Sky responds to F1 TV by slashing the price of its F1 channel stream

2018 F1 season

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Sky has responded to the launch of Formula One’s F1 TV Pro streaming service by slashing the price of its F1 channel stream in the UK.

The Sky Sports F1 channel is now being offered on its Now TV platform at a reduced price of £150 for nine months, allowing fans to watch all 21 races on the 2018 F1 calendar. It was previously available at £33.99 per month, or £305.91 for the same period.

F1 TV streaming service
F1 TV to launch in 40 countries but VPN access will be blocked
Formula One announced on Tuesday it intends to launch its direct streaming service before the start of the 2018 F1 season. The UK is not among the 40 countries where F1 TV will be available in at launch.

F1 has announced a price range of $8 to $12 per month for the service, indicating an upper price of around £78 for nine months if the service becomes available in the UK. If will feature 24 streams including onboard cameras from all of the drivers’ cars and coverage of all F1 sessions and support races.

F1’s director of digital and new business Frank Arthofer indicated on Wednesday the F1 TV product could be made available through Sky at a future date.

“In the markets where we haven’t carved the [digital] rights out, like the UK as an example, we’re very open to working with our partners to consider a path to up-selling this product to our broadcast partners’ customer base,” he said.

Arthofer insisted F1 will work to prevent those not in the regions where F1 TV is available from accessing it via virtual private networks. “We want to protect our broadcast partners,” he said. “It’s very important to us.”

F1 fans in the UK can watch 10 races live on free-to-air television this year. However live free-to-air coverage of races will largely disappear at the end of the season as Sky has an exclusive deal to broadcast the sport from 2019.

Sky Sports F1 Now TV price comparison

ProductRateTotal priceNotes
Sky Sports day pass£7.99£167.79Races only
Sky Sports week pass£12.99£272.79Race weeks only
Sky Sports month pass£33.99£305.91
Sky Sports F1 season pass£150

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 69 comments on “Sky responds to F1 TV by slashing the price of its F1 channel stream”

    1. You also get access to 10 Sky Sports channels as well as the F1 stuff, so it is better value than just watching F1 races at a time – Obviously if you are interested in any of the other sports Sky have the rights to.

    2. and in Italy???

      1. You have to relocate to Südtirol ;)

      2. Maaaammmaaaaaaaaa Miiiiiiiiiiaaaaa

    3. The last time I looked there was no way to record or watch the event after its broadcast on the Now TV platform. I presume this is still the case?

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        2nd March 2018, 11:53

        Not on demand no. You can watch the as-live replay broadcast on the channel during your allocated 24 hours though

        1. Often I miss the start of the race, does NowTV allow you to start the replay whenever you want or do you have to wait for it to become available?

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            2nd March 2018, 13:23

            No you have to wait for the scheduled replay unfortunately, usually an hour or two after the race itself ends

          2. Daniel Schmidt
            20th March 2018, 14:37

            Well you’re lucky, since as of this season the races will start 15min later than usual. ;)

        2. pastaman (@)
          2nd March 2018, 12:44

          @fullcourseaction can you please link to where this information is? I do not see any mention of it on formula1.com’s press release. I would like to get this service, but sometimes I can’t watch the race until days later.

          1. pastaman (@)
            2nd March 2018, 12:44

            oops typo’d @fullcoursecaution

            1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
              2nd March 2018, 13:29

              @pastaman
              the “sky sports day pass” link in the price comparison above takes you to the NowTV website; like b3ndy above though please be aware that you cannot re-watch the race on an on-demand basis if and when you desire, however they do replay it a couple of times a day throughout the week following the race

            2. pastaman (@)
              2nd March 2018, 14:29

              @fullcoursecaution thanks for the reply. I wonder if in the US we will be going through Sky/NowTV as well, or if it will be packaged some other way. I am on the mailing list so I hope to find out soon.

    4. I was going to watch half of them on C4, but then they dropped C4HD from FreeSat. Modernity is such a mess.

    5. You also have to subscribe to NowTV first, sadly.

      Paying hundreds of pounds for the one thing I actually care about watching is a step too far. It’s simply not worth it.

      I don’t know how many others will be prepared to switch off rather than cough up – but I most certainly will.

      1. £7 per race makes it seem a bit more reasonable, but still, not sure if it’s worth it when you can stream…

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          2nd March 2018, 11:57

          This is how I have watched the last few years.
          The £167 quoted above doesn’t factor in only having to splash out for the non-C4 races.
          In reality a UK consumer can ulitise C4 and NowTV to watch all races live for £87.89.

      2. @sham

        You also have to subscribe to NowTV first, sadly.

        For which there isn’t a fee.

        1. @keithcollantine I’m just trying NowTV on a 14 day trial with a view to watching half the races live there and the other half live on C4.
          Watching a replay of Monaco this morning and there are adverts galore. Is this the case when streamed live or do they show the race advert free?

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            5th March 2018, 18:53

            The live race is advert free @sham

      3. @sham

        You also have to subscribe to NowTV first, sadly.

        You would have to create a NowTV account but that is free.

        The only charges on NowTV are the cost of whatever package/pass you opt to subscribe to. If you were to take up this offer of £150 for 9 months, You would only pay the £150 with no additional fee’s.

    6. £150 for a season of F1 is better than the current price (I don’t have Sky and have never paid for a race), but as @B3ndy said I’d not be able to pause or record. I presume so anyway seeing as I’d be accessing via the Now TV App on my Smart TV or PS4.

      Personally I’d love to get access to the official F1 App if it’s launched independent to Sky, you never know it may be available at some point via other TV providers such as BT or Virgin.

      Maybe I missed – but what commentary is with the F1 official app? I really like both the Sky and the C4 commentary for races, I may enjoy watching F1 less if it’s without commentary or commentary from the US (I watched 1 race in the US while on holiday and really didn’t like the commentary!)

      1. The commentary on the Official F1 mobile app is the BBC’s Radio commentary.

        For 2018, Both ESPN and F1 TV in the US will be using Sky Sports UK’s commentary.

        1. Thank you @fomwatch, I didn’t know that.

          I have been using my friend’s SkyGo ID but they cancelled Sky late last year!

    7. It’s basically a 9-month pass from the date of purchase. F1 finishes on the 25th of November, so if you bought it today, it would finish on the 2nd of December. You have up until the 25th of March to purchase the pass, so if you purchase it on the 23rd of March, it would finish on the 23rd of December.

      1. As well as this, you also get access to all of Sky’s other sports channels, which is nice.

        1. Does it include the HD channels?

          1. The NowTV streams are all HD.

            1. 720p so not full HD and in my experience it’s a bad stream with lots of packet loss. Very poor quality.

            2. @mazdachris I’ve not used the sports pass but I have used the cinema/movie pass before thanks to various offers (Currently have a £3.99 a month for 3 months deal) & the quality has always been great for me via the Playstation 4.

            3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              2nd March 2018, 19:12

              @mazdachris

              I can agree with that. It may say it is 720p, but something about the image quality makes it look between 720p and standard definition. It clearly looks worse than an iplayer download which is 720p. And my first experience with nowtv was atrocious. At the peak viewing time (the start of the race, the screen became a blur. You could’t read any of the driver’s names or any other information. I really do mean poor quality. Looked worse than 144p. Towards the end of the race, it seemed to work again and look around 720p. So about decent. But it kept buffering every now and then too. Complained to nowtv and managed to get my next nowtv week pass free.

              720p for pay tv seems pretty poor really. I mean I record stuff from Channel 4 F1 on freeview HD and they are either 1080i or 1080p. WAY better than nowtv anyway.

    8. Good grief, I don’t know it was so expensive on Sky. I live in Spain and pay €10/month for F1 on Movistar. Spain isn’t one of the territories they’re launching in but we are already well covered. And we can watch on demand too. Useful when we miss qualies (I wouldn’t miss a race!).

      1. The TV package is dearer: For HD I think its up to £465 a year now for the F1 channel.

        1. @keithcollantine you mean to say that the price quoted up top doesn’t get you HD??

          1. @maciek It’s £13 a month extra for HD.

            1. @stefmeister that’s friggin ridiculous… that’s about the equivalent of offering a base price for shoes and charging extra if you want laces… its the kind of gouging that made me drop cable like over 10 years ago

        2. That’s utterly ridiculous.

    9. Thought about it, then saw that second photo and thought about Barcelona… £7 to have to watch a Spanish GP… I’m okay thank you.

    10. That’s still £7.14 per race weekend. There are hundreds of things I’d love to spend £150 on but I can’t afford or justify the cost. This is somewhere around the bottom of my list, what a rip off

    11. I’d pay for the on-board cameras because I’ve always wanted to be able to have control of that but they are crazy to think the majority will pay for what in comparison is a crap product when it’s easily accessible for free online. I appreciate that Sky have a contract which includes exclusivity so they are in their right to block this service in the UK but there is no way from hiding from the fact that it is bad for British F1 fans.

      This situation has occurred before though. WWE (the wrestling company) launched a streaming service that became available in most countries other than the UK. It took around a year for a deal to be negotiated with Sky and it then launched over here. The same will happen with this service but it’s a bit more complicated and will cost more money. Sky will exclusively offer F1 in 4k so they’ll still be the premium option for people who can afford it.

    12. all you need is to subscribe to an IPTV provider if you have a smart tv.. and you get hundreds of channels across the globe including formula one. its cheap. i paid 24 pounds for 12 months and so far am happy

      1. @spiderman Not exactly legal though & I believe some banks & things like Paypal have started blocking payments to these services.

        1. Well, it’s not illegal either. Just because F1 has distribution exclusivity contracts with Sky, you’re not party to those contracts. You can’t be liable for watching a movie on Sky Movies (or whatever) if Sky didn’t pay the rights for the movie. You also can’t be liable for watching F1 on IPTV if IPTV didn’t pay for the rights.

          The only reason people think it’s illegal is because of lobbying and of course the justice system mostly going after the poor folk, and not the rich fat sharks that mooch off of people’s lunch money.

    13. It’s something, but it’s still gutting. I’d want access to the onboard channels for that money.

    14. if you have a samsung or lg smart tv that is connected to internet.. go to your app and find the IPTV app logo click on it to activate and you will get 7 day trial to use the app. once you pay around a once only charge of 4 euros your app becomes fully active. you then need to find an iptv provider …who will then set up an account for you using your tv mac address ..to load a channel list as per your purchase…it works brilliantly and as far as i can see its not illegal.
      if anyone needs help on this personal email me and i will give you more information. but here are some usefull links http://magiciptv.co.uk/
      https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IPTV-HD-12-MONTH-SUBSCRIPTION-LG-SAMSUNG-SMART-IPTV-MAGBOX-FIRESTICK-VOD-3PM/2326

      1. @spiderman, the European Court of Justice passed a ruling not that long ago that certain types of “pre-loaded” IPTV devices are illegal, and the UK government is currently in the process of reviewing existing legislation with a view to tightening up the law on IPTV devices.

        The devices that you are linking to there are of questionable legality at best and, in light of the rulings on “fully loaded” Kodi boxes, probably would be classed as illegal devices given they function in a similar manner to how those devices were used.

        1. Am using an IPTV app that is coming factory installed by my TV manufacturers.. connection to a VPN using a provided broadband connection is not illegal…it is only illegal to use a descrambler services..by those parties..who do such . In fact sky have upted the Inscription to their broadcast
          such that you can never get the HD service by the back door

    15. Duncan Snowden
      2nd March 2018, 14:05

      So now it’s only double the price of the official stream, instead of four times. Great. Thanks, Sky! Believe in Better!

      “We want to protect our broadcast partners. It’s very important to us.”

      More important than your fans, evidently.

      1. Worth remembering that this offer is for all the sports channels & not just the F1 channel.

        1. Duncan Snowden
          2nd March 2018, 16:13

          I don’t want all the sports channels. I don’t want any channels. I don’t want to buy yet another box to sit under my telly. I would simply like to subscribe to the new F1 TV Pro service. Sky are standing in my way.

          1. It’s the same thing here in Finland, where I can spend 25 euros a month on all of the MTV3/CMORE channels including movies and other guff, but I don’t care about any of that. I just want to watch F1 and the support races and that’s it. They do have MotoGP this year, which I suppose is nice but I’m not a two-wheel guy at all.

            There actually used to be an online streaming package for F1 + support races you could buy from MTV3 for about 90 euros for the season, which was great even though the price went from 45 EUR to 90 in about two years. Eventually, MTV3 figured they’d make more money by forcing all of their pay channels on us for €25-30 and then had the gall to hold the fact they had the exclusive rights to F1 over our heads a couple of years ago by raising the monthly price even higher, publicly stating “Well, we’re the only ones offering a legal method to watch F1 in Finland, so we guess you should just give us your money then!”

            They eventually dropped the price back to 25-30 EUR after a fairly sizable backlash, but that was the point I voted with my wallet and chose not to give these people any more money. Broadcasters like this do not deserve “protection”, nor do they deserve a cent from Finnish F1 fans.

            1. I mean 25-30 EUR a month, of course.

    16. In Canada, we get the Sky broadcast weekend. Practice 2, Pre-Qualy, Qualy, post and then on Raceday, Track parade, all pre-race, race and post race.
      For this we pay almost nothing. $2.00 a month or something like that. If you have a ‘Sports pack’ (or single channel) on your cable, you can pretty well get all you need. Anything else extra I go VPN and pirate.

      I feel sorry for anyone being extorted by Sky UK.
      And FYI. If we can get the F1 Pro in Canada, I will probably drop my tv connection and go totally internet only, as F1 is almost the only thing I watch on the idiot box (on a regular basis).

    17. I’ll subscribe via my cheap VPN to the cheapest stream then!

    18. FOM assured VPN won’t work but SKY doesn’t believe that, they know their internet users are saavy enough to circumvent whatever protection. You can get a fast VPn for as little as a fiver, so FOM twisted SKY’s arm. In the end f1 desperatly needs to be on the airwaves, definitely well priced both options.

      1. From next year, there is currently no British Grand Prix, and no coverage on it on UK either TV.

        Dunno what FOM are planing, but it needs to be more than arm twisting…

    19. ALL YOU BRITS STOP COMPLAINING!
      It might be expensive, but at least you get coverage! If you knew how pathetic the coverage in Canada is, you’d be thankful for the options you have.

        1. @optimaximal, @mickrock is right, TSN does license Sky’s pre- and post- race shows, and it is relatively cheap.
          What makes them “pathetic” includes have no other F1 related shows at any other time ever — no season preview, no off-weekend recaps, nothing. The F1 section on TSN’s website has very little effort put into it… the “schedule” part showed ESPN’s schedule instead of theirs until very recently. The technician(s) that work during race broadcasts are not race fans and break for commercials mid-sentence. And they the sound sucks — the French-language broadcaster we have (RDS) has excellent surround-sound but somehow the TSN broadcast does not.

    20. Honda2engineswilldo
      2nd March 2018, 18:31

      If I hadn’t been given a friends sky go log in details I would have been all over this. Also worth noting that you can watch on 2 devices at the same time with Nowtv so get a friend to go £75 each and both enjoy.

    21. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd March 2018, 19:24

      Just a few questions if anyone can help with this.

      Does this offer allow you to watch the F1 channel at any point in the 9 months? Or is it restricted to just the practice qualifying and race when they are on?

      I won’t be getting this offer this year as I’ll only be paying for up to 10 week passes as the rest are there live on Channel 4. But if this offer is available in 2019, It certainly will be cheaper than buying around 20 week passes. That would be about £260 at their current price. So that £150 offer would definitely be worth going for if you want to see every session live. The thing I am confused about is weather you get to watch anything on Sky F1 over the 9 month deal at any point. If it is just the F1 live sessions, that seems pretty expensive. Not that I watch any other sport, but I would also be interested to know if it covers the other sky sports channels.

    22. Whatever it costs, you still have to look in the mirror and understand that your money… at least some of it… is heading to Rupert Murdoch.
      That’s not something I can bring myself to do.

    23. Don’t forget, using Nowtv, that your contact is limited to one country. That is, you can’t, for example, watch some races in the UK and others in, say, Ireland. You need two separate accounts for that (don’t use the same browser for both accounts – it may be possible but I couldn’t achieve it).

    24. Meh. You’re still not getting my money Sky! I’ll wait for F1 TV to come to Ireland no matter how long it takes.

      1. Avid F1 fan here….

        I refuse to be extorted by Sky for a bulk package, I’ll do without.

        You don’t get forced to buy gas just because you want electricity, so why should all these other channels be forced upon us, when most f1 channels are only interested in f1. The risk to F1 is that yes sky hold the rights for now, but the fan base will gradually deplete. Eventually F1 will be worthless, and guess what, the rights will be of low value in the end. It could even kill the sport.

    25. It’s still cheaper to buy a week pass for the sky only races £1.42.89 (I like watching qually live too) Only £7 cheaper but I don’t see a motive for me to get this offer.

    26. christianedward (@)
      3rd March 2018, 14:04

      It’s a definite step forward, if they do the offer again next year I would consider it but for this year I’ll stick to Ch4 and RTL on FreeSat.
      Great idea about a shared subscription with a friend.

    27. Unless I earned twice as much as I do and F1 was thrice as interesting, it’s not worth the money any way you slice it.

    28. danny wilson
      5th March 2018, 13:00

      I’ve found the cheapest way to watch the F1 live is to subscribe to sky sports through Android through the google play store which gives you access to all the sports channels sky offer for £9.99 a month. you can then screencast it from your phone or tablet to the TV to watch it. I don’t know how more people have not picked up on this being the cheapest way to be able to watch the full season live. The app is called Sky sports mobile TV. Which would make it sub £90 for a full season. I’ve done this for the last few years.

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