F1 TV streaming service

Formula One to launch F1 TV streaming service “early in 2018 season”

2018 F1 season

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Formula One is to launch a new streaming service allowing fans to stream live race coverage and access the sport’s video archive.

F1 TV Pro will offer live streaming of races to fans in certain regions. According to F1 “nearly two dozen markets” will be covered including Germany, France, USA, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and “much of Latin America”.

F1 television camera, 2017
The technology powering F1’s next broadcasting breakthroughs
The race coverage will be advertisement-free, available in multiple languages and give access to onboard cameras from all 20 drivers. It will include live coverage of all races, qualifying and practice sessions plus Formula Two, GP3 and Porsche Supercup support races. F1 press conferences and pre- and post-race interviews will also be shown.

The service will also provide access to an extensive archive of F1 video. This part of the service will also be available to users in most of the rest of the world under the name F1 TV Access.

Subscription fees for F1 TV Pro will be set at around $8 to $12 (US) per month. Formula One Management says the service will arrive “early in the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship season”.

F1’s director of digital and new business Frank Arthofer said the new offering is “a cornerstone of our digital transformation”.

“F1 TV subscription products are clearly and centrally aimed at our hardest core fans, and we are firm believers that while we are bringing a new audience to the sport, we must always remain focused on delivering products and experiences that serve the most avid F1 fans.”

“Our objective with F1 TV is simple: provide these fans with the best available service to watch live grands prix and provide them with the best sports [over-the-top] customer experience in the world. Our team and our partners are singularly focused on delivering on that vision: not just for launch but over the long-term. Live streaming video is an exciting space changing almost daily.”

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103 comments on “Formula One to launch F1 TV streaming service “early in 2018 season””

  1. So not in the UK then? Or does the deal with sky and channel 4 prevent that?

    1. Yeah I imagine that will either take more negotiating (i.e. give Sky money) or wait until the contract is up.

    2. Yep, So for now it still seems like this will be the last season I watch…

      Bernie really screwed the UK over.

    3. It’ll be Sky only from 2019 to 2025 so fingers crossed there’s something in that deal that will allow this service or it’s going to be a long wait for UK fans.

    4. I believe the new Sky deal starts next year, so maybe they (Liberty Media) should just terminate it.

      1. Or not, depending on the subscription type. Sometimes it is asked to prove your nationality either by id card, local smartphone number, address or other. These are the kind of subscription we have to implement right now where I work unfortunately. But there will be pirate streams for sure.

    5. You can use VPN and watch anywhere. Most antivirus aplications have this service as an option (most of them in paid version).

      1. yeah and there is a large database of VPN addresses that are routinely blocked by all streaming services. You cannot rely on a commercial VPN for video streaming anymore.

        I really hope that this is available in the Netherlands, I´ll happily pay 10 usd per month for this instead of having to watch terrible illegal streams, as long as it is pay per month and not some stupid annual or recurring payment.

        I feel bad for those living in the UK, Sky will never, not for any price give up exclusivity on one of their sports. One solution may be for Liberty to use Sky F1 as it´s source and, obviously, pay Sky a large percentage which seems fair but I doubt sky would go for it, them being the ruthless so and so´s that they are.

  2. Anyone know a really good proxy program that doesn’t slow down the internet speeds so much that I won’t be able to live stream this from the UK? :)

    1. VPN might not work anyway.

      They might try for a Netflix style VPN detection which usually blocks most VPN’s.

      I’d also guess at you needing a non UK credit card and address.

      Liberty could make if difficult depending on pressures from the broadcasters. I get F1 “for free’ from theSKY HD package, so I’m good for now, however I hope we will get the F1 TV Access and watch all the stuff Bernie didnt want us too.

    2. I use Avast VPN for safety reasons, I watch Youtube/Twitch without any speed problem, but I don’t know if the VPN would get caught and some kind of security measure, I never tried to watch something region blocked.

      1. I have used the Surf Easy VPN in several countries for region blocked content and found it worked superbly well. I am sure it could work with this new streaming.

  3. Hopefully it’ll be Ben and David doing the commentary Crofty is diabolical

    1. I really cross my fingers for that too! Crofty has two modes: Crofty Calm and Crofty shouty.
      I really don’t like either.

  4. They can’t even make the mock-up realistic. Why use unrealistic grid position and why they race in different track?

    1. We shouldn´t judge by the mock-up, but you are absolutely right!
      They could have put more effort into it!

      Anyway, I am happy about the announcement!

      Sky Germany have lost the TV rights and I don´t like the ad-polluted RTL coverage.
      About 10€ per month is totally fine for me!

  5. No Brazil as of now. Maybe VPN? Fingers crossed…

  6. I hope we get this in the uk, and it’s a good quality stream. Much cheaper than paying £10 for NowTv weekend pass to see the races that are on sky.

    1. Yes, please, I hope so. The last & only time I used NOW TV, qualifying was fine, but the race kept stopping & I must have missed half the race, including the start & finish (expletives deleted). Netflix, iPlayer & Amazon Prime were all working fine, so my 80/20 broadband was OK, just NOW TV stopped streaming. No chance of a refund. Not wasting £10 again, even though it was great to have a Crofty & Brundell commentary, again – or what I got of it.

      1. well let´s hope that there will be no Crofty on this, I want coherent commentary on my live stream. Brundle / Coulthard, obviously, before anyone asks.

  7. I hope they will make this available in Portugal… and an app for Android TV would be great. For something like 10 to 15 euros per month I will be their first subscriber.

    1. @karlynhuz make me the second one

      I’m sure sporttv won’t allow any of this unfortunatly

      1. @johnmilk Certainly not gonna happen this season… but maybe sporttv won’t renew their broadcasting rights for much longer. I mean, how many people here in Portugal actually pay sporttv only for the F1. Probably none.

        1. @karlynhuz exactly, and I don’t pay for Sporttv because I don’t care about football, and it is an absurd to pay 40+€ for a bunch of channels that I don’t watch.

          Hopefully they will let it go sooner

  8. Wow, great stuff. I’m waiting to see the complete list of countries covered for 2018, as well as the years when it would roll out to other regions as contracts come up for renewal.

    1. Unless they make a deal with Sky it won’t be until 2025 in the UK.

  9. This is great idea! Something they should’ve done years ago. They are gonna make a lot of money on this.
    Hopefully they produce apple tv app as well and 4k streaming!

  10. One part of the announcement that concerns me a bit is “F1 TV Pro will have unique feeds not available on any other platform”.

    I hope that doesn’t mean a situation like when F1 were running the F1 Digital+ service where from 1998-2002 those without access to that service barely got to see any onboard cameras as they were locked behind the onboard camera channel which that service provided.

    It’s not available in the UK but i’m happy enough with Sky for now, However again I really hope that they don’t take things away from broadcasters like Sky (The extra onboard camera feeds, team radio stuff on the pits channel etc) to make there own service look like better value again similar to what was done on the old F1 Digital+ service.

  11. So India will have to wait. Hotstar and Star Sports Select HD 2 till then, I guess.

    1. I actually don’t mind waiting, I watch F1 on Star Sports Select Standard Def and I’m in no hurry to pay up for Hotstar Premium/ F1 TV

    2. I hope they don’t bring it to India. Premium model in a country with a potential fan base of half the population of Europe sounds right from a business perspective, but will not work unless the fans get into the sport first. Logic applies to most Asian countries where i think F1 has to penetrate more into.
      For now, Channel 4 feed on Star is fine. Their commentary is not as glossy as Sky’s.
      If they do bring it to India, i hope they do a lot of research on the pricing part. $10 a month for 4 days of F1 (10 hrs)/month is NOT very welcoming.

  12. If this was available in Canada for that price I’d sign up right away. However I don’t think an online subscription service will ever make up the massive amounts of money coming from behind a pay wall.

  13. No Spain either :(

  14. Finally! Looking forward to this, if well implemented it will be great. Switching OB camera on-demand its sounds really great.

  15. Not sure if the list of countries is complete, but if so then why isn’t Canada included? We have TSN for English coverage but it just rebroadcasts Sky’s F1 coverage.

    1. just read the article – english hard.

  16. Duncan Snowden
    27th February 2018, 17:06

    “Subscription fees for F1 TV Pro will be set at around $8 to $12 (US) per month.”

    So basically about five bucks per race weekend, assuming they don’t force you into a yearly contract. That’s pretty reasonable, actually. About what I’ve always said I’d be willing to pay, in fact. Pity it’s not aimed at the UK, but hey… region-locking on the internet is a fool’s errand. Paying for it might be tricky mind you (“Good day to you, Mr. Bratches, I wish to purchase a subscription to your excellent American streaming service. Er… buddy. Yes, I have a British bank account, because… um… hey, those, ah… limeys have great banks. Right?”), but we’ll see.

    And I assume they’ll be using a variant of those graphics on the broadcast feed, too. Not bad. I wish they’d use more colour rather than those tiny blobs next to each TLA though. That was one of the worst things about the old setup.

    1. Shouldn’t be an issue. You can be a UK resident but you happen to travel a lot (explains the VPN as well)

  17. This is what I wanted. Now to expand it to the rest of the world.

    1. (As long It doesn’t require a cable subscription to use it)

  18. “Arive early in the season” rather reads like “we’re going to miss the first two or three races”, or am I adding two and two and getting 5?

    1. joe pineapples
      27th February 2018, 19:33

      You’re maths sounds good to me.

  19. Motorsport Magazine’s website is reporting that:

    “A lesser priced F1 Access TV will be available worldwide, offering live timing, radio commentary, race highlights and archive footage on a non-subscription basis.”

    1. Whoops, mustn’t read so quickly. You’d already covered that.

    2. But does it mean the current free live timing app will disappear? I hope not!

  20. Fabulous. With this and testing making it seem promising for a close(r) season, F1 2018 is looking up.

  21. I like the way this is headed. Any streaming service not tied to a cable subscription is worth its weight in gold. We’ll see what happens with Net Neutrality in the US, but in the meantime – hallelujah!

  22. From Autosport:

    “Sky has exclusive UK live rights in a deal that runs from 2019 to 2024, which currently precludes the streaming service being offered in the UK before ’25.”

    Woah, 8 years is *long* time to wait. Liberty could try to get Sky to renegotiate and get the F1 TV Pro deal into the U.K. sooner but I would guess they would have offer Sky a large $$$ incentive to give up an exclusive deal.

    Anyway this is first the U.S. market has been offered a legal way to watch commercial free F1. It will be nice to ditch the pirate streams and the shenanigans we had to go through to for Now TV. Also event at $12 / month, that will be about 1/2 of what Now TV costs.

    1. Wasn’t the Sky deal negotiated by Bernie? i.e. the guy who ALWAYS makes sure he has a ironclad way of getting out of something….there are always break clauses in contracts, but I would really love to see Liberty stick it to Murdoch and make a really bold decision

  23. The fact that it will not be available in the UK is another thing that we can all thank Sky for.

    1. thank the people willing to pay for sky in the UK
      the countries mentioned above all get F1 on the cheap and air it for free with ads

      1. No, in the U.S. F1 has only been available via pay cable subscriptions (except for 2-3 races free over the air per year) and these pay cable broadcasts on NBCSports lose over 1/3 of the race action to commercials. The UK has had commercial free pay and free F1 broadcasts on BBC (in the past), Sky and Now TV and Channel 4 for years.

        The F1 TV Pro service will be the first legal, commercial free F1 service the U.S. has ever had. I’m looking forward to finally ditching the dodgy pirate streams and absurd technical tricks we’ve had to use to watch commercial free races in the U.S.

        This is particularly important for the U.S. market because ESPN, which now has the U.S. cable contract, has notoriously poor streaming performance. It’s often unwatchable, with glitches, freezes, drops to very low res. Maybe Liberty will make them fix it but I doubt it. I get better streaming quality in U.S. from Channel4 and Now TV, through a VPN.

        At $12/month (ex. 2 race weekends, including support races), F1 TV Pro is very reasonably priced. The only questions is who will provide the commentary?

    2. @lotus49 In fairness to Sky it isn’t as if they have something other’s didn’t. The regional exclusivity clause was in every new deal up until the last 6 months because thats how TV contracts always tended to work (And not just for F1) because TV was the only way you got your coverage to viewers so they held some power to work that clause in.

      If any other UK broadcaster had signed a deal when Sky did they would have had the exact same clause.

      It’s the same reason it won’t be available in places like Spain, Australia, Canada, Japan etc.. There still running the old deals which include the exclusivity clause & some of those deals run almost as long as what Sky have.

    3. To be fair it is Bernie that sold the deal to sky. Blame him for screwing us over.

      Also blame those that pay for F1 on sky tv as if they didn’t then sky would ditch F1 asap and it would be back on free to air TV.

      To be honest I think pay to view for F1 is really dumb. It is a niche sport which needs sponsors. Sponsors need eyes on screen. They got a lot of eyes on screen when it is on free to air tv and far fewer when it is behind a pay wall.

      It is no wonder Martini have ditched their sponsorship, what is the point when no one is watching?

      I got in to F1 because it was on free to air tv. I think most fans had the same experience. So not only are paywalls restricting the viewing by current fans, it is also severely restricting the number of new fans being generated.

      But hey Bernie became more worried about his pyramid scheme than the sport. As long as his pockets were lined then to hell with F1.

      Liberty seem a little more concerned with the state of the sport but having paid so much to acquire it they are going to need to make their money somewhere. I feel F1 is dying and there is not much that can be done about it. The need for money at the top is greater than can be achieved… Liberty are currently making a loss on F1…

  24. Excited about this, but seeing all those massive typos in one of the given preview screenshot doesn’t promise anything good… I hope the final product is fully tested and finalized before its release to the market.

    1. @huhhii It’s been tested behind the scenes since late 2016.

      I got to play around with a very early version of this in the TV compound at the 2016 USGP & apart from the font & some of the extra data the app doesn’t look to have changed much in terms of its overall layout.


      1. @gt-racer
        Are you the F1 Broadcasting Blog guy? Along with Joe Saward and this site that’s my other ‘goto’ site for motorsport. Highly recommended!

        1. @skylab

          Are you the F1 Broadcasting Blog guy?

          No. I used to work at FOM/F1 Communication as part of the TV production from the launch of the F1 Digital+ platform in 1997 up until the end of 2007 when I decided it was time to leave.

          With regards to the F1 broadcasting blog, It won’t be called that for long as I gather a series of sites using the term F1 were recently asked…. Well told not to.

          1. @gt-racer
            Thanks for the reply & the info. I always note your posts as they contain lot of titbits with regards the behind the scenes running of the broadcasting of F1 & I find that aspect of the sport very Interesting. You should write an article!! 🙂
            That is interesting info re the ‘f1’ Moniker. Is that ‘advice’ that had been issued to this very site I wonder (@keithcollantine?). To put a positive spin on it though, it’s good that Liberty are finally taking a joined up approaches to The Web…

  25. The F1 Access Race Highlights will be an interesting one, if they’re cut-down highlights like what Channel 4 run, not slaughter-jobs like Sky’s.

    Could a fan feasibly follow the sport with that option or is it designed purely as a second-screen option? Plus, will it still step on Sky’s shoes in the UK?

  26. Hope it’s available in Argentina! No more looking for streaming links early on Sunday!

    1. @fer-no65 I think Argentina was part of the recent Fox Latin America deal in which case this service will be available to you.

    2. The best part of it: not having to listen the endless complains about Ferrari not winning or the good old days of 3.0 V10 and the utter ignorance of Tornello and Puente. It’s such a good new!

  27. @keithcollantine Do you know if races will be available after they have been broadcast? This would be ideal if we can watch the race any time we want to after it’s shown live.

    1. @leroy They will be available in full including all additional content (onboard cameras, live timing, team radio, tracking) to be watched ‘As live’.

  28. Wow this is just what I want and what I’d be happy to pay for but lo and behold I’m in the UK and have to pay 2 to 3 times the amount to get patchy coverage via Sky and Channel 4 (via Now TV passes).

  29. As a part time resident of Spain….I always chatted to my Spanish friends about F1, as when it was free over there, they all followed it….after it transferred to pay TV…..no one really watched it.
    Germany is now pay TV…UK will be next year…..Last year less people watched F1 under Liberty (cannot remember the percentage quoted)…..Can we see where this is going??

    1. Germany is not pay TV, it’s only on RTL with very long adverts from this season. This could save me from the blithering idiots who comment and present on RTL. My sky sub expires in a few months and since they lost F1 I won’t be renewing it, but would be happy to divert some of that spend to a decent streaming service, preferably one that works over my smart TV and not only on a laptop.

    2. @jop452

      Germany is now pay TV

      Every session will be available on RTL which is a FTA channel.

      1. Sorry….I did read where it was pay only…obviously wrong…..Hope your Germany FTA lasts a long time

  30. WeatherManNX01
    27th February 2018, 19:58

    I’ve debated over whether or not to subscribe to this. US$8-12 is kinda borderline for me (I’ll be interested to see how the annual plans are priced).

    On the plus side, there are no more commercials in the U.S. Generally, I don’t mind the commercials (some do), but NBCSN’s coverage was built with commercials in mind. If ESPN is simulcasting the Sky feed, I imagine they’re going to have to shoehorn in commercials on top of it, meaning commentators will be cut off midsentence. The race commentary will be fragmented. FOX has already done this with the WEC and Formula E, and it’s the worst (and FOX’s atrocious coverage has now cost them the former’s rights).

    Including the support series is a great move, and it increases the value for the money.

    What is not clear is what coverage American fans will have. Will we get the same Sky feed ESPN has (sans commercials)? Or is it something else entirely? And is it a complete package – that is, including features and interviews and segments – or is it just event coverage?

    1. meaning commentators will be cut off midsentence.

      Not necessarily. Metadata can be added to streams and ad slots can be replaced with local ads and commentators can know it in advance.

    2. Even at the higher mentioned $12/month cost, it’s still a very good price. Remember, that will include 2 race weekends per moth and all of the support races, so @ $6 per race, it’s very affordable, IMO.

      The unknowns are whether they can keep the streaming video quality and reliability at a high level and also who will providing the commentary. I personally like the Sky crew but everyone has their own opinion. I will NOT miss NBCSports’ Matchett and Dobbs though I thought Will Buxton’s pitlane reporting was good.

  31. Good news if it ever gets to where I live – I won’t have to pay a Rupert tax.

    Even so, how will F1 develop the next generation audience? Most of us who are willing to pay for F1 do so because we started watching free-to-air races.

  32. $8 to $12 (US) per month just for F1?! They seriously want to price about 60 hours of new material a year at the same price point as Netflix?

    I love F1 but I think I’ll keep finding other ways to watch it.

    1. 60 hours, I don’t think so. This service includes all sessions, support categories, press conferences etc, plus every F1 car on board.

      I would anticipate that per race weekend there would be in the order of around 18 hours of live programming. At 22 races this is equals 396 hours of live programming, which equates back to around 40 seasons of a 13 episode 45 minute long show. At $144 a year ($12/month x 12 months) that seems like pretty good value to me! That’s not even considering all the archived footage.

      1. A big +1 from me. I’m all in.

        And they are still letting ESPN broadcast “free to air” so hopefully we’ll get to grow the next generation of race fans still. but I love the option to pay for more extensive coverage.

      2. And you only need 9 months to watch all race weekends, so I would expect the annual subscription to be just below that.

      3. @formulales

        An hour quali and just under 2 hours racing. About 60 hours of actual sports content. I appreciate there’s practice and build up, but that isn’t the material that matters to me.

  33. I need this to be available as a “DVR”. The only race I actually watch live all season is the USGP and that is because I am at the track.

    1. @pastaman It will be available As live so you will be able to watch the race with all the live timing & other feeds that were available when it was live.

      1. @gt-racer if this is true then I’ll definitely be signing up! Thanks for the reply.

  34. What about Australia?? We need this because not only would it be absolutely amazing but because even on pay tv coverage we don’t get access to any extra onboard cameras etc pleaseeeeee let it come down under

    1. Pretty sure it wont happen for a while. Basically until the Foxtel contract is up. So were pretty much stuck for a bit unfortunately

      1. Fingers crossed FOTEL get paid off to make this happen and for TEN to start showing FTA for all the kids etc. who can’t afford the app. It’s killing me being a pom in Oz with no proper F1 coverage (can’t justify paying for Foxtel).

        1. Not sure we will be so lucky, reading this I gather we have to wait till 2020

  35. Its pretty cheap & its material(onboard of all 20 drivers) seems pretty awesome, but it will take years to come to most of the world…Im sure here in Greece we will have to wait a long period of time, despite both contracts(public & pay TV) ending in 2018 & 2019…

  36. Fine. Illegal streaming it Is. If you Don’t offer me an affordable alternative, I will continue to stream.

    I would seriously give up iptv to watch this legitimately, but they don’t want to offer it in the country where it all began.

  37. Where do I sign!! ?

  38. Bring it to Canada and take my money.

  39. That’s a price I’d pay happily if only it was here in Oz and our %*#@&? broadband network wasn’t 3rd. world quality at petro-dollar prices.

  40. $5 a weekend race event seems more than fair to me. I fail to see people saying isn’t a fair price and that they will continue to stream illegally. It’s the price to rent a movie, it costs less than a happy meal. I am personally excited for it, and happy to see that people like me who cut the cable will now have a legit way to watch this. I’m not sure what price people are looking for, but the difference between 3 or 5 dollars a race is virtually embarrassing reasoning to complain about cost.

  41. Insert “It’s happening” GIF

    Best F1-related news in years, as far as I’m concerned.

  42. For territories like Australia not included in the initial launch, this is basically F1 saying ‘you’re second class citizens and we don’t care about you or want your money’. I refuse to buy an exorbitant pay tv bundle to get just F1. I’d rather chase the free pirated streams of the UK Sky show around the net. F1 can either sell me what I want – direct access to F1 – or it can get no money from me. Their choice.

    1. Lennard Mascini (@)
      28th February 2018, 6:44

      @fitzroyalty not really mate, its more like “Bernie was an idiot and because of him we can’t offer our service to you for the next couple of years until his contract’s up.”

      1. Contracts can be terminated.

    2. @fitzroyalty

      F1 can either sell me what I want – direct access to F1 – or it can get no money from me. Their choice.

      I sometimes wonder why people keep putting things like this – if a company’s decided that the costs involved in getting your money through giving what you want is not worth it, it just makes sense they won’t. A sentence which looks like it’s written in a temper tantrum won’t change that, unfortunate as it is.

      1. I’m willing to pay them but they evidently don’t want my money, so I’ll keep watching their product for free. Whatevs.

  43. I’m all in! I’m so happy that the US market will finally have the opportunity to get a commercial free experience and I’ll gladly pay for it.

    I just wish/hope that it will be available for all regions soon. It’s really unfair to our brother and sister F1 fans in other countries not to get the same choices.

  44. The fact that they mention Belguim gives me hope that it will be available for Netherlands IP addresses too, Belguim is basically a province of the Netherlands after all :)

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