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

Television

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. John H (@john-h) said on 7th March 2013, 21:21

    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.

    • Merv (@) said on 7th March 2013, 21:50

      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.

  2. aw123 said on 7th March 2013, 22:11

    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).

  3. jre_f1 (@jre_f1) said on 7th March 2013, 22:52

    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!!!)

  4. mole (@mole) said on 8th March 2013, 0:13

    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…

  5. LoreMipsumdOtmElor said on 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 :)

    • Smudger said on 13th March 2013, 12:17

      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.

  6. Sam Andrew said on 8th March 2013, 15:23

    £51 per race, excellent value

  7. dansus (@dansus) said on 9th March 2013, 14:54

    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.

    • Matthew (@f1matt) said on 11th March 2013, 13:00

      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….

  8. W-K (@w-k) said on 9th March 2013, 15:27

    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.

  9. pankracy said on 13th March 2013, 12:50

    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 :)

  10. GreenKwak said on 14th March 2013, 8:40

    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.

  11. TZoni (@tzoni) said on 2nd April 2013, 13:30

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

  12. Nickiwoo said on 1st June 2013, 15:45

    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

    • Charlie (@fieldstvl) said on 3rd June 2013, 13:08

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

      • Nickiwoo said on 3rd June 2013, 16:29

        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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd June 2013, 14:55

      @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.

      • Charlie (@fieldstvl) said on 3rd June 2013, 15:03

        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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