ITV to broadcast all F1 sessions live online this year

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ITV will show free practice, qualifying and races live on the internet this year.

I have criticised ITV for various shortcomings in their production in the past but this is definitely a step forward and I applaud them for it.

It’s not clear whether it will be available to those outside of Britain but I don’t think it’s very likely. They also haven’t said whether the coverage will be interrupted by adverts. But simply getting to see practice live when it was never broadcast before in Britain is a step forwards.

However ITV’s video player is not Apple Macintosh compatible, which will prevent a minority of viewers from being able to watch.

Fans will also be able to re-watch races up to 30 days after they have aired. A spokesperson for Formula One Management said:

With UK Formula 1 audiences reaching their highest levels in many years, it gives us great pleasure to fuel this resurgence further with the introduction of online rights to complement ITV’s broadcast coverage.

ITV’s F1 audience grew by 40% in Britain last year as Lewis Hamilton led the championships standings for much of the year.

To find out what times all the sessions are happening in Britain, see the list of races at the bottom of this page. Here are the times for the Australian Grand Prix.

More about ITV-F1

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “ITV to broadcast all F1 sessions live online this year”

  1. Robert McKay
    13th March 2008, 14:47

    All that complaining about Youtube paying off now?

    Either way, excellent news.

  2. I really doubt this will be available outside of the UK, but I really hope it is.  Every year there’s a set of 4-5 races which get aired on a major network here (FOX), and as such need to conform to the major network’s advertising and audience practices… i.e., it must be "dumbed down" so that even the NASCAR fans can understand it, must have 12 minutes of commercials per 30 minutes of air time, and must fit within the allocated 120.0 minute time slice (aka… tape delayed & cropped to fit for time).

    oh… and if NASCAR truck practice runs long due to rain… then we need to cover the rain delay, not F1 (aka 2007 Brazilian GP).

    sooo… as bad as you feel your coverage is… there’s times where I would love to have it here :).

  3. if NASCAR truck practice runs long due to rain… then we need to cover the rain delay, not F1 (aka 2007 Brazilian GP).

    Ouch… you have my sympathy!

  4. What video player will they be using?  Will it not be streaming Flash video?

  5. I don’t know if they’ll be using their normal video player or some other solution to handle the streaming.

  6. FWIW, I just tested & verified that their normal video player DOES work in the US.

  7. TommyBellingham
    13th March 2008, 16:31

    Other way round actually.

    "Live online streaming of Friday practice – not currently available to UK audiences"

  8. I hate to be a Negative Nancy (TM) but they will have some kind of block in place to stop foreign viewers seeing it. But equally I’m sure some enterprising individuals can get around it… any thoughts how?

  9. Easiest way would be to connect through a proxy server in the UK.

  10. Their normal video player is Flash and should therefore run on any platform (Windows, Mac, Linux).  Let’s hope they use it for the live broadcasts!

  11. Do they make any money out of this, i.e. through ads? If they don’t its a great thing to do for F1 viewers everywhere.

  12. "The deal will also be a boon for Sony, which has signed to sponsor ITV’s coverage, as the coverage made available online will automatically carry its advertising and sponsorship idents."

  13. Their normal video player is Flash and should therefore run on any platform (Windows, Mac, Linux). Let’s hope they use it for the live broadcasts!

    Doesn’t even work under windows with Firefox. At least for me it appears to be Win/IE only.

  14. It is working for me in Firefox on Vista.

    Maybe you need the latest version of Adobe Flash installed (Flash 9.0 r115)?

  15. Keith,   You´re right. I´m from Brazil and my server has no permission to access the contents… But I remember that Steven put some links here that could help a little…

  16. Robert McKay
    13th March 2008, 18:39

    I suppose they’ll slot ads into the simulcast of quali and the race, but I wonder if they’ll leave free practice alone….?

  17. @ Tommy:

    "Live online streaming of Friday practice – not currently available to UK audiences"

    I took this to mean that it would now be available in the UK, having not been previously.  Have I got that wrong?

  18. From the video page –
    This action is currently not available on television to UK viewers.
    The link to First Practice opens fine in XP on Firefox.
    3 hrs and counting

  19. Also on the ITV F1 video page – the pic above ITV Exclusives shows Martin interviewing someone – my eyes are not too clever but it looks to me like Bernie with a face lift and a peroxide rinse

  20. Just found the link to the actual F1 videos.  When I click it from a US URL, I get the following: "Sorry, rights restrictions prevent us from displaying this video content to users outside the UK".

  21. Just find a UK proxy, it will make the server think your in the UK. I’m surprised that the UK doesn’t get Friday practice, SpeedTV broadcasts it even! (be it at 3 in the morning as not to interrupt 9 hours of pre race Nascar coverage.

    If you remember last year Fox cut out the podium of the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis’ first win….

  22. Robert McKay
    13th March 2008, 21:26

    Well, I’m now even more psyched about the new season, if that was even possible. Live free practice on the net, and the quali and race too (which is on-demand for up to a month afterwards!), good stuff.

    Couple of interesting questions spring to mind: (a) how much is it costing ITV? (b) Is it a guinea pig experiment to be rolld out for other countries?

    I think a lot of us here have all thought it was high time F1 embraced the internet (you might have to at least think about amending the cool wall Keith?!). My surprise is really twofold in that if it did happen I expected it would be on Bernie’s site, and that it would have been a premium service requiring payment, like Moto GP. To do it for "free" (well, ITV paying, presumably, and us watching ITV’s ads, but still better than paying) is the real surprise for me.

  23. Dan nailed itNo big fan base in the US? mmmi wonder why!  

  24. This is actually very good and I will actually try it from here in Melbourne.

  25. Apparently if you do a search for ‘public proxy servers’ you can find sites that list them, put the details for a British one in your browser and you might be able to watch the coverage. No guarantees!

  26. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any free Flash streaming (RTMP) players yet.

    But if someone has the means, they can try going direct to the source: rtmp://

    Should at least get you around the country block, I would have thought.

    Ooh, and as I was typing this, the stream started!

    Go 2008! :)

  27. Is it just me, or is it widescreen video compressed into a 16:9 player?  Oh no, it’s been sorted.

    The ITV stream is getting a bit laggy already.  Must be popular (or under-provisioned)!

  28. This is very good, but it’s at the wrong aspect ratio on my screen…

  29. (ah, I refreshed the page and got it correctly 16:9)

  30. Scott Joslin
    13th March 2008, 23:03

    is anyone finding it jerky? Or is that just my internet connection?

  31. Three comments in a row.. I’ll stop now, honest!

    I mean to say my picture was being squashed into 4:3.

  32. Yes Scott, it is a bit jerky and the sound is stuttering.

  33. Scott Joslin
    13th March 2008, 23:09

    Phew, I thought it was a problem my end. I suppose we should be patient with it!

  34. Simon: Same here for me. Which is odd, as the video streams are all off the ITV site.

    This stream is great without people talking over it.  Hearing banter in the garages etc.  I’m sure I heard the F word about two minutes after it came online at 10:55! :)

  35. Christopher I agree the lack of commentary is great.  We’re hearing them talk candidly in the pitlane.

  36. …after repeated tapping of the F5 key, still nothing.

    Unfortunately I haven’t got speakers so i missed all that banter!

  37. Brett from Oz
    14th March 2008, 1:56

    No luck getting this where i am…..
    Can any one help????

    We here in Aust would have the worst F1 coverage – the only live races are the Aust GP and maybe the Malay, China and Jap

    Others are delayed so we can all watch some crap episope of Big Brother or like

  38. Watch it on Wheels, available on TVU.  (

    You can watch that from anywhere in the world. :)

  39. Journeyer,
    Is Wheels on TVU a channel or a show on a particular channel. It works great if I can find where the F1 broadcasts are. Thanks

  40. It’s a channel on TVU which shows the American TV channel Speed which carries some F1 sessions live along with other motor sport. See

  41. I see ITV just won Bafta for its F1 coverage

  42. I’m not sure but I think ITV use something called simulcastPlayer which is flash itself … I played with it and found this inside:
    var serverName = ‘’;
    var appName = ‘itvbrdbnd/_definst_’;
    var streamName = ‘livestream’;
    var conn_Str = ‘rtmp://’ + serverName + ‘/’ + appName;
    var source_Str = conn_Str + ‘/’ + streamName;
    if you have simulcastPlayer_02.swf there is no problem to wach ITV stream (FP1, FP2, Qualify, Race… sorry no FP3) outside UK … proof of concept: :)
    be gentle … this pc have only 192MB RAM and 650MHz CPU :)

    another way is to use tv ants or somethin’ … they have a nice app for linux called sp-sc-auth …
    ./sp-sc-auth sop:// 3908 8908 > /dev/null &
    then just open in you media player …
    this will work during all sessions and race but channel is always diferent and language sounds like some scandinavian language :)

  43. In Australia Channel 10 does a crap job of airing an edited and voiced over broadcast. Here we want the knowledgeable ITV broadcast. We cant access any UK based internet audio based on our ISP being Australian based

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