Sky explain cheapest deal for F1 channel

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    Keith Collantine

    I keep getting questions from people about the cost of watching the dedicated F1 channel on Sky in 2012.

    Since Sky announced it the cheapest ordinary subscription to the service appears to be £363 per year.

    However I’ve had a lot of emails, tweets and comments from readers who have been confused by this article from the Daily Mail which claimed – incorrectly, as it turned out – that the channel could be made available for £10 per month, i.e. £120 per year. Let me stress that this deal does not exist.

    In order to put the matter beyond doubt I put the question to Sky via their customer help feature, which confirmed the cheapest way to view the channel on your TV is £363 per year. I have pasted the transcript below.

    As @MattB has pointed out it may be possible to get the channel for less if you’re happy to watch it on your computer.

    Update: Virgin Media have confirmed they will have the Sky F1 channel, see here for more

    Here’s the transcript of my chat with Sky. It looks like they were pushing me towards the dearer option to begin with – the Sky Sports package, costing around £600 per year – before describing the other deal for the channel.

    Also note that Sky’s subscription prices are frozen until the end of August 2012.

    Chat Information: Please wait for a Sky Advisor to respond.

    Chat Information: You are now connected with (name deleted)

    Sky: Hi. Welcome to Sky, home of HD. You’re chatting to (name deleted). Can I take your name please?

    You: Keith

    Sky: Hi Keith, how are you doing today?

    You: Fine thanks. I’m interested in this new F1 channel – what’s the cheapest way of getting it next year?

    Sky: I will help you with the best package.

    Sky: May I ask you a few questions to quickly create/suggest the right package?

    You: Sure

    Sky: Do you currently subscribe to Sky TV, or have you subscribed within the last 12 months?

    You: No

    Sky: Is this for a house or flat?

    You: House

    Sky: Do you have an active landline at your home?

    You: Yes

    Sky: Brilliant.

    Sky: You will get F1 if you take Basic TV package at £20 a month along with Sports pack at £20 a month.

    Sky: Basic TV package includes:

    Sky: 240 freeview channels.

    Sky: Among the channels you’ll get with this TV package are Sky Atlantic, Sky1, Sky Living, FX, SyFy, Comedy Central, Sky Arts and Watch.

    Sky: And Sports pack includes:

    Sky: Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports 3, Sky Sports 4 & Sky Sports News

    Sky: With a free Sky+ box worth £199, free installation and £100 M&S voucher.

    Sky: How does that sound to you?

    You: I’m only after the F1 channel, I don’t need 239 others. I just want the cheapest way of watching the F1 races live next year.

    Sky: Alright, so as your priority is only F1, I will offer you Basic TV package at £20 a month along with HD pack at £10.25 a month.

    Sky: This is the cheapest way to get F1.

    You: So that’s £30.25 per month. The season runs from March to November – can I just buy it for those months or do I have to buy a 12-month contract?

    Sky: It will be a 12 month contract and F1 will automatically get added to your package in the month of March.

    You: Right, OK. So that comes to 12 x £30.25 = £363 per year. Are there any other charges on top of that? Set-up fees, that kind of thing?

    Sky: No. You will get a free Sky+ box worth £199, free installation and £100 M&S voucher.

    Sky: All you will need to pay now is £10 one off upfront fee which will be adjusted back against your first bill.

    Sky: This means, your first bill will be £10 less.

    You: OK thanks. I’ll have a look into this in the new year.

    Sky: Honestly speaking, online deals are subject to changes.

    Sky: You may loose this offer if you do not order now.

    You: I thought there was a price freeze on Sky packages until halfway through 2012?

    Sky: There is a price freeze however, offers are subject to changes.

    Sky: So, I would suggest you to take advantage of this offer now.

    You: Thanks for your help, if I choose to order I’ll be in touch. Bye for now.

    Sky: Alright.

    Sky: You are welcome.

    I hope this information proves useful for those weighing up the various price options for subscribing to Sky.


    Good on you Keith. Thanks for doing that, it does help.


    Almost every single post I have seen that you have made has pointed out how much it costs (posts referring to sky coverage). It’s not that expensive. If I can manage a £44p/m sky bill on a job that pays £12k a year, I’m pretty sure most other people can as well.

    They should either take it or leave it and they should quit moaning litle little girls.


    Keith, a couple of weeks ago there was a post about using Sky Go monthly to access the F1 channel. Someone had posted info on how to do this the cheapest way possible (i.e. only buying the monthly ticket for those months when there was no BBC race). I can’t seem to find it now, though. Do you remember where the post is? Cheers!


    Depends on your priorities I guess. I’m lucky in a way as we already have Sky with the HD package. But if I’d have had to get Sports (~£240) to watch F1 then it would have been a toss up between watching each race live on TV or going to Silverstone for the British GP. I wouldn’t be able to afford both.


    @braisim, have a look at the link Keith posted to the post by @mattb on that subject above, I think that’s the one you refer to.

    Keith Collantine

    @cubejam I think it’s a very poor deal made worse by the confusing structure and Sky’s breathtaking cynicism.

    I asked them about subscribing to one channel and they offered to sell me 240 of them. That’s downright insulting.

    They force you to subscribe for 12 months when you only want nine. And they have the gall to keep referring to essential parts of your service (like the receiver box) as “free” when you’re paying £363 per year.

    The circumstances of the arrangement with the BBC make it even worse. People are already getting half the races live and in HD for free (TV licence notwithstanding), but then have to pay £36.30 each for the other ten.

    There will be people who say “but you get so much other stuff” – that’s besides the point. People don’t necessarily want the other stuff. If Sky ran a supermarket they’d be selling loaves of bread for £20 with 100 “free” tins of spam.

    So I don’t agree with you – I think it’s a lousy deal and I can well understand why people are unhappy about it. Not least considering that there were other free-to-air broadcasters, such as Channel 4, interested in taking up the rights, but it appears to BBC’s decision to go straight to Sky left them out of the picture.

    Keith Collantine

    @braisim I linked to it in the fifth paragraph of the first post.


    @BasCB thanks, I completely missed that!


    thanks for the info Keith. Do you know why Sky need a fixed landline to set up Sky?


    OK, so lets assume that I am a Virgin HD customer, I can already get the Sky Sports pack through virgin at an increased cost (but dont), ignoring my current monthly (minimum) payment, will I be able to just buy the Skysports F1 channel?

    Virgin haven’t mentioned it!


    It may be possible to have a rolling contract if you were a previous Sky subscriber:

    Sky: Hi. Welcome to Sky, home of HD. You’re chatting to Sky. Can I take your name please?
    You: Hi, My name is Stephen
    Sky: Hello Stephen, How are you doing today?
    You: I’m thinking of coming back to Sky but I don’t want to be tied into a 12 month contract. Would this be possible?
    Sky: I’m Afraid it will be a 12 months contract for everyone
    Sky: Have you subscribed to Sky within the last 12 months?
    You: Yes
    Sky: In this case you can call our customer service team on 08442 414141 and Reinitiate your old account and may be you can go for monthly subscription without contract
    You: Ok, Thank you


    @cubejam 12k a year and you can still afford Sky? You still live with your parents, right?


    I have BT vision, their sky package inc F1 channel is £18 per month on top of my subcription, but you only have to have it for as many months as you want, and are not tied into it out of season. However, I am sorely tempted to spend the £18 on going to the pub for a nice Sunday dinner and a pint and watching it there.
    The trouble is, when I go to the Sky site to see what the contenet will be on the F1 channel, I don’t get many answers. If it just the same old stuff repeated over and over, I don’t really want to bother. I only want the F1 channel, and not the rest of the sports stuff, does anyone lknow if you can buy this on it’s own for the computer or ipad?


    I’d also like to mention that when I did ring to cancel my Sky subscription in July this year, they offered to make my subscription half price for three months in an attempt to make me stay.

    So, with a bit of leg work (and depending on your circumstances), it does look like you might be able to get Sky cheaper and for the 9 months that F1 is aired.

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