F1 TV streaming service

Full F1 TV Pro launch delayed, limited beta test planned for first race of 2018

2018 F1 season

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Formula One’s new live streaming service F1 TV Pro will not meet its target of a full public launch in time for the first race of the 2018 F1 season, RaceFans understands.

The new system will undergo real-world tests with a limited number of users during the Australian Grand Prix weekend for stress testing.

F1 TV streaming service
Will F1 TV succeed where F1 Digital + failed?
The has been no official comment from Formula One Management. FOM’s director of digital Frank Arthofer told media at the Circuit de Catalunya in February they were “in the process of beta trialling it now with the goal to launch for Australia on March 22nd.”

A link to an apparent log-in page for the service was circulated on the internet earlier today. This was later discovered to be a staging site not intended for public use and the page has now been removed.

F1 TV Pro will allow fans in around 40 countries to purchase access to 24 live streams during Formula One grand prix sessions. It will be priced at $8-12 per month or $100 for a full year.

Speaking when the product was announced last month Arthofer said the “biggest pressure” they faced in launching the service was “delivering a great product and a stable technical experience for fans.” FOM originally said it would launch the service on desktop devices only before rolling it out onto mobile applications and connected television devices.

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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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  • 85 comments on “Full F1 TV Pro launch delayed, limited beta test planned for first race of 2018”

    1. Well, that makes it simpler for me, no worries about arranging it before I travel to NL later in the week, no need to set up VPN to get the stream from Germany etc.; just set recording of RTL Germany as a backup, and probably just not see it live.

      1. Do not know where you are staying, but big change they have ziggo as cable provider. And then they have ziggo sport that airs it live. Dutch commentary ok, but better than nothing.

    2. Not a surprise – I wondered how they were going to have a reliable service with the sort of numbers they’d have logging in for the first time. These services are notoriously unreliable when they initially start up and that’s without having multiple camera angles etc.

      They are better off testing it for the first few races and launching once it works – the last thing you want is for people to only sign up for a month and then quit because it’s unreliable.

      1. In all positivity, this is hardly a surprise. in fact, a bigger surprise will be if they can even actually deliver to all 40 countries in 2018. Or 2019 for that matter. Apart from Tata, the technical partners are over-optimistic and in large part vetted because of who they knew or impressed rather than what they had done. Plus the FOM people are not very experienced or knowledgeable in these areas either. We may even see (or hear of) an internal shake-up of technical resources as a lot of what they are proposing is extremely difficult and expensive to achieve. Almost impossible actually, particularly with the archive portions – which is a shame because after waiting all these years, turning off fans even further is the last thing you would want to accomplish.

      2. Give it out for free for the first three races, the twofold benefit is that one, it draws in potential custom and two allows them to test the service with a large volume of users, add a live chat feature for on the spot problem solving, this could also reduce frustration for the potential clients if it is unusable as they will be reassured that creases will be ironed out.
        This isnt hard Liberty. Please message me if you have a job offer btw, k thnx xx

      3. Above all they were just hyper ambitious. This project hasn’t been up long enough, ideally the service would ve been trialled last season. They want to be running from the start of this season having already taken care of the paperwork, but it’s impossible, the f1 site which is currently lagging, says the service will start early 2018. I’ll say, the service won’t be running until Spain in May and most probably only around the summer break.

    3. In other TV related news I have just had it confirmed to me that broadcasters have all been told that at periods during the race there commentary team are to remain silent for 3-4 minutes in order for the new theme music to be played over the top of what Liberty are calling an “Action Lap”.

      There will also be race highlights played somewhere during the middle of the race which will also feature a music backing track. It is also expected that music will be played during the warm up lap with “More dramatic” music played as the lights come on.

      1. Another great peek behind the curtain from @gt-racer .

        In other TV related news I have just had it confirmed to me that broadcasters have all been told that at periods during the race there commentary team are to remain silent for 3-4 minutes in order for the new theme music to be played over the top of what Liberty are calling an “Action Lap”

        So we’re getting our very own equivalent of FOX’s ‘Crank It Up’ from NASCAR, only with dramatic background music?

        I’m sure that’ll go down very well…

        1. I fully expect more superficial, distracting cheese to be layered on to the ‘show’, such as enhancing visibility of the lead car with an on screen digital glow. “LibertyTrax!”… say hello to the greatest technology breakthrough in the history of motorsports!!!

        2. Except it’s all unsolicited rumours and exagerated interpretations of stuff overheard by somer random guy on twitter. Solid information mate!

      2. Hm, do you know whether, as part of the stream, we will also be able to choose ‘no commentary track’ – which might also forego the soundtrack @gt-racer? I don’t really mind race highlights during a SC time or so, but I really sometimes just want to listen to the cars themselves (one of my annoyances with Formula E is that they always have this annoying music going).

        1. @bosyber Not 100% on a no comms track although even if there was one whatever music (or other sound effects) are played would be a part of it as they would be baked into the world feed audio.

          Here is another little update. Note the sound.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVatNrRX9g0
          That is from the trial of the new in-car mic positions that are in place for this year. although i gather they tried some other things in testing last month so they may have tweaked it further.

          1. Thanks @gt-racer; I see what you mean. Well, I’ll trust the production team to not make the music overwhelming whenever there’s interesting on-track sound to hear then! The engine sound in that clip is certainly an improvement on what the previous in-car mic. setup produced on my TV/pc, so that’s a good sign.

            1. Being that it is all too common nowadays for automobile manufacturers to ‘enhance’ or outright fake engine noise in the cabin, I’m suspicious.

            2. Well mrvco, even if they’d do that, I know from visiting races how the cars should sound; given the mics have been doing such a bad job of giving us that, some ‘enhancing’, when done seamlessly, I’m not so sure I would mind (or how I’d even know, I suppose, as you cynically suggest).

          2. ugh. sounds like my weed-whacker.

          3. Thanks @gt-racer – With that video at least you can hear the engine which is a big improvement to the last few years. Listening to the cars at the track has been much more informative with these powerplants, so it’ll be fantastic if the full sound comes through on the broadcast.

            The down-shift (rattle gun) sound is different for each engine manufacturer so this in-car microphone is good for that, but the tyre lock-up squeals that you would hear clearly at the track didn’t come through. These tell you when a driver gets in wrong or is really pushing and doesn’t mind if the inside front starts cooking. Would be even better if they came over the broadcast.

            1. @juan-fanger When they played this on the world feed during a practice session at the end of last year I remember Paul Di Resta been extremely critical of it & saying that when your in the car they sound much more like how they did from the old microphone position & that what was heard over this new one was nothing like how they actually sound.

              He also made the point that with this mic you seem to lose all the additional ambient noise like wind noise, tyre squeel, the car bottoming over bumps & kerbs.

              I spend a lot of time over a race weekend watching the OnBoards available via Sky & if this is how the OnBoards are going to sound this year then I’ll be doing that a lot less as I think it sounds awful, Like an angry wasp or something. Old mic positions & sound was way better & seemingly far more realistic according to someone thats actually driven these cars.

      3. Wait, so the ‘dramatic music’ as the lights come on, that is supposed to stop as the lights go off, right? Because mostly the presenters have rather bland ‘and away we go’ stuff to say at that time, so a dedicated music track isn’t bad, but once the cars are about to go, I, again, like to just listen to the cars.

        I’ll say, instead of some of the ‘time filling’ commentary stuff (Sky endlessly discussing their topic of the weekend/moment), music isn’t really a bad alternative.

      4. I can see why some people would think the parade lap is dull, so while I don’t think the music is necessary I could probably live with it.

        The “Action Lap” on the other hand will get old very soon. F1 fans hate the 1000 replays of the start that you get 2-3 laps into a race and I’m sure we’ll grow to feel the same about the Action Lap.

        1. @geemac

          F1 fans hate the 1000 replays of the start that you get 2-3 laps into a race

          Do they? I, for one, don’t …

          1. I absolutely don’t like them.

            It’s fine to show multiple replays of the start if, say, there’s an early Safety Car intervention, but missing out multiple laps of live action to show replays that could wait until a Safety Car or after the race has ended is a major source of frustration for me.

            I want to see the race that is actually happening, please.

            1. Absolutely this, Will. Couldn’t agree more. Find it so frustrating, especially as they usually do it 3-4 laps in where there’s still plenty of action going on. Genuinely have found myself shouting at the television more than i’d like to admit.

            2. This is one thing I don’t get. It’s 2018 and presumably we can all make our own replays of the start if we want them. Nothing worse than those early replays of the start forced on the viewer.

          2. For me it depends a bit @geemack, @nase – seeing the start again, and then some different points of view on that, soon after is good when a lot was happening; it does need to be done not religiously but judiciously so that we only get views that actually add something to our understanding of what happened, otherwise I’d rather have the (even when boring!) live race going on.

            Of course, once the OTT is really going, maybe that means that people can decide for themselves which car’s viewpoint to follow, so we can reduce such repeats further? I’d hope so, because I do agree that three different viewpoints of a simple DRS pass or a perfectly ordinary pitstop aren’t really needed in general.

            But again, it comes back to ‘judiciously used’, if the FOM tv-feed producers manage to balance that, it won’t get old. There’s certainly potential for it to be ‘ugh, now we wait a few minutes while we repeat stuff we saw already set to music, while we are missing the actual racing on track’ which I’d hate. I could hope at least German RTL go to commercials during that, but I bet they’d go just before/after (contractually even?).

          3. Liberty are putting out rank amateur ideas on so many fronts it’s hard to keep up.
            Could Bernie be persuaded to come back??

      5. Oh dear!

        Sponsored replays, Tweets on the screen, This action lap thing & just about everything else I hate about US sports broadcasting.

        https://twitter.com/InsideFOM

        1. Uhhhh christ, that looks really bad :/ I can’t stand the amount of guff on the US broadcasts. This isn’t looking promising.

        2. US is hijacking Sky broadcasts though.

        3. What I really want is a live counter of the number of overtakes in the race. With a loud “whoosh” or “BOOOM” sound every time it increases. Then I’ll know that I’m excited by the premium package I’m consuming.

      6. ITV experience for everybody! I must be careful to avoid bursting with excitement!

        Of course, viewers on Channel 4 will only ever hear the parts of the music overlaid onto the warm-up lap, and about 20 seconds of anything associated with an Action Lap. Anyone with advertising obligations will quickly realise they will miss no more live action than they would have done had they stayed with the scheduled programming. In the UK at least, channels are required to use opportunities like half-times and non-live content to schedule ad breaks whenever possible, and the maximum length of an ad break is 2 minutes, 45 seconds…

        It’s even possible that Sky might use the “Action Laps” that way if they are too repetitive, since I don’t think their contract requires them to broadcast non-live elements without breaks (they have to broadcast live on-track running adless where possible, but if Liberty forbids it during certain parts of the race…).

        1. (The first line is meant to be sarcastic, but it appears that sarcasm tags have been adopted into HTML standards when I wasn’t looking. Which may be the best news I’ve seen all day).

      7. This all sounds awful. The new CGI theme song is awful. They’re trying so hard to make F1 more exciting they’re going to do exactly the opposite.

        1. Again I say bring back Bernie before it’s too late. Or is it already too late….

        2. it is awful. like pro-wrestling for video game aficionados. where is bernie anyway??

      8. If only you were an unreliable source GT…. unfortunately you’re anything but.

      9. Sounds like the time of contemplation one uses when hearing of a loved or respected person dying.

      10. Jeez, the RTL guys can’t even manage not to talk over team radio.

    4. It will be priced at $8-12 per month or $100 for a full year.

      170€ ($208) for a full year in France. A joke…

      1. 65 € for a year in Germany.

        Thats quite a big difference.

      2. what are the details (providers,etc.) of the tv deal in france as opposed to the one in germany??

        1. Canal+ has the licence (paid channel). That’s the main reason (if not the only one) for this price, sadly. TF1 (one of our free channels) has only 4 races.

          Yet, 160% of price increase is quite a mess. Like you said, it’s 65€ in Germany and Belgium.

          1. probably. canal+ blocked it, or put a tax on it. at least it`s available when it will be. the uk is shut out

    5. What’s next, a canned laugh track to be used when a driver says something “funny” in an interview?

      1. Either that, or the journalists will be shown a digital “LAUGH” prompt in an attempt to generate real laughter (and, presumably, without caring that they will be finding the attempt to create fake emotion funnier than whatever the driver actually said).

    6. Considering there have been absolute zero updates, no dates, no sign-ups, no app downloads, no on-demand content to test, etc. it was seeming all too likely that this would be delayed.

      1. Yep, I too wasn’t surprised; subscribed to the ‘notify me’ email-list, but hadn’t heard anything much yet, so no big surprise indeed.

    7. I expect my ESPN stream of Sky to be flawless?

      a tip of a glass to Steve Matchett, David Hobbs, Leigh Diffey, Bob Varsha, Will Buxton

      1. Good luck with ESPN live streaming. In general, ESPN live video streaming is constantly beset with stutters, buffering, glitches and frequent downgrading of resolution, all of which usually increase as the event progresses. It’s mind boggling that a company with the resources of ESPN can have the worst streaming quality. I’ve experienced this on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. with VERY fast internet connections. Other broadcasters (ex. TNT, NBCSports) do NOT have anything like this level of streaming problems. It’s so bad that even though I have a legal access to ESPN web streaming, I resort to pirate streams to get a better streaming experience.

    8. Robert Mahoney
      21st March 2018, 15:10

      I just wish we would hear something official from F1 on this delay.

    9. Forza Maldonado
      21st March 2018, 15:14

      Can’t say I’m surprised by this. They announced it and immediately went dark until a few days ago. Not even the official F1 social media accounts have been talking about it. If they’re just now getting around to beta testing it, my guess is the full app may not come around until as late as Monaco. Maybe if we’re lucky the price will be reduced for this season because of the delays.

    10. Sad. I really don’t want to have to settle for ESPN coverage.

      1. @forzarogo my understanding is that ESPN will use the SKY feed and commentary. The only thing coming from ESPN is the channel and the commercials. On another note, there were F1 commercials on Golic and Wingo this morning and they were decent. Didn’t have the new soundtrack and had a few too many crashes for my liking, but overall not bad.

        1. I’m aware, however all of the commercials is what really gets to me. I’m expecting commercials to come at pretty much the least opportune times, as was the case with their Indycar coverage.

    11. As I was saying earlier- https://twitter.com/InsideFOM

      There’s more of this sort of stuff to come as well so worth keeping an eye on that account. And no it isn’t mine, Don’t know who it is or where there getting some of this stuff from but it’s confirming everything I had already had confirmed so it’s legit.

      1. Thanks for the tip, some interesting stuff on this account!

    12. They can’t put up a simple countdown clock so how in the world was this ever going to work?

      1. I’ve asked this before: what’s wrong with the count-down clock?
        For me it works fine; and I assume the countdown is the same all over the world :p

        1. @Egonovi If you asked me, sorry I did not answer — I had not seen the question.
          It’s only correct for one timezone. The date specified in the source code does not include the timezone, hence javascript assumes it is for your computer’s local time and counts down to 7am March 25th.
          The Autosport F1 section also has a countdown clock and it is correct.

    13. This was somehow inevitable. I remember downloading the F1 app a few years back & it wasn’t released until right before first practice. I spent most of that practice emailing support (who were very good) trying to get it sorted. Oh well.
      ‘Heineken Hotlap’ & ‘Rolex Slowmo’ replays I can tolerate but the tweets on screen thing really grates with me – I do not care that JohnnyNobody has an opinion on ‘stuff’. Thank you, yours JohnnyNobody. 😜

    14. I thought it was odd when Arthofer said it would be launching during the race weekend. If they need more time to work on it, no complaints here. I’d rather have a stable product later than something half-baked now. Happy to continue pirating streams until they’re ready.

    15. Lovely news. Now all we have in the US is crap ESPN coverage – rather, the interrupted dregs of Sky TV coverage with added commercials. What a crock. Americans take over F1 and screw American viewers…why do I feel like Trump or Putin is behind this somehow? Thanks Chase & Sean.

      1. The announcement that F1 was doing streaming in the first place is why NBC pulled out.

    16. I keep seeing “purchase access to 24 live streams during Formula One grand prix sessions”

      However, for those who can’t watch them live, has there been an announcement of replays during the week or afterwards?
      I usually will record and watch later as opposed to waking up at 3am for some races. Even practice sessions, I’ll come home from work on a Friday/Saturday and watch later at another time. I’d fully give up my service I use now for a stable Formula 1 “Netflix” type of service!

    17. Seems like a pure click-bait article….with no real sources. All speculation at this point. Seems like everyone is pretty much in the dark over the launch of F1TV

    18. It was obvious that F1 TV streaming wasn’t going to be ready for Australia. First, the initial announcement mentioned that it would be available “early in the F1 season.” Then, there was zero mention of it on the F1.com site as of yesterday. Evne the FAQ on F1.com has broken links to the older F1 TV access service.

    19. Question:

      F1 TV Access is supposed to have all of the current season race replays and archives of F1 race replays going back to 1981.

      Does anyone know if the F1 TV Pro service, which has the live race streaming, will also provide access to race replays and race archives?

    20. “F1 TV OFFICIALLY DELAYED! – The has been no official comment from Formula One Management.”

      That’s some quality journalism right there!

      – the guy from the reddit post. Yeah. The one you’re watching.

    21. This was expected. Not a word 3 days before the first race? They must have been having real problems with this. I was looking forward to signing up. I’ve heard it will cost 8 euros a month, that’s great.

    22. I would like to subscribe to this service subject to 2 Provisos
      1: I could watch the race at my convenience ie. 1st. thing in the morning after the race but before I inadvertently hear the result.
      2: My broadband connection is adequate for the job ( In Australia we now have a brand new network featuring the best technology of the 20th century )

    23. Well, drat. looks like I gotta hoist the flag at least one more time. Yaaarrrrr.

    24. Apparently when that F1TV Pro website was up yesterday those that were able to sign-up had access to & were able to watch the archive races that were available.

      Quality was apparently great, Some had a commentary language option while other’s were without commentary & had no option to select any. The older stuff was full races with some of the newer stuff been only highlights for now.

      https://twitter.com/Mattzel89/status/976588424604942337
      https://i.imgur.com/8IejSTV.png

    25. So if they’re Beta Testing, how does one sign up to be a tester?
      Anyone got a link or are they using Renta Geek ?

    26. @Who better to test than computer savvy fans ?

      1. @budchekov, “Who better to test than computer savvy fans” out of self interest may I suggest “fans who are not computer savvy”

    27. Fair enough, point taken, but when Beta testing “don’t work for me” ain’t good enough, the devs need specific ‘bug reports’.

    28. this should be free to use so they can test it properly since its a beta and start charing once it works properly. no way im paying $100/year for something that is full of bugs and unreliable.

    29. A dream? fake news? incompetence?

      Last report about F1 TV on the official site is from 1 March. I signed up for “To get the latest news on the launch of F1 TV, please register your interest below:” (or whatever they think it is) several weeks ago, and have not even received a welcome note. At least in that respect, incompetence is the only word that comes to mind!

      If and when the service becomes available, I certainly hope that I will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted view of each race, as one would expect from a paid service.

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