Sign up at around the race end time on sat, watch quali repeat and race live. ;)

  42. Here in Hungary you can watch the full F1 coverage in HD for free. You can also catch the austrian and german RTL broadcasts too (in SD).

  43. Formula One is a sport that is ultimately going to die. The seeds have very much been sewn by Mr Ecclestone and CVC in the pursuit of bigger profits. The selling out of races to uninterested markets in Asia and the disappearance off mainstream TV in Europe will ultimately seal its fate.

    As the 2000s have progressed more races in places with no real market have been added reducing races in Europe, even France has no Grand Prix.

    This has gradually lead to reduction in exposure; TV audiences in Europe are falling, this is before you consider the impact pay TV F1 is going to have or is having. Teams already are struggling to attract sponsorship, leaving them reliant on the TV money, which as its on sattelite means the exposure is poor, sponsors pay less, eventually as the F1 product diminishes, the satellite companies pay less, teams get less money, and the sport implodes.

    The business model of F1 is flawed.

    Frankly I cannot see F1 making it to the end of the decade in the current form, unless it makes an about turn.

    I’ve moaned about Sky for years and how they’ve ruined English football, and in 5-10 years time, English cricket and it fills me with a sense of frustration that even I’ve caved in and bought the SKY HD pack, I don’t like doing it, but what else is there to do? The BBC sold it out to them, so there isn’t any choice. I’ll sit back and enjoy the dying days of F1 in “glorious” HD with Sky’s unimaginative coverage and chipboard wooden presenting team.

    (Brundle and the underused Davidson aside, it’s pretty dire. David Croft is just plain awful, worst commentator of all time, in any sport, James Allen was annoying but at least the bloke knew his stuff. Croft couldn’t tell the difference between a navy blue Williams and a black and white Sauber. I mean ***! Come on!!!)

  44. Darn, I wish they could just give us a few hours access to watch the race itself.

    £4 for a 3ish hour race is acceptable for me. I wouldn’t be able to watch Sky’s other sports and so would receive a less valuable product, but I guess Sky would prefer to charge me £10 and force me to have those extra 21 hours to maximise their revenue…

  45. LoreMipsumdOtmElor
    8th March 2013, 12:49

    As a German, I decided to change the way I watch F1 for this season. While the broadcast on RTL ist FTA in analogue SD, the commentary is the worst that I have ever experienced in any sports broadcast and the commercials always arrive just in time to miss all the action. Sky DE is not an option as their prices are close to the ridiculous amounts the UK viewers have to pay.

    So after years of using low-quality streams from other countries, I went trough hundreds of forums to find someone from Austria who sold me (for a mere 25 €) a card for austrian ORF via satellite. Free-to-air F1 in HD, without commercials and the best german-language commentary available (Alex Wurz).

    I am so looking forward to this season :)

    1. I decided not to add Sky Sports to my Virgin package to get the F1 channel in SD as I rarely watch the football. I bought myself a dish and STB and pointed it at Astra 1 for RTL and then tuned into BBC 5Live radio for the commentary on my Virgin TiVo box, which plays out of my AV Receiver. Works fine, all paid for and ready for the next season and I just changed the LNB for a dual so I can watch the in the kitchen as well now! RTL have free rights to the end of 2015 I think.

  46. £51 per race, excellent value

  47. Cant put a dish up round here, so got a friend to sign up to Badgers half price deal and pay her a tenner towards it to use SkyGo.

    1. Got the Badger half price deal too!

      Averaged out at £18.38 over the 12 months minus a £2.50 discount on my existing Sky Broadband made it a no brainer.

      Will have to fight my corner in 12 months to keep it that low though….

  48. I just had a look around at sky and now TV and still cannot see anything thats says the Sky sports F1 will be available next w/end. I think that at ~£100/year between me and youngest son will not be too bad.

    Does anybody have definite news? I don’t plan on joining until I have a good idea it is actually available.

  49. If you’re lucky you can get good package for good price :) I got a call from SKY and they offered me Sky Entertainment and SKY+HD (so F1 channel included) for £13 pre month with 12 months contract. I had broadband with them with no TV, but I could not decline that sort of offer :)

  50. As a keen F1 fan, I too miss the original BBC coverage, which in my view was pretty good. Sadly, the beeb have always blinked first when it comes to a showdown with Tory governments who hate anything publicly owned – especially broadcasting. On principle I don’t / won’t subscribe to Sky or any other Murdoch owned media outlet – which predates phone hacking / Leaveson. In my view Sky shouldn’t even have a broadcasting licence let alone dominate as it does. I fear for the future of free to air good quality broadcasting – we nearly lost 6 Music for God’s sake – but we need to support it or we’ll lose it.

  51. in Germany F1 is free for all on Free TV (the whole season)
    but you can also watch on Sky (35 € per month)

  52. Sky advised this morning that f1 will no longer be part of hd package from October. All customers will have to take sky sports to watch! Not happy, sky will be cancelled in my house

    1. Thanks for the info. Where did you hear that? Direct from Sky or was it on a website?

      1. It was direct from sky, only rang to remove movies. She told me I’d lose f1 in October and miss the end of the season unless I take sky sports.

    2. @fieldstvl I spoke to Sky about this yesterday and they said the F1 channel will remain part of the HD package for existing subscribers. That will not change in October.

      New subscribers who want to get the F1 channel must do so by signing up to Sky Sports – that has been the case for two months now and was reported here at the time.

      1. Thanks for the update. That’s great news.

        I’m sure I’m not the only F1 fan for whom ‘other’ sports are not particularly appealing!

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