‘This is new to F1, it’s not new to sport’: Full F1 TV Q&A

2018 F1 season

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“This is the closest I’ll ever get to feeling like a driver, I suspect” joked Formula One’s director of digital Frank Arthofer when he addressed media including RaceFans after the new F1 TV service was announced.

The official live Formula One streaming service is due to arrive in time for the first race of the 2018 F1 season. Here’s how the new service was presented to the media and Arthofer’s answers to all their questions on F1 TV.

At a very high level the product that we’re launching is Formula One’s first live video service, direct to consumers available online. It will come in two packages.

F1 TV Pro, which will be the marquee premium product, available in about 40 countries at launch and will include for the first time ever live Formula One races available without a cable subscription or free-to-air. That package will have 24 feeds, so it will have the world feed available in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. It will have 20 onboard cameras all available on a live bases and then three additional feeds, one of which will likely be a data channel, and the other two are still in development. So actually it’s a bit groundbreaking from a sports perspective in that for the first time ever one individual sport will be streaming 24 different feeds from the same event on a live, simultaneous basis.

The second package will be F1 TV access which is our lower tier service. This will be available on a near-global basis, will include race replays, archive content as well as some of the existing F1 Access products around the data channel and live radio streaming.

Sky responds to F1 TV by slashing the price of its F1 channel stream
The Pro product will be available for between $8-12 per month, or $100 per year. That will be converted into the relevant currencies. The Access product will be $2-3 per month, around $20 per year. And we’re in the process of beta trialling it now with the goal to launch for Australia on March 22nd.

I would say the really big points for us are a couple-fold. Firstly this is about delivering a great experience to fans and really enhancing the way we enable our fans to experience Formula One. And I’d say secondly the two core demographics for this product are going to be the following:

Firstly it’s fans who don’t have cable but who are Formula One fans in a given market where it’s available on a pay-TV basis and they’d like to subscribe directly.

And the second demographic is the super-hardcore fans. We have by our estimates around 500 million Formula One fans in the world, about 5% percent of the world’s population, which is quite a number. If even conservatively 1% of that customer base is a super-avid hardcore fan, that’s 5 million addressable audience to sell this product to who would potentially be willing to pay the incremental fee for what is really the best way to watch Formula One in the market.

What will be the reaction of companies that have paid to broadcast in these countries?

Firstly in the markets where we’ve carved these rights out we’ve done so with full transparency and the context of our contract agreements. So it won’t be a surprise to any of our partners and it’s something that’s increasingly common as the media landscape evolves for partners to have linear TV distribution partners as well as digital distribution partners.

Secondly in the markets where we haven’t carved the 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.

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There are going to be users in territories that don’t have access rights who want this, so what kind of security are you doing to prevent VPN access or geo-block these regions?

The short answer is we’re working with our technology partners who are yet to be named, with the exception of Tata who will be part of the product, to put in place best-in-class content security and protection. That’s always been, I’d say, a fairly conservative position we’ve taken from a Formula One perspective.

Put another way, we’ve been aggressive in protecting our IP and will continue to do so on this service.

You’ve just suggested that five million users is your target…

I wish that the total address-able potential base would all subscribe. I think that’s probably a big number in the short-term. It’s more of a framing on a global basis if you take a small percentage of our core fanbase and say they’re super-avid that would be the near-term address-able number of those who might consider it. I’m not sure we’ll convert all of those folks in the first year or two. That’s a marketing and a product challenge that we’ll be addressing.

But we’re optimistic that the opportunity size is significant. [But] not at the moment putting numbers against how many customers we expect to deliver.

F1 TV streaming service
List of countries where F1 TV Pro will be available
Given the potential value is there a lot of pressure to roll it out to other territories?

I think the biggest pressure on us is not a fiscal one at this stage. It’s about delivering a great product and a stable technical experience for fans. That’s why when we launch in Australia we’ll launch on desktop only for the first race to make sure we get that right. And then move thereafter onto launching mobile apps and move thereafter to launching connected TV devices.

We just really want to make sure that when we break new ground here with 24 simultaneous streams from the track, that we do it on a way that’s a good, solid customer experience and then we continue to build and iterate on top of that. We really believe in that process.

Are you looking at taking customers away from existing free-to-air subscribers? If you are, how will you compensate existing contracts given that you’ve got 40 territories.

I think the short answer, it’s true on social and it’s true on digital, the more time people spend with Formula One the better it is for all stakeholders in Formula One. We have conversations on a regular basis, and we do it today, about other sports and the value they’ve seen of putting live clips available during a race on social media platforms which actually drives TV audiences opposed to [taking] away from it.

It’s funny, old-school way to think about it to presume you wouldn’t necessarily be able to deliver an audience from digital to TV but it actually has that effect. So I think from our perspective this service gives fans a chance to engage more deeply with the sport and that’s a win for all of the stakeholders around it: Sponsors, broadcast partners and the teams in Formula One itself.

Will you be competing against rights-holders?

Competition’s a funny word. As I said, when we get folks to come to Formula1.com, for example, I’m not sure were competing with skysports.com. We’re delivering a service to fans and we’re trying to build an indispensable platform in their journey with the sport. But I wouldn’t say we sit around saying ‘how do we beat Skysports.com in terms of total traffic?’

So I think it’s similar in that context. As it relates to markets Luca [Colajanni] will distribute a full list of the 40 countries. The big ones are we’ll be in all of [Latin America], less Brazil, for the most part. Some of the smaller markets we’re not prepared to take consumer dollars so we won’t be in those markets, and that includes Mexico. We’ll be in the US, Germany, France, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Poland as well as a few others.

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There seems to be no [Scandinavian] countries?

That’s just a product of the timing of our broadcast deals. Long-term there’s a number of different models where we could go to market with this product in the Scandinavian countries. But that’s probably something that will evolve and take shape over the next few years instead of in the immediate term.

Have you already appointed the commentators?

We’ll be largely working with our broadcast partners’ commentary in those language. The English language feed will be Sky’s UK feed. French will be Canal Plus as of now, that’s provisional though.

What will it cost the customer in terms of data?

Firstly with live sports the vast majority of the viewing occurs in the home, so through your broadband connection as opposed to mobile. On a secondary basis I think two things. What you typically find id customers who are streaming high-quality HD video are fairly price-insensitive. The growth of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime underscore that point. But equally, in time, we are very open to working with mobile partners to offer a product proposition that makes complete sense for fans and is cost-effective at every level of the chain.

F1 TV streaming service
F1 TV to launch in 40 countries but VPN access will be blocked
Is the intent of this replace traditional broadcaster model of how you gain income for the sport? For example the UK Sky deal is in place until 2024, this would replace the broadcaster model you have at the moment?

Very much not the case. We have 100 million or so viewers for an average race. I just said that a percentage of five million would be the target from a subscriber base point of view in the near term in terms of address-able markets. Clearly I think there’s a role for both products.

This is what I would call the very ‘superfan’ product. But there will always be customer who free-to-air and cable TV is a great and cost-value proposition, very effective service. This isn’t about replacing that, it’s about delivering the really hardcore fans a better service than is currently available in the market.

You’re using Sky’s commentary, does that mean there are revenue implications for Sky?

We have broader partnership agreements with Sky that we don’t discuss in a public forum. But we have worked through the relationship with Sky such that we have the rights to make their commentary available.

Since 2008 Formula 1 audience has shrunk by a third, more or less. Can streaming reverse this and attract new fans? And what will be the advertising scheme for the stream?

I think digital, more broadly, is a huge lever to drive fans. The example I used of clips from the race live during social media I think actually drives fans and ultimately viewership.
But more broadly everything we’re doing from investing in our social media channels which have grown 70% year over year to building this F1 TV service to relaunched F1.com and the app at some point in 2018 are very much with the goal of not just growing fanbase but deepening our engagement with our current fans. And that’s pretty much the mandate. Success will be measured on that criteria firstly and foremost. Did I answer both your questions?

And advertising?

There will be no advertising on the service at launch.

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What kind of historical content will be accessible?

For context, this type of service typically take about 18 months to build and we’ve done it in six which is quite a feat from the team who’s worked on it and we have a number of partners involved including out partner Tata.

As it relates to archive the goal is to have a handful of races, both on a full and highlight basis, available at launch. Going back to 1981, so 36 years. And a lot of that content has never been really seen or released, it’s been sitting in our production studio at Biggin Hill and we’re doing our best to make it available to fans. I personally think it’s a really great asset and something that, regardless of whether fans will pay for it, it will surprise and delight them once they sign up for the service.

In the US you’ve got a new broadcast partner. Is that a test bed for how the marriage works between OTT and broadcast partners?

I think that’s a fair assessment. The NBA has its NBA League Pass product which is its OTT product with live games from every game, not just nationally broadcast games, available in almost every country in the world. While this is new to Formula One, this is not new to the world of sport. I think there are a number of existing test cases out there that serve as a relevant example for us. But I think the US is a good market for us to explore and learn how successful we’ll be there.

What are your plans in Germany? Will you have your own commentators and presentation.

No, we’re working with you [the question came from an RTL journalist]. Thank you!

Will there be Chromecast or other casting compatibility?

Over the first two or months after launch you’ll see a number of features and enhancements added including additional platforms like mobile apps and TV apps. Chromecast and AirPlay will be part of the roadmap for the first… I’d say two months is a fairly appropriate estimation.

Start, Imola, 1986 San Marino Grand Prix
F1 TV archive will bring new ’80s and ’90s race video to fans
Going back to VPN, how motivated are you really to address that…


…because if an English guy wants to pretend he’s in America he’s still going to be paying 100 dollars…

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

What’s the end game?

Serve the fan. Commercially we’re a substantial business, public traded now at around a $2 billion revenue. Everything we’re doing here related to serving the fan. Obviously I think we’ll deliver incremental value in the long-term to the business. But we’re not sitting around looking at a specific target where we say ‘yes, that’s successful’ and if we miss that ‘no, we’ve been unsuccessful’.

The world of online streaming is evolving so quickly that building a great product that’s very stable is a win. We like looking at Reddit and seeing what our fans say and making adjustments based on the feedback that they give us. This is not lip-service, it’s truly about delivering a great product for the fans this year.

What has been the teams’ reactions to this service? And we’ve heard some rumours about Netflix providing some off-track content.

I think there’s a lot of off-track content that’s going to be incremental over the next few years. We’re working better than ever with the teams to build a smart content strategy. This is an obvious win for teams. Certainly they share in the financial benefit. Equally this is the first time, if you’re a Mercedes fan, you have the chance to watch Lewis [Hamilton’s] on-car cam for the entire race. That’s a pretty compelling proposition for a Lewis fan or a Mercedes fan.

I think the teams have generally positioned themselves as our partner in this and will help us market the service and sell it into their fans as well.

You announced four languages, what about the others?

It’s one of the beautiful challenges and opportunities of our sport in that we’re truly global. The NBA is also truly global and League Pass is only available in two languages, maybe three. Our goal in time is to serve fans of all nationalities and languages. We don’t have a road map for when that will occur. There’s a return on investment case to be made here. Those four languages are probably the most scaled in terms of the fanbases that overlap with the countries we’ll be in at launch. If we’re in China at some point in the future you’ll be more likely to see it in Chinese.

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92 comments on “‘This is new to F1, it’s not new to sport’: Full F1 TV Q&A”

  1. I won’t be cancelling my PayTV provider’s subscription just yet.

    1. ….not yet, but if this works, it’s the last thing holding me to cable.

      1. I feel that. I haven’t watched tv in years.

    2. Being in Germany I get RTL’s online service for 3€ a month, so unless they go down a bit with the price, I’m also holding out a bit.

      1. I’m an NBA league pass subscriber and I pay $99 per year, giving me access to hundreds of regular season games and all play-offs games including The NBA Finals. Being said that, $100 for 21 events sounds steep, but if it comes with exclusive cameras, team-radio replays and privileged access, enhanced stats… I’d give it a shot.

        1. Just to give you a UK perspective on OTT – I purchased the NFL Game Pass for half the season and it was £76, or about $125. The full season is around £125 or $180ish so you can see there is a massive market for F1 with OTT products.

          I would sign up for this in a heartbeat if it were available in the UK, but as we are used to being ripped off for TV from Sky I cannot see that happening until 2025. Sky’s NowTV is the best I can get at £150 for the season, all 21 races. Although you cannot record or watch on demand; you can watch the race live but that’s it. There’s also no additional content like in-car, pit lane, other commentaries etc.

          1. NFL Game Pass is replay only. It does not show the games live, so it’s not a direct comparison to F1 TV Pro.

        2. Where I live the normal price online (and legal) is $55/month (6 month contract), so $100 / yr would be attractive, but we aren’t on the list of 40 favoured countries.

  2. I was thinking on cutting the cord this year, because i really hate the fox broadcasting team on latin america. And i was going to stream it from some illegal sources, taking the sky feed. Now, i can do it for cheap and legally. And i know i’m not the only one doing (or at least thinking in doing) so, so you can see it’s a smart mive from f1!. It’s all about pricing, and spotify is a good example: i used to download cd’s from p2p, because i find the cd pricing excessive, but now i use spotify because it’s a cheap alternative to do the same in a legal way.

    1. @matiascasali – very nice points. And good of you to pay what is – to you – a reasonable fee to stay legal.

      Too often the media industry (MPAA/RIAA/etc.) has viewed casual pirates as only freeloaders. They haven’t realized that some of the barriers they have put up and maintained has resulted in such behaviour. It’s not just pricing (which is a key factor), but also convenience and “friction-free” access.

      Back when I used to buy DVDs, it used to rile me up to no end that I – as a paying customer – had to sit through unskippable anti-piracy warnings. However, in recent years with the wider availability Netflix and Prime Video, it means that I can watch movies legally, on demand, friction-free, and at an acceptable price point.

      It’s good that Liberty have brought in this newer mindset – in terms of catering to the superfan* and opening up the archives.

      * I hated that word as used in the new F1 ads, but I do like Frank Arthofer’s very appropriate use of it in the context of his interview.

      1. Roll on 2024! I’ll happily pay for this over the cost of Sky.

      2. the superfan*
        * I hated that word

        Can’t wait for the Ultrafan and Hyperfan packages.
        I expect the official OTT provider to announce a $80 gap between the various levels ;)

  3. Finally (Not thanks to Mr. Ecclestone) launching something that should’ve been out there for years..
    Unfortunately I live in Sweden, and as I understand it, it’s not on the table for some years yet.. :/
    As I see it, it’ll be way cheaper to watch it instead of Viasat F1..
    Guess I’ll be stuck with it or watch crappy “illegal” streams of Sky F1..

    1. These companies are totally out of touch with reality. They are literally spending money to prevent people from buying their products. This vpn blocking is them literally paying a company to block paying customers. And the relatively poor accessiblity doesn’t do anything else except cost them money. They still think it is the 80s where you can release a movie in two places in the world at 6 months different dates and expect people to be happy with it.

      The same goes for f1 online content. They literally remove anything from the internet that has their logo in it. And then they wonder why their numbers are going down. It is because they attack the people who share their content to new audiences. Only way people can see f1 in motion is if they buy a tv package or go watch it on track. Again, they are literally spending money to prevent people from seeing their product and becoming a customer.

      Outdated dinosaurs.

      1. Just what I was thinking.

        Whats the end goal?
        Serve the fans.

        What if someone wants to pretend they`re in a different country to get the service, while still paying up?
        We`ll be very aggressive in defending our content.

        Defending. What a term. Really needs no further comments :)

        1. Although, tbf, judging by the actual phrase – “protecting our IP” I believe it was – maybe the security wont be all that good after all :)

        2. to be fair, Liberty is stuck with existing contracts until they run out. If they don’t enforce those they’re on the hook for god knows how much money. The TV broadcast model that we all grew up on is dead, it’s just going to take a little time for it to finally die off.

      2. Obviously they would want every single person on planet to have access to F1 TV but that’s simply not possible due to legal ramifications. They will, with time, roll out this service to more countries without a doubt.

        And there’s nothing wrong with protecting their intellectual property (IP) by taking down illegal 3rd party uploads. They’re a business after all, not a charity.

      3. The ‘outdated dinosaur’ is you. Expecting to get something for free that requires an enormous amount of time and expense to create (like music, even-but a broadcast package like this is exponentially more expensive) is childish and absurd. These companies are not your parents. Yes the old mode is outdated, but your language is revealing. You think you deserve content for nothing. Do you work for free?

  4. It’s not coming here to the UK
    In fact it may never come to the UK
    so why anyone thinks we will bother reading articles about it is beyond me!!

    1. Because I’m sure the nerds will outsmart their “technology partners”. Not that any of us would consider breaking the law to watch races. Obviously.

      Also, I think this website gets a fair amount of global traffic nowadays. And with the recent rebranding I think Keith is pushing for more.

      1. @gongtong you need more skill to regist/post a comment on this website that to use a mainstream VPN… So no need to be a nerd or outsmart anyone, they are simply delusional about it. And even if they somehow managed to block all mainstream VPN, you can setup your own following a tutorial on google, you dont even need to understand it.

      2. Not that any of us would consider breaking the law to watch races.

        Using VPN is perfectly legal in all modern countries.
        And as long as you don’t rebroadcast any of the copyrighted material you’re mostly safe there as well.

        1. You’ll need a payment method routed in the correct country though…

          No body asked him how he gets around the EU single (digital) market rules either.

    2. The “Access” service will be coming to the UK and the Sky exclusivity deal won’t run for ever…so it is relevant.

      1. And according to Frank Arthofer they’re working on some kind of up-selling deal. @geemac

        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.

        1. “up selling”
          So it’ll cost more for no reason. Way to help the fans.

    3. Because this actually isn’t a UK-only news site? Crazy thought, I know…

      1. f1fanatic.co.uk forever !

    4. You wont. We will.

    5. Because, as you may know, f1 is a global sport, and this blog have a global audience. And it may come as a surprise to you, but people outside the uk are quite thrilled about the posibility of watching a cheap f1 ott service, and f1 should be thrilled too, because as important as the uk may be, there’s a lot more money to be made in the rest of the world, than just in the uk.

  5. Interesting that they are using the Sky team for OTT. Makes perfect sense, but this flies in the face a bit of the Speed / FS1 / NBC strategy which involved simplifying (or dumbing down if you prefer) the coverage for the US market in an attempt to capture channel-surfing soccer mom demographic.

    It’s the Monday of the week of the first race and I still haven’t received any updates as to when I’ll be able to sign-up, download app(s), test CDN connectivity (Tata is a relatively small CDN player in the US), etc. This doesn’t give me confidence that the launch will be smooth. Furthermore, their demo video wasn’t confidence inspiring either… showing two cameras in the app, yes, but from two completely different races.

    The good news is that ‘F1 TV Pro’ is going to improve dramatically throughout the season.

  6. It’s really sad we won’t be receiving the full channel (or maybe even the archive channel..?) in the UK. Actually gutted. I’ve always wanted this service, but once again, Sky has us in a choke hold.

    I’m sure they’ll happily take on the F1 Pro service, and serve it to us at a hugely inflated price.

    1. Yup. Sky have a good deal. For them.

  7. Well a huge loss in prospective revenue from the UK!
    The “broader agreement” with Sky means for next year 2019 UK viewers having to pay nearer $50 per Month or $600 per year to Sky.
    So obviously we ‘aint gonna be doing that sunshine!
    Yes we would have paid $8-10 per month even us grumpy old sods on a fixed pension could just afford $8-10 a month, but instead FOM, in blocking UK access, are going to just loose 80% of the UK audience.
    So a message for Liberty, UK WAS the prime F1 market, most of the teams are based here, most of the skills are concentrated here. Dropping the UK market (which is effectively what you are doing) could be far more damaging than you may anticipate. Yes we know Bernie did a deal with Sky for guaranteed money regardless, and only by using the Sky feed in the USA have they been rescued from making a loss on the deal. (500k viewers in the UK is not viable unless you rip them off substantially)
    Oh and just forget OTT via SKy, we pay for a tv licence then you want us to pay for a Sky base package then pay for Sky sports on top! Then you think OTT will sell on top of that? Ok maybe 1 or 2%. But as far as the vast majority, you have killed it for us, well Bernie killed it, but he never cared at the end it was just money, guaranteed revenue to take vast loans against. Liberty were to be saviours, they are not.
    The only possible faint hope is that the Maxwell Disney Sky bid is outclassed by the rival bid from Comcast and they see the light.

    1. To be fair on Liberty, as you touched upon yourself, the deal was made before they arrived. I don’t think they can be held responsible.

      Whilst it would please me to have affordable (read; legal) access to races, if it meant they had to renege on a legal agreement, it’d be pretty shoddy behaviour.

      We’ll just have to wait, and make sure that by 2024 the idea of providing direct coverage through the internet is more financially attractive for them than big deals with Sky. By 2024 we might be injecting streaming services directly into our skulls…

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      19th March 2018, 19:05

      Ecclestone made a deal with Sky so we won’t get this for a while. Sky have stopped similar services before in the UK (the WWE Network being one) but ultimately, a deal will be struck. Companies like Sky must be worried – in 10 years, there will be absolutely no need to watch anything on TV at a pre-determined time. Contracts around the world will end and streaming services will take over. I can’t wait!

      1. Contracts around the world will end and streaming services will take over. I can’t wait!

        I hope things improve but at the same time I’m realist. The thing is that streaming has already overtaken cable packages. The only reasons why cable still hangs on is because of exclusives (f1), paid exclusives (netflix and hbo for example are happy to block their own paying users out of content if a cable channel somewhere pays enough) and because lots of internet providers offer cable at reduced price when you buy some kind of connection (phone line etc.).

        A lot of these companies will be dragged to the internet era kicking and screaming. But I don’t think it is going to be massive win for the consumer. It is still old big dinosaur companies. You’ll still have exclusive deals that block out users who want to buy things and in the worst case every program will be in some different paid streaming service when tv finally dies. The good thing hopefully is that more content is more easily available (maybe some company out there finally accepts my money and lets me watch that mclaren f1 doc for example) but at the same time it can lead to bad things as well. The loss of net neutrality in usa is a good example how these dinosaurs fight back.

    3. Just be glad the Sky deal doesn’t last until 2050 and accept the blame lies with Bernie, not Liberty for your (and my) woes.

  8. I shall look forward to RaceFans finding out what “near global” really means with regards to the Archive stuff. Plus how long would we have to wait before each individual 2018 race can be watched. For $3 a month, that’s not a bad deal.

    1. I think Mr Putin explained “near global” the other week.

  9. Considering the fact that the F1.com site has a broken countdown clock that is only correct for 1 timezone, I expect the “F1 TV’ to be plagued by bugs for several months.

    1. F1.com site has a broken countdown clock

      I checked and it works for me.
      You do know that the countdown is the same all over the world.
      And in most of Europe OZ time will be an hour closer come Sunday (daylight savings).

  10. I’m due to ring Sky to tell them I’m cancelling soon. I think this year, I’ll mention that (on top of the usual ‘too expensive’), that I’m unhappy with them depriving me of access to this new thing.

    Won’t make any difference, but if enough people give it as a reason (especially people who really do cancel) they might be less likely to renew the deal in 2024 or whenever…

    Or at least, I can dream…

    1. That doesnt really work though. If you had access to the service you would cancel your Sky Contract unless you like things other than F1. If F1 had been selling non exclusive rights Sky would have paid a lot less.

      1. It would work to say ‘this lowered my opinion of Sky, and made me even less willing to pay the price demanded’. That’d be on top of my real reason (the price) – and a person who couldn’t afford it wouldn’t have a choice, he’d have to cancel.

  11. No mention of recording the races to watch later. Sorry, there isn’t a service that I would pay for if I am required to watch it at 2:30 in the morning.

    1. @pastaman
      Good point. Not so much for the race in my case, as I love the special atmosphere of getting up in the middle of the night to watch a new season kicking off. But a way to record the Friday practice sessions to be able to watch them quasi-live after work would definitely seal the deal for me. Currently, I’m 90% determined to finally stop freeloading*, as this sounds like a worthy offer.

      *We do have a free-to-air F1 broadcast in Germany, but I wouldn’t even watch it if they paid ME …

    2. Big Big issue for me on the west coast of the US. If it is only available in real time, then I am not interested even though I consider myself on of their “super fans”. At least with sat TV, I can record it for viewing later.

      1. according to Formula1.com: “watch all sessions live or catch up on demand
        @pastaman @gallo

        1. what i’m hoping for is to “catch up on demand” without having the results spoiled 1st. With NBC here in the states you could watch a session after it ended online, but to get to it, you had to go past their news stories that always included the results. I tried it twice last year with qualifying and it spoiled it both times

    3. I’m with you all there, but surely the whole point of being online (like Netflix) is that you can log-on and watch whenever it suits you, isn’t it?

    4. Surely the races will be available on demand. Obviously we don’t know yet when exactly they might be available whether it’s right after the race is done or a few hours later (or 24 hours), but I’m sure we’ll find out soon.

    5. They have mentioned elsewhere that it would be possible to watch the races with a delay. I am sure that it will be possible to avoid spoilers, otherwise it would be quite counterproductive indeed. The thing I don’t know is, do they manage to synchronize those 25 feeds if you are not watching live ? I didn’t read any info on that.

    6. The F1 TV access package includes race replays. So, if you don’t want to stay up till all hours to watch the races live, then F1 TV Access is a great deal @ $3 a month. It also includes the archive of all races since 1981.

      It wasn’t make clear if the F1 TV Pro live package also includes replays.

      1. Does Pro not include the base F1 TV?

        Same here – as a West Coast USA fan, I’ll only get it if I can a) watch replays, and b) get to the site w/o spoilers.

        @F1 – Please take my money by offering a product that works around the world without requiring people to get up in the middle of the night. This is a global sport, so treat it like one!

  12. While I understand they want to protect their broadcast partners, we live in a free market economy in the UK and competition is big part of that economy. I would love it if these products could compete, it would give a definitive answer to the question “how do F1 fans want to consume F1 content”.

    Judging from the response of UK based fans on this forum, I would suggest most of us would prefer to subscribe to F1 TV Pro and tell Sky to go whistle…

  13. Is there a way to know if there is any ides on when this F1 TV will be available to MALTA.

    If you know to whom I can address such question please let me know.


    1. Doesn’t look like you’ll get it in Malta this year, based on the list of available countries in their official FAQ. :(

  14. Am I the only one that clicked on the play button in the picture? :)

  15. That’s why when we launch in Australia we’ll launch on desktop only for the first race to make sure we get that right

    Considering the race is in 5 days does it mean we can subscribe now? I have been waiting for years to get this service, and i keen on using my VPN to access it from the UK (while they are busy “protecting their IP” whatever that means).

  16. Fingers crossed it launches this week so I can watch F1 with the great Sky UK commentary at my disposal!

  17. Sky TV. What a dispicable company. They aim to make watching sport as expensive as they possibly can. Their presenters are Hamilton and Mercedes shills, so if you are not a fan of either you are out of luck. How are they allowed to monopolise the market? I thought having a monopoly was illegal, I guess that is why they need so much money to pay off the law? Truly disgusting state of affairs for UK viewers.

    1. You can blame Thatcher for that.

      1. Thatcher hasn’t been Prime Minister since 1992, and yet she’s responsible for Crofty et al being shills for Hamilton. Sorry, but you’re out of your mind.

  18. What about Poland? In the new list of countries on f1.com there is no Poland, but couple days earlier on the list that appeared on the tests there was.

  19. When Sky bid for the rights there were a lot of people from the UK saying they were going to vote with their feet, it seems very few did.
    Sky discovered what you were willing to pay, thats how the market works. Meanwhilst a lot of European countries had no chance of extracting that much money from its viewers hence why it stayed on the free channels with ads.

    The BBC remember were funding F1 from their license payers and grants from government. Althouhj they go on to pay their football pundits between half a million to 2 million.
    Saying that, Sky pay its football pundits double that. Shearer 500k BBC, Carrahger 1 million Sky.

  20. Andre Furtado
    19th March 2018, 21:57

    I just want to say “take my money” but they are not providing me the how and where.

  21. What will the team radio feed be? Will it be the neutered version we have gotten thus far or will it be the actual real team radio without editing. I would be interested in paying for this service if its the actual team radio that I can listen to. Full immersion or its not worth it for me.

    1. “Actual real team radio without editing” wouldn’t work (very well). You’d have twenty conversations happening simultaneously with no way of filtering them out. I imagine it will be the audio feed they currently use on the “pit lane channel”, which broadcasts a superset of the team radio messages that make it onto the world feed.

      1. when i go onboard with, for example, hamilton, i want to what goes in and out of his helmet unedited. i didn’t mean hear all twenty radio channels from every team simultaneously as one garbled mess!

  22. is monday in my country… the race is this sunday, when exactly is the f1 tv going live? o.o i want to start the season with a proper service

  23. I’ve registered with Liberty to get updates on their service launch. I’m using a US cable service that doesn’t have ESPN3 so I won’t have access to FP 1 & 2. I’m hoping that F1 TV Pro will launch in time to catch FP1.

    I’ve read that Will Buxton will host the coverage and Sky will do the announcing. I like Will’s work. As soon as registration opens, I’m all in for the annual subscription.

    1. ESPN3 is a live streaming service. So long as your cable provider is affiliated (it probably is), you should have no problem getting it.

  24. Very mean not to offer the service to the UK, home to so much of F1. Former fans here are just drifting away. I don’t have Sky and can’t get into watching every 2nd or 3rd GP on Channel 4. Awful. I’ve started watching Formula E, which is amusing, but not quite right, yet.

    1. Don’t worry Mark, you’re not missing much.

    2. Sky have the TV rights until 2024 as per a contract arranged by Bernie before Liberty arrived with this. Nothing they could do about that.

  25. Good to have more info. A piece that is missing for me is, will we be able to choose our commentary among the available languages ? I live in Switzerland, French would probably be OK, English would be better, but if I had to watch it with German RTL commentary it would really suck.

    1. Even as a German I would prefer English commentary.
      Usually the RTL commentary is really biased.

      As RTL has commercial breaks I wonder how they manage it with the F1 TV stream.
      Will there be no commentary for several minutes?

      1. I find it Bizarre when RTL TV has various drivers speaking in English yet dubs over them with a German actor. I’m sure most younger Germans would get what they’re saying.

  26. I am so excited for this service. We are behind a pay wall for the majority of the races here in the USA and those that are over the air were NBC…so… I usually just watched the pirated Sky broadcast later in the day.

    I have free trials of Youtube TV, Sling, and Playstation Vue planned for the first three GP’s if the service is late for the season. After that I hope its up and running. A cloud DVR feature would be great for the pacific GP’s. I have MLB.TV and I could never understand how other sports couldn’t do the same. This will be the 16th season of MLB.TV.

  27. Formula 1 went from being handled by an English pirate to being managed by Yankee gangsters.
    I will continue to watch free online races “illegally”.
    I will never pay these entrepreneurs who are intermediaries who seal all the money, when it should go in its entirety to those who are the real owners of Formula 1: the teams and the circuits where the races are run.

  28. The gobs of repetitive questions regarding protecting IP and broadcasters really shows who’s asking the questions here… there have been nearly 0 details regarding the technical specifications of this product. For all I know we’re going to get 480p video with mono sound! I couldn’t care less about how NBC’s rights will be protected. They should protect themselves by offering a product their customers want.

  29. Will this be in time for the Melbourne race?

  30. How many of us clicked ‘play’ on the top image though??!!!

  31. Dwight Corrin
    21st March 2018, 1:41

    I spent 15 times, give or take, the annual price to attend the race in Austin last year. This is a bargain in comparison, even if I attend a race somewhere as well.

  32. Martin Brundle’s commentary won it for me. Just wish I could get it in Thailand.

  33. Sure. Block F1 fans from using VPNs to access your service and give you money, so you can protect the broadcasters. Yes, it’s the broadcasters that need to be protected, not the die-hard Formula One fans who are sick of the anti-consumer policies of these broadcasting companies. Since this is a family website, I shall refrain from sharing my full response to Mr. Arthofer’s comments on this matter.

    1. And yes, I understand Liberty’s hands are tied in regard to the existing broadcast contracts and that they’d be in legal hot water if they breached those contracts. It’s just their word choices that get to me, framing it as if the poor broadcast companies had to be protected from a swarm of evil hackers or something.

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