Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 2018

End the debate over Halo, Alonso urges

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says the presence of Halo on this year’s F1 cars should not be up for debate because of its importance as a safety device.

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Comment of the day

Should F1 be more concerned with how fans can see the sport than the quality of contest they get to see?

If F1 isn’t ‘free to air’, most fans will leave.

As a 30-plus year F1 fan, it is already trying my patience missing half the grands prix and with no free-to-air source in the UK from next year, audiences will be minimal. I for one will probably reduce my interest to checking the papers the next day, if that.

I can’t see many major sponsors paying top dollar for such a rapidly declining audience, already down from eight million to less than 400,000 in the UK in the last 10 years. Formula E might get more interesting, more sponsors and more audience, if it remains free to air.
Mark (@Inkpen99)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 92 comments on “End the debate over Halo, Alonso urges”

    1. TheObviousAnswerMan
      25th February 2018, 0:54

      @Mark Mr. Comment of the Day – join the rest of the world and learn how to stream it for free online.

      1. Ferrari has a big problem in 2018:How to de tune its 2018 f1 car to be slower.the 2018 ferrari is a halo conceived car with the halo and rear view mirror acting essentially as a 3 rd central spoiler on the car.as such that ferrari is at least 1 second per lap faster than any other car.
        Ferrari has both f1 championships wrapped before it starts.look for ferrari sand bagging starting tomorrow ,Monday in Spain and comes Melbourne: ferrari 1/2 from day 1. ENJOY ALL. got it here first Cheers!

      2. Streaming is rubbish and unreliable, picture resolution constantly changes and half the time it doesn’t even work, and that’s not exclusive to the “live” stuff. You people are relying too much on the internet for entertainment, it is very troubling.

        1. I’ve been watching almost every race in the last couple seasons via streams. Haven’t had any problems at all. 1080p and everything.

        2. Wow, when was the last time you were streaming something? Your comment gave me a flashback to 1999. I’m sorry but streaming in 2018 has much better quality than any cable or satellite TV provider can deliver. Most HD TV, if it even is in HD, is broadcast in either 720p/50, 1080i/50 or 1080p/25 because of bandwidth limitations. On the other side, there is absolutely no problem streaming native 4k resolution video with 50 pictures per second, which is 4 times the resolution of 1080p with double the framerate.

          I get that it can be annoying if your own internet connection is subpar but you can’t blame streaming for that. It’s here to stay and will replace each and every other method for broadcasting in our lifetime.

        3. I (legally) stream to my TV regularly, Sky Sports and youtube. I don’t have any issues with buffering and the picture quality is as good as broadcast TV. I have a BT TV subscription, which includes many of their channels and the 4K channel. All of the BT Sport channels via the BT box are fed digitally over the internet. BT themselves sell their own version of streaming. They rely on the internet.

          Not everyone has brilliant internet connections, granted, but there’s no reason a fully legitimate F1-supplied stream isn’t an option worth pursuing. Streaming is certainly not rubbish.

        4. “You people”. These people also know how to download a full 1080p 50fps version from reliable sources after the race. And if you’re stream quality isn’t up to par then you haven’t heard of AceStream. I will concede that it can be frustrating at times.

    2. I feel the move towards pay TV might be a bid to move public towards an online streaming solution. TV will be for the older audience who would be able to afford such a service, while a streaming option for the younger generation with more customization of content dependent on the level of subscription can ensure the two mediums can work at the same time.

      1. Nice comment @scottie and one I agree with. Liberty might view the loss of viewers of the “free” telecasts acceptable if they’re able to get enough subscribers paying for OTT (over-the-top) viewing.

      2. The move towards Pay TV started long before online streaming subscriptions were even a thing and has been a big contributer towards killing interest in the sport.

        Like COTD, my interest in F1 has waned over the past few seasons as I’m only able to watch half of the races live and I’m generally not a fan of the highlight shows given that you lose so much of the story of the race, and watching such a complex sport on a second screen feels pointless to me.

        As a UK viewer, from 2019 my only consumption of F1 is going to be via this website and one other, and as much as I enjoy Keith’s efforts they sadly won’t be enough to keep me interested for long.

    3. BTW the 360 degree on-car camera shot from the Red Bull will be on every car this year, Embedded on top of the chassis just ahead of the Halo.
      You can see it sticking up in the launch just behind the peto tubes & above the Tag Heuer logo infront of the halo- https://www.racefans.net/2018/02/19/pictures-red-bulls-new-rb14-first-run-silverstone/red-bull-rb14-silverstone-2018-1920-1/
      https://www.racefans.net/2018/02/19/pictures-red-bulls-new-rb14-first-run-silverstone/red-bull-rb14-silverstone-2018-1920-10/

      It won’t be a live shot as the cameras there using (360fly units) can’t be hooked into the on-car camera system to transmit live video. The video recorded to them will be available in some form in the week after the race weekend, With clips on social media & I believe some integration into the non live portion of the OTT service.

      1. I don’t know about everyone else but I found that 360 degree footage horrible.

        Did my head in with the weird distortion of everything going past. Reminded me of a fairly poor quality video game.

        Not something I’ll ge chasing to watch.

        1. @dbradock It’s part of because they need to use aggressive fish lenses to expand the POV of each camera and fitting more camera isn’t technologically and physically possible right now, especially for mounted on F1 cars use. I think the optimum way to enjoy it is not from your TV or monitor but by using VR gear. Even cardbox for phone VR gear should gives much better experience for it.

        2. You need a 3d player app to get normal view. This will allo you a normal view but you can chose which direction to look.

          1. 360 is surely just a gimmick, no? I’m thinking 3D printing, 3D TV/cinema, curved TVs etc. All god one paper, just not taken up mainstream.

            1. 3d printing is used by the entire paddock and has countless applications on other industries.
              Desktop 3d printers are a disastrous, but industrial 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is here to stay

            2. I have a few friends who use home 3D printers frequently.

            3. @unicron2002 3D printing definitely not a gimmick, the others though… let’s say it has some added value that haven’t reach most people yet. For example, I prefer watching 3D movie but I know many people get sick or think it as distraction. Similarly 360 view most likely won’t be received well by all people, but some will enjoy it, particularly during a great side by side battle.

            4. There’s nothing “disastrous” about desktop 3D printers. They’re just slow.

            5. i agree with 3D film.

              I don’t agree with Curved screens. They are just a step though. We’re heading towards bezel-less flexible screens in the next 10 to 20 years.

    4. Shame we don’t get to see the 360 video of Ricciardo binning it.

      1. +1
        They left out the only interesting lap of that “filmday”.

    5. Regarding COTD

      down from eight million to less than 400,000 in the UK in the last 10 years

      That stat isn’t accurate.

      For starters F1 has never seen an average of 8m viewers in the UK, The highest it ever got was in 1996 with an average of around 5.3m viewers.

      The average raceday TV audience in the UK in 2017 was 2.52m, A decade ago (2008) the average over the season was 3.6m.
      And in 2007/2008 the TV figures in the UK saw a bump from the arrival & hype surrounding Lewis Hamilton. Before this F1’s TV viewership in the UK had been declining with a low point of a 2.8m average in 2006 which is only a little above where it is now despite been on Free TV in 2006.

      For the record i’m not arguing that figures have decreased, However the decline isn’t as bad in the UK as COTD was suggesting.

      1. @gt-racer Thanks for the data, for which I can more believe because you worked closely with these stuff.

        I think COTD is wrong to think less free to air TV is the major factor for less viewers/fans. Of course it’s a factor but I doubt it’s really as big as many people like to think. The availability of national hero is more like the biggest factor. Like your Hamilton example, I think we’ve heard German fans dropped a lot after Schumacher retires, even enough to make Nürburgring out of the calendar – something that probably unthinkable a decade ago. The same is happening in Spain, Brazil, and right now Dutch.

        1. @sonicslv, on the other hand, there have been markets where there has been a very strong correlation between the switch from free to air to pay TV and the resultant decline in global viewing figures, such as in France.

          1. I never disputed there is a correlation, what I disputed is it’s the major factor of declining viewers. Not to mention TV viewer numbers is basically huge approximation (search on how TV viewers numbers are counted if you want to know more) and while TV number may correlate strongly with the people interest in the past, nowadays the correlation is much more weaker. If we more interested in people who follow F1 instead of F1 TV ratings, it’s more useful to watch F1 websites viewer count or social media followers.

      2. Thanks @gt-racer. Always good to see the real numbers.
        As much as I agree with part of the COTD, it loses credibility by using ‘Trump stats’.

      3. Additionally, that’s 2.52m of legally watched TV, there will be lots of people too who watch it on streaming sites when it’s only live on Sky, whereas the 2.8m in 2006 for example, that was the number watching full stop, as there was no streaming then.

    6. Alonso speakith and the fans all became calm.

      1. Some say the FIA introduced the halo just to keep Alonso in F1…

        1. Nando has spoken: You will watch Formula PlaySkool and you will like it. Or else.

    7. Regarding COTD, I encourage everyone to stream races for free. While this is obviously an illegal and immoral solution, but we have to send the message. This just can’t continue like this.

      For example, here in Ukraine I have no way to watch races. Not on free TV, not on pay TV. This is absurd and ridiculous. The only option I’m left with is illegal streaming.

      Hopefully, a native streaming service will help. Yet, given MotoGP’s VideoPass is $170 per season, I’d expect F1 to be at ~$200 per season, or $10-15 per race.

      1. Cable TV in Pacific Northwest last season cost $200 per month roughly. So $2400 to watch Formula One for the season. We had superb coverage for years and it suddenly ended after the Abu Dhabi race. No warning no offers for months we didnt even know who had the broadcast rights until RaceFans tipped us off. Cant imagine watching a race on a cellphone either. Computers are the same way. I want my comfortable recliner and a flatscreen please. F1 should be seen but watched on TV. Always more Informative on TV at least it was.

        1. The basic pay tv plan (with F1 coverage channel) costs around U$30.00 monthly here in Brazil. I didn’t know pay tv was so expensive in some countries.

        2. It’s very easy to project your phone or PC to TV screen now, even wirelessly if you have smart TV and smartphone produced at least 3-4 years ago. For PC, it’s much more easier to just plug HDMI cable and think your PC as projector.

          Maybe you already know it and its not ideal solution but at least you can still enjoy it from your recliner!

          1. You make it sound easy to watch F1 on the net, it is not always the case or is it always practical or desirable. There can be issues with low bandwidth meaning slow data speeds = constant buffering. Costs which can be very high taking into account the cost of the connection on top of the sports subscription. Availability of an internet service at all.
            On the other hand analogue/digital free to air TV is wide spread and accessible over an area the internet and mobile phone coverage cannot hope to match. The quality is in general very good and it’s more reliable overall.

            1. Even if you use a legal streaming service you can have the problems you mention. NowTV is the only legal option in the UK, for example – but it’s not full hd and there are frame rate issues if you use their streaming device, and that’s best case.

            2. If you don’t mind watching the race a day or so late, there are ways to download high quality copies of the complete race weekend, which can (by a variety of means) be pushed to your TV.

            3. @johnrkh I don’t get what you mean? I’m only telling TEDBELL how easy it is to still enjoy F1 on his TV and recliner if he sourced it from smartphone or PC.

      2. Why not watch Indycar? They put their races on Youtube. Competition encourages changes in business practices that years of complaining and lobbying can’t.

      3. @theodorium – this year, we actually will have an option to watch live on TV (thank you, Renault), but the problem is that almost no one will watch that channel. And you can’t purchase a subscription for that channel and watch F1 online. I don’t have a TV-set, and am not going to buy one. So I still hope that OTT will be available for Ukraine.
        F1 is a too old dinosaur. MotoGP is much better, at least, considering the options to follow online and racing itself.

      4. I’ve never been able to find a reliable streaming service that works in the UK. I’d love one to be available.

        Like many, I will be forced to switch off after a long period. I’ve been following F1 since the late 70s and am genuinely angry that *they* are forcing it behind a pay wall. I will not, even though I could, pay to watch it on TV.
        So, the only sport I love will lose me.. likely forever, because when you stop following something you get out of touch and lose interest.

      5. @theodorium

        we have to send the message

        How will they receive that message? I’m asking from a purely technical point of view – it’s not as if they have the capability to detect how many people watch pirated feeds and conducting a survey would probably give very inaccurate results.

        1. @keithcollantine

          On surface, they’d see decline in pay TV and rise of pirate streaming. I’m pretty sure TV/channel viewership is being tracked just fine and it would be communicated.

          As for streaming, there’s not central place, but rather hundreds of places you can stream from. These places pop up frequently everywhere where fans hang out, most prominently on reddit. Since there’s an official F1 Research on reddit, I’m pretty sure there’re keeping an eye on it.

          I agree this is somewhat convoluted, but then again – what do we do?

          1. @keithcollantine

            So, it seems the message has been received :)

    8. I agree racing fans might flock to Formula E next season, once the new car hits the track and more manufacturers get involved.

      However, at least in the UK, Channel 5 aren’t taking it too seriously. The last race was bumped to their “5star” non-HD channel for the live race… simply so their main channel showed some awful daytime TV. If the broadcaster who has paid a lot of money for a racing series isn’t promoting it and backing it properly, what hope does it have!

      (I for one tune in anyway. Racing is racing after all. And it’s not cutting the grass or doing anything else productive during that time slot on a weekend :))

      1. I find Formula E very lacking and can’t get excited about it. For me, even Sim Racing has more entertainment than FE…

    9. I disagree with think F1 should be free. Free is not always good and frankly I can’t stand the commercials and most of the directors is not F1 fans and just cut the races while something interesting happening.

      I think what most people actually complained is the “prerequisite” to pay to watch F1. Cable TV subscription and the optional F1/sports channel. Luckily, we now live in internet era and streaming is already quite mature. A model similar to WWE network where for $10 (chant with me: nine ninety nine) per month for all access to FOM videos and archives, including live timing and races that month is a very good deal. BE may never go to that direction but I can see Liberty much more easier going to that route because that model is quite popular in US. Some people may still hate have to pay by principle (like some people keep pirating games and movies even though they can afford it), but I don’t think F1 need to cater to their demand.

      1. @sonicslv You hit the nail on the head. In my location we had F1 on free-to-air up until 2006 season I believe and the coverage was filled with commercials. All races (not just half like in UK but ALL) moved to pay TV and I happily paid for it. The quality of the coverage was increased by miles. No more commercial breaks during the races. Build-up show was lengthened greatly compared to free-to-air era. The channel was able to broadcast GP2, GP3 and other support races because there was no clashing in schedule with other programs anymore. All in all pay TV was simply superior option and I never wanted to switch back to free version.

        Nowadays there’s no need to pay for anything though, because you can find HD-quality free streams fairly easily. I’d still gladly pay for official streaming platform, if it’s done right…

        1. You must have a great IP who delivers a proper broadband service and who is the broadcaster you go through to watch F1? It must be expensive to watch it with no adds.

          1. @johnrkh My connection is 100mbps and it costs me 20€/month. I don’t think it’s necessary to have speed like that for streaming with HD quality. 24-50mbps should be enough I reckon.

            1. Ok thanks 20€/month is around $31 Aus not bad at all. I don’t believe we in Aus can get anything like that for the price, I’m guessing around $100/month.

      2. Why not both?

        FTA to garner interest. Pay TV or OTT for those who want better coverage.

        That’s how it is with AFL here in Australia and it works well.

        1. @justrhysism Sorry, I meant I disagree with the ones who think it should only be free. Too bad we still can’t edit comments, and I just realized my first sentence in the comment is a mess.

          Of course there’s no problem if we can have both, although usually with streaming service it’ll be geoblocked if the local broadcaster purchased the right for F1. Free or not.

      3. Please tell us who do you use for this fantastic and very cheap service, and which country do you view from?

        1. @johnrkh I’m not sure what do you mean? Obviously that kind of service isn’t available yet which is why I proposed a suggestion.

          1. Obviously that kind of service isn’t available yet which is why I proposed a suggestion.

            I imagine you must be in a large European city. In Aus using a mobile phone in that way would be very expensive. I agree that viewing F1 on the internet is the future but it’s not here yet. Free to air is still the most attractive way to watch for fans and therefore a better deal for sponsors in my opinion.

    10. I agree with FA regarding the Halo.

      1. Mee too. That is why i am all in favor of limiting the max speed of each car to 50Km/h in the dry and 10KM/h in the wet.
        It is for safety so i am sure FA is for it to!

        1. “That is why i am all in favor of limiting the max speed of each car to 50Km/h in the dry and 10KM/h in the wet.”
          I second that notion, marcel!

        2. Autonomous cars. No arguments; it’s for safety.

    11. Do we have a Photoshop wizard who would be willing to produce halo-less rendition images of the new cars?

      1. @damon Probably the most stupid COTD, amplified by a comment from a driver with a vested interest in protecting his own head, and potentially his life.

        1. @psynrg, uhmmm, I’ve got no idea what you’re referring to mate

        2. @psynrg Then he shouldn’t be in an F1 car. ALO drove Indy last year, pretty sure the guy has balls and is just tired of people asking about that stupid halo mounted over his head. While we are talking about stupid, your comment reads as though ALO is in agreement with the comment, maybe someone else is the stupid one?
          Should boxers wear a cage over their head? What about MotoGP… nuff said. FIA has turned f1 into a patsy sport.
          F the halo, it’s ruined F1. #FormulaStupid

          1. @marksch Regardless of how you feel the danger element is an important factor in F1, you have no say in the matter against any driver actually putting their head in harms way. Comparing any other activity is irrelevent. This is about F1 and its drivers; other sports, extreme or not, are not part of this ‘debate’.

            MotoGP? Pah, pathetic, they wear leathers so their skin isn’t shaved from their bodies should they slide along the asphalt at 150mph. What a bunch of pansies. Don’t get me started on those view constricting helmets. So what if their skull explodes as they hit the armco!

            F1, MotoGP, Boxing – whatever – they are in it for the sport. The risk is inherent and they are suitably rewarded for it, but it’s not for us to say how far that risk should go. It’s their choice and if you don’t like it, go elsewhere.

            I follow F1 for the racing (on track and in R&D), not for how close a driver came to finally ending his life in the pursuit of keeping people like you entertained.

            1. Blah blah blah… Blah. Blah.
              Now that that is out of the way,
              I feel I have plenty of say. I’ve spent probably 20k USD on F1 tickets, and I won’t spend another dime- and I hope many others boycott as well. Racing IS entertainment. That’s ALL it is!! ANY relevance off-track is long long gone.
              The stupid halo is nothing but a poor FIA reaction to what happened to Jules, you know, where he crashed into a crane which had no business doing on an active circuit. Martin in his commentary, more then a minute before the crash, raised his concerns as he struck a marshall in the exact same spot in wet conditions. Why didn’t the idiots at the FIA learn from that? No, instead we get a idiotic halo. Tell me again how many drivers in F1 have died from being hit in the head by a tire? Oh right, its never happened.

          2. @marksch, it is so easy to make those sorts of chest thumping fake statements of bravery and machismo when it’s not your neck on the line though, isn’t it?

            Equally, whilst you laud MotoGP, there have been times when their attitude has been frankly reckless – a few years ago, Danilo Petrucci was complaining to Dorna’s medical team that, after a crash in practise, he was disorientated – he complained that, at times, he wasn’t even sure which circuit he was at – and spoke about how he was suffering from short term memory loss and quite clear symptoms of brain damage due to concussion injuries.

            Despite his complaints, the medical team didn’t even bother with a full examination – they pretty much went “you’ve not broken anything, so you’re fine to keep going”. Isn’t it rather reckless, if not downright stupid, to send a clearly injured rider back out because they were more interested in “keeping the show going”?

            I would not be surprised if a few decades down the line we may begin to see some of those riders starting to suffer from longer term health and mental problems due to the brain injuries they’ve picked up now. Machismo is a rather poor doctor, and I wonder how macho you would feel if you were suffering from memory problems later on in life as a result of injuries sustained years ago due to some random person sat in his living room moaning about how you weren’t “enough of a man” to ignore a petty thing like bran damage.

            1. Hi There, @marksch #

              Here is a video from 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-7cwSlB3nM

              What you’ll find in it is the FIA testing a frontal roll hoop.

              Here’s another from 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upqcj296l6w

              This one is an FIA test of a canopy.

              What i think you’ll find both those videos have in common is they were filmed in 2012.

              You’re comment

              The stupid halo is nothing but a poor FIA reaction to what happened to Jules, you know, where he crashed into a crane which had no business doing on an active circuit.

              is purely opinion based and has… in your words “no business” being portrayed as fact.

            2. @anon Then don’t race. Simple as that. For the money f1 drivers make risk is part of the reward.

              @Luke Hey thats great they tested something…and tjat was all it was, never made it to a grand prix. Halo still sucks and F1 has lost me spending another dime. I’ll download a race here and there maybe but that’s about it. Sanitized tracks, crap motors and now this abomination? No thanks.

            3. @marksch What I really don’t understand is, if you are out, why are you still here?

              Glory or death merchants are not the kind of ‘fan’ any sport wishes to cultivate, but thanks for your financial contribution to date. I’m sure all of it is being spent on a couple of retaining nuts & bolts for a ‘halo’ as we speak…

              The driver will appreciate it.

            4. @psynrg Just trying to save the sport I loved. I’m sure you’ve noticed or heard viewership is down about 200,000,000 since the introduction of the horrible vacuum cleaner “power units.” You know the one thats destroyed McLaren’s reputation and given Lewis pretty much uncontested championships the last few years.

              First Jean ruined the sound and the competition, now he’s ruined the DNA and look of the cars.

              Sorry, just cant be silent while this man destroys the sport.

            5. @marksch

              Hey that’s great they tested something…and that was all it was, never made it to a grand prix.

              Pretty certain you can trace the halo back to those tests. so, I guess they tested something AND it made it to a Grand Prix.

              And as for the power unit destroying Mclaren’s reputation. Give over. I’m certain plenty of things have gone at Mclaren that can be attributed to their “reputation” being destroyed. The same as Williams.

              And what exactly are you doing to save the sport you love? Turning off from the races isn’t going to do that? Did you feel that way when they’re increased the cockpit sides? Forced all drivers to wear a HANS device? Increased the helmet protection above the visor? Surely all of that has decreased the “risk” in the sport.

              And that’s what we want to be fair. I don’t want to see someone die on live tv. That’s not what I’m interested in. And i’m not really sure the halo is going to make the racing any worse or any better. And that’s the bottom line really. The racing.

    12. COTD is spot on. more and more i follow the sport through websites like this one, after the event. i don’t seek out every race especially if it’s just the highlights. having every race live and occurring regularly (i.e. every 2 weeks) made it so much easier and more enjoyable to follow. I would say the BBC coverage was the high water mark recently. channel 4 is ok, but the whole production feels less serious to the point that my overriding impression is that F1 is not thought of as particularly important. having highlights every other race (or less frequently) reinforces that impression.

      1. @frood19. Times are a-changing. It’s a shame. ‘Fragmented marketplace’ springs to mind. I think the media industry is in a big state of flux at the moment and we don’t know how what form it will settle on. I just want freeview. But how useful is that if the new generation are not even watching TV anymore?

        This website has now fully replaced the printed media for me. I have religiously bought Autosport (and F1 News 1992-2002) after every race but I knocked that on the head a couple of years ago. I am old(ish) and to a certain extent pine for simpler times! Although having to catch races live or face the alternative of having to work ut how to programme a VHSplayer to record in advance isn’t something I miss.

    13. Either they decolored the rest of the image to draw attention to the new McLaren, or the whole place is still decorated in grey Ronseal.

    14. Just an idea.. is there any issues with creating a transparent halo device?

      1. Strength (plastic composite) or cost (manufactured diamond).

        But hiding it could be realatively easy: green screen or led lights.

      2. You do realize that a transparent halo would not at all be invisible? :)

        1. Really? My whole life has been a lie 🤔

    15. To build on what @scottie alluded to earlier, I think Liberty might be working towards a more robust over-the-top (OTT) streaming model, along the lines of Netflix and the likes.

      As someone who’s been watching streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime for a few years, I can see the attraction of such services, and the kinds of audiences Liberty might be seeking.

      Today, when surfing channels on my TV, if I come across an interesting show, I can make a note of it, and pick up the series from that point on, one episode per week. If I’m lucky, I might catch a few reruns to fill in what I’ve missed. On the other hand, I could just visit a site like JustWatch that tells me which streaming services offer the same series, and if I’m subscribed to that service, I can watch all seasons and episodes at my leisure, not as dictated by the TV channel’s programming.

      Similarly, if Liberty offer streaming services of races (alongside TV broadcasts) once current contracts expire, not only will they be able to offer live races streamed in real-time, but also other on-demand services like different angles, replays, etc. Imagine having a subscription to Liberty’s F1 channel that lets you view any past race on-demand.

      And OTT services like this needn’t be limited to being consumed on only mobile devices or computers with small screens – many TVs sold today are smart TVs that support streaming from the internet, and even regular TVs can be “smartened” up by the addition of a cheap Chromecast or Fire TV stick.

      Granted, this will result in added internet costs as well, but there is a growing audience that is looking at consuming more internet-delivered media (TV, movies, music, gaming, etc.), with some of them even going so far as to giving up their TV connections (i.e. cord-cutters).

      So, I for one will be watching how – as current TV broadcast contracts come up for renewal – Liberty approaches this aspect of broadcast rights over TV and other media.

      1. Fast-forward 20 years and that’s how all TV will work. Why watch TV at a pre-prescribed time when you can watch everything on-demand at your own convenience?

        1. I sure hope so, because watching on the DVR that comes with my TV service allows channels to block fast forward. Recording starts 5-10 minutes early, always, so you end up watching stuff you don’t care for, and if you saw only a part live, or your loved one missed a bit, you sit through not only commercials, but also everything before it that you did see.

          We reduced views of this channel,of course. But it’s German RTL, which is the easiest way to see F1 on TV here, so, OTT, I am waiting.

          1. @bosyber – have you seen this thread of comments? Egonovi and gt-racer have mentioned that OTT is coming to Germany (among a few other places) ahead of the 2018 season. So happy days are here for you :-)

            1. Yep, looking forward to hear/read the details @phylyp!

    16. My biggest concern is about the speed they travel at in F1. I think the cars should be limited to 30mph when turning and 50mph on straights. They should use indicators when overtake and drivers should be penalised for accelerating when other driver overtakes them. You talk about safety? Halo is safety feature but what if i.e. rabbit jumps and hit the driver? Why not to put windscreens on?

    17. The safest way is to end Formula 1 championship, since safety is of absolute importance. Or it’s not ALL about safety in moto racing after all? Seems most of you have chosen the wrong career.

    18. Let the sponors of the cars pay for my TV coverage here at home in the big recliner. Why not ?? You want me to consume or use your product then you(the company with the products) pay a percentage to contribute towards my free TV coverage. More air time for sponsors, more positive press the new F1 leaders and Fan interest will grow because of this smart idea. Tell the sponors their percentage will reap rewards from new fan investments in said products. Sorry sponsors somebody with a butt load of money should pay me for my interest to watch F1 from the recliner and enjoy their fine products. Go Sponsors !!

    19. All broadcasters pay a lot for the right to broadcast F1 races. The question is how do they turn that large expense into a profit? One option is to get advertising to pay for the right to broadcast while another is to get subscribers to pay, and it seems the subscription based broadcasters find it easier to make a profit from the races than free to air broadcasters do, hence they win more tenders F1 put out than Free to Air broadcasters do. The problem for F1 teams is advertising on cars helps pay teams to be competitive (especially those don’t get exclusive payments), which means races on Free to Air TV are better for them than subscription TV.
      So while fans prefer to see races for free and without adverts inserted into it, reality is most broadcasters tend towards a model that is either free with adverts inserted or, and this seems the prevalent model, subscription with far less adverts.
      I can’t be sure, but it seems most broadcasters don’t seem interested in a “valued added” service, so a Free to Air broadcaster isn’t really interested in providing a subscription service (so people can pay to watch the race without adverts), and a subscription broadcaster isn’t interested in providing a free to air service (e.g. repeat the entire race later on with adverts inserted). As I see it, there isn’t any reason why Liberty Media can’t operate in this area. They could stream races from a few days afterwards without affecting local broadcasters because the broadcasters don’t appear interested in offering that service themselves.

      1. @drycrust

        either free with adverts inserted or, and this seems the prevalent model, subscription with far less adverts

        Correct me if I’m wrong but I think in the UK Sky actually shows more adverts than non-subscription channels, or at least the same amount.

        1. Think you’re quite spot on there Keith – at least during all the preshow etc there’s plenty of them.

          Subscription-based broadcasters get the rights to show because they are coughing up more money for it. They make it back with their expensive subscriptions.

          My guess is, the teams don’t really care at the end of the day if they’re racing in front of empty stands and half a million people on TV as long as they’re making a decent chunk of change from it. Because it’s that bottom line at the end of the day.

    20. re: COTD
      The sooner F1 goes to a subscription base similar to a NBA TV or what MOTO GP does i think the better. Yes its not free but what if they had all previous races from any year, including bonus coverage, behind the scenes, Never before seen interviews, technical shows, stuff like that. i Would be happy to pay if it gave the viewer a full experience like that. It would be great for us Aussies at least.

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