Breakthrough in live broadcast of GP2 and GP3 races holds promise for future of F1
Innovation
Sky TV F1
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 May 2015   |  10:52 am GMT  |  125 comments

A significant step was announced today in the development of the way live TV pictures are distributed globally from F1 circuits with the news that F1 Management has appointed Tata Communications to carry the live signal for the GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup racing series, which support the Formula 1 calendar at 12 rounds.

In practical terms this means that they will supply the signal to broadcasters around the world via fibre optic and satellite, starting in Spain this weekend. Why is it significant? Because, although neither side is saying it, this is clearly a trial run for both F1 Management and Tata with a view to one day transmitting F1 Grands Prix this way. One imagines that if the transmission of the support packages goes smoothly, a migration of the F1 signal to this platform will not be too far behind.

F1 mass market broadcast really expanded in the late 1970s and was built on the rise of satellite transmission of live TV pictures. This step towards fibre, installing fixed line connectivity at each race track and sending data and TV signals using a fibre-optic ring around the world has opened up more possibilities in a digital age for internet expansion, two way ‘conversations’ between users and the race track and a host of other ideas, not yet dreamed of.

Bernie Ecclestone

FOM’s then head of TV operations Eddie Baker described the deal with Tata (a sponsor of JA on F1.com) in 2012 as,

“It’s the most significant moment for F1 since the advent of satellites.”

F1’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has famously been suspicious of the internet, but seems to have relented in the past 12 months and has allowed FOM to open up a You Tube channel and to distribute some video material via that and other social channels, as well as an Official F1 app. A revised F1.com website has also expanded video capability, but it is still some way off sites like MotoGP, which have streaming.

An example of what it might look like is NBA Pass, which gives users access to any game they want to watch live on all their devices including mobile for under $100 a season. There is even an application for it on Apple TV.

NBA Season Pass

SKY TV F1

Everyone knows that the future lies in distribution direct to the end user at some point in the future for F1, it’s a question of how long it takes them to get there; for the moment the priority is protecting the value of the TV rights sold to the broadcasters like SKY, BBC and other rights holders.

Speaking in 2012, Baker pointed out that the Tata deal opened the door to endless possibilities,

“It gives him (Ecclestone) the ability to be able to do whatever rights deals he feels are right without limitations,” he said. “That means he can assess every opportunity, he can react to every opportunity, he can move with the times in perhaps a way that we were not able to do in the past.”

Today’s announcement shows that, three years on, the steps along that pathway are arguably increasing in pace, which is quite exciting for F1 fans. However, they will, of course, be wary of the cost to them of this process. Free to air TV coverage of F1 is an increasingly rare commodity around the world, as it is with football and it’s rare now to find a FTA channel with all 19 F1 rounds showed live. Many countries have adopted the shared model of all races and practice sessions live behind a paywall, like SKY’s offering, with half the races live and the rest highlights on a Free to Air station, such as BBC in the UK or RAI in Italy.

F1 TV

According to Tata Communications’ CEO Vinod Kumar, “Each Formula 1 race demands a range of connected services similar to that of a small city. By consolidating fixed line connectivity needs with Tata Communications, Formula One Management will be able to take the greatest possible advantage of that infrastructure and tap into the versatility, on and off-site support and existing knowledge and experience of our platform and our team

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125 comments

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1

I live in Australia and this year we lost all races on FTA. I have not paid for races and indeed know of no one in my F1 circle that has or intends to pay for the viewing of races.

Basically I and my friends are part of the falling viewing figures and will be further disconnected as this pay to view process expands.

2

Yeah, as a result of this I've pretty much lost interest in F1 this year and am paying a lot more attention to Indycar and Formula E, because I can find every race on YouTube to watch how I want, when I want.

Here's hoping Foxtel collapses soon, it does more damage than good for the TV and entertainment industries.

3

Exactly, Well said

I will never ever pay for viewing F1, with the Internet we never will have to 😉

Bernie is too old to realise this, the greedy money men he sold out the sport to only care about the short term growth and we are all just sitting around watching the sport we love destroy itself, largely through the greed of a man who already has far more millions than he ever can spend.

4

@ kevin stone...i also live here in aus and i signed up for the foxtel package...reluctantly, i might add. i simply couldn't face the situation of not getting to watch the races live. TBH i had expected this move for quite some time but it came 12months earlier than i expected.

to say that i was 'pi$$ed off' is mild. i had one hell of an argument with the mktng mgr at foxtel who agreed that the timing was left until the last minute so as to force viewers into the package. nevertheless i signed up and the actual product is better than i expected. the coverage is 100% better than Ch10 ever was and there are hardly any adds which of itself is worth paying for. i would recommend that you sign up, if you can afford to. it's not cheap but that is what it will cost for a very long time to come. FTA is not coming back any time soon.

5

I've watched pretty much every F1 race for the last 15 years, but this year is the first time I've missed some because I can't justify the cost of Foxtel just to watch 3 hours a fortnight (works out at $21.50 per race). And the fact that Channel 10 don't show the highlights until 9:30pm on Monday is stupid! I just can't keep away from the internet and the possibility of seeing the result for that long! 🙂

The quicker they get a direct streaming option up and running the better! Direct access to all sessions on F1.com and then apps for mobile, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Roku etc etc

6

Totally agree Flash, the NBA league pass is a great example - direct to their fan base - $250 for every game without all the crap that comes with Foxtel. The Apple TV have an app for this and many more media players and smart TVs. You can get all access anywhere and any time on any mobile device. F1 needs to go this way.

7
Geoffrey Chan

Yes we lost Ten's coverage, however paying $50 per month (equal to 6 Big Mac Meals) I get all sessions of Formula 1, Sky Commentary + Pre Race & after race programme + F1 Show + All V8 supercars session + EPL + AFL + Tennis + Mobile account which I can watch anywhere + much more, I cannot think of better deal than this.

8

+ 1

9

how about the same for $40 a month? That would be a better deal...

10

I also live in Australia and like most of my friends, have paid for Foxtel to continue to follow the sport I am so passionate about.

Aussies have had it too good for too long. The way I see it we are just playing catch up with the rest of the world with Foxtel taking on the Sky coverage, so now we pay our dues. At $50 per month for either the full iQ Satellite or fibre service Or Foxtel play for streaming, it is a total bargin, even just for F1. Considering we have paid nothing for over 30 years, it is a small price to pay.

F1 needs to stay commercially viable and broadcasting rights are at the top of the heap in terms of income generation to keep the show on the road. I feel lucky and privileged to have been able to watch F1 for so many years for free, not entitled.

Also, the lengths that the Sky team go to, to bring us such comprehensive coverage comes at cost, I dont expect the Sky team to work for nothing, so why expect the coverage for free ?

11

Where does this 'free' fallacy originate from, even FTA is paid for somewhere up the food chain it certainly from the largess of FOM.

FOM have never supplied the rights to transmit F1 to any broadcaster for nothing, you've paid for the privilege of receiving these transmissions either through a licence fee or commercial break interruptions.

FTA is a misnomer, especially as with the UK's BBC coverage where we collectively pay $35m for the privilege of receiving only half the races.

12

Agreed. The crazy thing is, if they streamed it live officially via the F1 website or something for a reasonable fee then I'd actually pay it. What I won't do is pay for some package of which I'll only use a small percentage of it. I'd have thought it glaringly obvious that it needs to be streamed online with your choice of broadcaster too. Hopefully in a few years. Hopefully we might see this when Bernie has kicked the bucket and F1 is in the hands of a company that wants to invest in it and not just milk it for profifts. Oh and hopefully too the sound and spectacle is improved too. I'm not asking for much!!

13

Kevin, I'm very much in the same situation and would add that as a follower of F1 for the best part 20 years, F1 has never been more inaccessible than it is now. In years gone by we could watch qualifying and the races live on FTA as well as stream it and then even if you missed a race it was available for streaming at any time for the following week or so to watch at your leisure. Now there is no qualifying at all, less than half of the races live and no catch up streaming of anything. There is only a very poor quality 2 minute or less highlight video.

To make matters worse, most of the publicly available videos posted on the sky sports website are 'not authorized for you location' and I've given up even going to their website now.

As a comparison I'm very happy with my $3 a week subscription to the NRL app which allows me to stream every single match live and to rewatch every match, highlights, and press conference at any time, anywhere. F1 could learn a thing or two from this model. It's easy, affordable, convenient and co-exists with Foxtel broadcasting 5 of 8 weekly matches with 3 on FTA.

14
Micheal Evans

I paid for Foxtel in Australia specifically for the F1 and I definitely do not regret my choice. Sky F1 show so much of the weekend we've never seen before out here and it's just brilliant. Plus, I get WEC, WTCC, V8s, BTCC, NASCAR and Indy, most of which I had to get off the internet before. I don't mind putting money in to these things if it helps the show go on. Watching motor racing is a priority in my life, not just something I did casually, so whilst I have a little bit less spending money each month, this is what I've chosen to spend it on.

15

+1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DISGUSTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAVE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WILL NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IF F1'S SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON THE NEED FOR ME 'IMPOVERISH' MYSELF - THEN LET IT DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

16

+1 to Kevin Stone, that is!!!!!!!!!!!

17

Good point. I'll also stop watching F1 if it stops being FTA. I think it's worth looking at boxing as an example: since they went down the pay-per-view route heavy weight boxers have stopped being the household names they once were. A sport's only as big as its fan base!! 🙂

18

I think there is a great irony that F1's apparent plan to address it's losing viewers due to partial pay-walls is to move steadily towards complete pay-walls. Once something is Pay Per View it's competing with every other cost in a person's life, if F1 thinks it can give itself priority over people's families, liabilities or even their other hobbies they're in for a nasty shock.

I'm one of those 'young adults' marketing people love to talk about and I love F1, but if it comes down to F1 or my Gym membership F1 is going to lose, a few hours TV 20-ish weekends a year isn't a good value proposition.

19

"I'll also stop watching F1 if it stops being FTA".

Clearly you don't live in Oz, Mat??????!!!!!!????????

20

Hey Garrett

You can watch f1 live or on replay on the nbc app and its free...atleast one good thing of being an F1 fan in america. Sky has the better coverage but atleast NBC streams it in high definition

21

I paid for Foxtel because I love F1 and I guess I feel it's about time I put something back into a sport that's given me a lot of pleasure over the years. ( even if Bernie takes the lions share )

Having said that, the standard of the coverage this year is atrocious.

I even paid for the F1 app last year, but at triple the price I'm mounting a personal boycott his year. The app takes forever to load and is loaded with fluff that is not important... I just want live timing and I was prepared to pay $10 for it but not $33.

I don't care who's in charge, Bernie or Jean, but please fix our sport.

22

"Having said that, the standard of the coverage this year is atrocious" I'm confused how do you know the coverage is atrocious this year on Foxtel when it was not on Foxtel last year? I have been watching F1 free to air for the past 20 years the last 8 here in Australia and the coverage was very average with only the Qualifying and race broadcast with no in-depth information. The SKY coverage is fantastic with all practice sessions and interviews with drivers and team boss's, technical info. As you said in your first paragraph I to feel exactly the same way. Its the only sport I follow so $25 a month for the sport package is not a lot.

23

That was the price you paid for your niaivity, Axel!

24

The way NBC here in the colonies is producing F-1 (at least here on the left coast) has resulted in a similar reaction to those described by Kevin and Axel above. Hobbs and Matchett remain solid but the switching back and forth between channels carrying the feed and the lack of advance programming notice have only increased reliance on the JA and other written site reports. Oh well, can always go fishing, eh? Too many have already voted with their feet and am one of the 'old guard' fans of the '60's.

25

Sounds like you got the wrong one. In any case Write in and complain about the app and ask for a refund. I ended up getting a full refund and still have the app.I was reluctant to get it this year- but without a Fox subscription I'm missing half the races for the first time in 30odd years.

Only a year or so till Raikkonen retires- then I will probably give it up too. FOM have to make an online solution that doesnt cost the earth..Otherwise its just not worth it.

26

I'll happily pay a subscription to F1 for live streaming of practice/qualiifying. But paytv no thanks. To see F1 i've got to buy 3 other packages. Containing channels that dont even register on my interest level.. its ridiculous...

27

Until F1 embraces the future like DTM have (checked out there live channel lately???), I find it hard to believe they are going to claw back the 18-25y/o market they say has been their biggest slump.

28
John Bergqvist

No I haven't i'm afraid, because whoever owns the rights for DTM Live TV in the UK (I think it's BT Sport/ESPN) have got the YouTube channel's live streams of the races geo-blocked in the UK.

29

> the future like DTM have (checked out there live channel lately???)

You mean the one that's geoblocked in my country because some obscure premium cable station bought the rights to air the races and didn't actually air them for the majority of 2014?

A bright future, indeed.

30

When the penny finally drops with Bernie his eyes will light up with dollar signs.

He'll be able to offer individual race passes or season passes direct to fans for direct access.

I love what the internet has provided me, but just watch the viewing figures dwindle even more. Then watch the attendance at other series fall. The British GP will not be renewed after it's current agreement is up.

... on a brighter note, there's a race this weekend! Hurrah!

31
John Bergqvist

That will only happen if a large majority of broadcasters in the world decide to pay less than what online users will pay (combined), which IMO is unlikely, given how much Sky have paid for Football Premier League rights this year (Which have been off FTA since their entire existance, and you don't hear fans clamouring for an in-house official streaming service there do you?)

32

/How many people would be ready to pay £10 per race exactly?/

And how many people are ready to pay £6 per movie?

33

@Mike Dawson

Have you been drinking Kimi's vodka? How many people would be ready to pay £10 per race exactly?

34

What if a direct fee was the only way to consume an F1 race in the UK? 500,000 viewers paying £10 per race works out to be a neat £100m per year in revenue. Twice what sky is perhaps paying.

I don't hear anyone clamouring for any form of pay TV. The cost for the broadcasters to screen F1 is a drop in the ocean in comparison to the Premier League, but then the viewing figures are way lower too, which then goes hand in hand with advertisers wanting to buy airtime.

When it comes to TV figures, F1 is quite small in the grand scheme of things. I wish it wasn't but that's what they have.

35

This fails at the first hurdle "Bernie... ...can react to every opportunity, he can move with the times in perhaps a way that we were not able to do in the past..."

Second hurdle - selling races direct to the public. If F1.com and the F1 App are anything to go by, this will be an unmitigated disaster. I'm sure it will also lead to television companies dumping F1, unless their costs are drastically reduced. F1 retains it's popularity because of the extra non-race programmes that are broadcast around the races. I can't see FOM/Bernie doing the same. They will only broadcast practice and the races. Bernie has no interest in the 'other' stuff like publicity.

36

I totally agree with you regarding F1.com and the F1 App. The App was useless for Bahrain and the promised access to the additional content at F1.com has yet to appear. They said that if you purchased the App you would have access to restricted content on F1.com in April. This hasn't happened.

To be in this position over a month into the season and 4 races in, is nothing more than shambolic. CVC and Bernie seem intent on just reaping every penny they can. Charging fans for Live Timing and then giving them something that doesn't work isn't the way to promote and advance the sport.

37

You and all of the other purchasers of the App should be making a complaint to your local Trading Standards to get your money back and putting a stop to FOM selling a product that doesn't work. If you're getting access to F1.com as promised, that is blatently illegal.

38

It's currently an unmitigated disaster because there's been no real incentive for FOM to invest in it until recently - they were content to sit back & let the TV broadcasters handle the extra guff like driver tracking. Then they realised they could monetise it and the functionality (if not the reliability) improved, although it was pay-walled.

I hate the idea of sport pay-walling as much as anyone, but surely everyone can't fail to see the benefit of a £100-£150 annual payment to FOM (varying dependent on what is offered) vs the current ~£60 per month for Sky, which bundles a lot of irrelevant content alongside Formula One*.

* - I'm speaking as an F1 fan who has no real interest in other sports. Yes, the cost includes all the family & entertainment content, which would suit others in my family, so the cost is 'reduced'.

39

There was a free driver tracking, lap chart 'app' run by F1.com, that worked very well and was used by thousands. When FOM decided they could charge, it immediately went down the pan.

Those who believe watching the race via the internet haven't thought it through. You can't record the transmission and you can't pause and replay. Some viewers are hoping they can follow one car or pick cameras to follow the races. That won't happen any time soon.

Costing will be important. I expect Bernie will be charging in excess of £300 a year, on the basis that each weekend will be worth £20 - a similar price to that recent boxing match. As for Bernie employing the full commentary teams for every language needed, I can see him choking on that expense.

40

Whilst this is a step in the right direction. It now means FOM will control the feed to broadcasters and with the improved quality of a fixed fibre optic network you can be sure it wont come for free!

This is a significant step in the right direction because at least it may give an option to the end user that doesnt currently exist. Given the tremendous no. Of F1 fans and potential fans - if FOM get this right and price it sensibly (no more than app price)-then F1 viewing has the chance to grow again at an unprecedented rate.

41

Do you know what, I don't know whether I prefer FOM all the races production, or when the host nation supplied feed...........

At the 1978 Spanish GP at Jarama, the race was utterly dominated by Mario Andretti in his lovely Lotus 79-Cosworth. The race lasted 100 minutes in the sweltering Spanish sun and for half of that the producer just followed "Super Mario" in his gleaming back and gold Lotus going round by himself!

The worst offenders when the host nation supplied production was Spain, South Africa, Portugal, Hungary and Italy. The Hungarians are spared criticism to a certain extent because this was back in the Eastern Bloc days when the Soviets ruled with a rod of iron (including TV) while television wasn't introduced to South Africa until the late 70s, but the bloody Spanish and Italian production team.................as you can imagine, the partisan Italian producer would make a priority of following 2 certain red cars even if 4 cars that were not all red were blasting down the Monza straight side by side, while for Spain see my example above. Also, the Italian producer would usually go to a tight shot just when you wanted to see a wide one (South Africa SABC used to do that as well, see the start of the 1985 GP at Kyalami).

Oh, and the French were a bit wayward as well - the French producer would give full priority unsurprisingly to the Ligiers and Renault's in the late 70s/early 80s, often to the detriment of showing the "Anglais" cars. And how can I forget Brazil Globo TV? I mean, they don't follow a certain driver with a yellow helmet for most of the race do they (they did!).

Bias? Partisanship? In France, Brazil and Italy? No, surely not.................

So, like I mentioned, I'm in 2 minds over the FOM domination of TV production: while it's annoying for the FOM director to switch to some pointless no mark celebrity, at least if the race is in Italy he doesn't follow the Ferrari's just for the sake of it!

*Best production values was Australia Channel 9/10, Canada CBS, BBC/ITV Britain, Japan Fuji TV, Germany RTL, USA ESPN. If production of the race was handed back to them, that would be fine. The others.........

42

No doubt the fibre optic ring is cool technology but if the feed is only going to the same broadcasters who already get it (and keep it behind their paywalls), it's not clear what has really changed for the end user here.

Next step needs to be to stream it over the internet and allow us to purchase it according to some deal that many people would find attractive. You can bet that this will be done using some distributor OTHER than the broadcasters, so that Bernie gains further leverage over them.

You bet it won't come for free! (And realistically, neither should it.)

43

And the point of all this is?

As far as most things are going in todays world it will probably mean less for us but obviously costing more.

F1 and ecclestone need to get the product right before they start taking more money off us.

Motors TV has a lot of one make racing that is much more exciting than F1. Throw in MXGPs, WSBK, BSBK, Moto Gp British Touring Cars from ITV 4, Italian superbikes, Moto and Pre Moto 3 for the juniors and you can see the amount of competition F1 has.

I've watched F1 since the 1970's and maybe through habit still love it, but really the cars and drivers are not like they were in the senna era when for sure they were more physical to drive.

Maybe today its too dumbed down. Anyone remember its a knockout? Now we have to go all the way to Argentina to have shows like Wipeout because of all the health and safety rules. So i guess that the world has just gone in a direction with the tech that has had a negative impact on us as spectators. And clearly anything goes so long as the product is taxable and collectable by the government, so the more expensive the better.

Finally I think telemetry is the reason that Max is so good so soon, in fact all drivers can see the ultimate way to drive because of this data. It was said in another article about Senna and Brundle jumping straight from F3 to F1 but we all kniow they had to find the limits themselves without the aid of engineers showing them their more experienced peers overlays.

Anyway good luck F1 lewis max et all

The trucks and garages still look the best

44

I’ve watched F1 since the 1970′s and maybe through habit still love it, but really the cars and drivers are not like they were in the senna era when for sure they were more physical to drive.

Only because they lacked the more fundamental technology such as power steering and semi-automatic gears. Are you suggesting F1 reverts to a gated manual gearbox?

This particular rose-tinted comparison is always total rubbish - would you happily go back to driving an 80's hatchback if it made your commute more exciting?

45

+1 for the gated manual gearboxes! I have this strange feeling that at some point in the future, the best people will be racing strangely retro cars for our pleasure, covered in nano cameras, and brought to us over the fastest networks. Bernard and Jean will be long gone, and no one will miss them.

46

"would you happily go back to driving an 80′s hatchback if it made your commute more exciting?"

Of course.

47

Nothing wrong with my 1.9 205 gti ;), I have to admit,the thought of a race with a gated gearbox has my pulse racing. I follow many motorsports and race a vintage f1 racer, the old ford engine really has guts and the smell of the castor oil is fantastic but I don't recomend inhaling too long...you soon find out where the real piits are at the circuit

48

Pay per view F1 is just around the corner ......

49

Don't worry - there's VIPBOX.

50

What does this mean in practical terms for us as 'end users', beyond what we have available at the moment through Sky etc? Is this more a significant step forward on the production and distribution side or will we see any significant changes on our end?

51

As I see it the "benefit" for the end user will be less delay between the f1 app for live timing and the video transmission, currently in my case the delay is about 15 seconds. As you said is more about distribution than anything else.

52

Don't see any change at all for end users yet.

53

Richie. thats whats I was wondering. If your our and about and have a sky sub, you can watch it on Sky Go.

What am I missing here?

54

If it's subscription only it won't resolve the current trend of fewer people being willing to pay to watch.

The issues with sponsorship will still stand without a free to air model. It's not a real step forward - only those in the 'develope' world will be able to make use of it which the current model already covers.

It will not expand the global audience.

It's not v8's or v10's that's needed, FTA is the only proper backward step required.

55

Being selfish, but I do miss the BBC Classic F1 feed that used to appear on a Friday race weekend. The most recent addition to their catalogue was last year with footage of the 1984 British GP (Brands Hatch), but no more since.

Obviously with not all the races shown the series would have had to be diminished anyway (if it was still running), but the lives events I'm sure there are some races the Beeb could plunder from their back catalogue.

56

My kind of TV, sky has a hold on f1 and if you want to watch live then we are stuck with a football style broadcast, I have said before,I really don't want to watch presenters getting their fix by challenging the grid to a lawnmower race,i want details of tech,cars and such. This year I have had serious thoughts of cancelling the sub's, i don't watch the rest of the sky programs as its mainly reruns or 70s sitcoms or worst...football lol. I would happily pay for a single feed,online dedicated to the sport..but not at MrE's hinted costs

57

@Oddball

Why,in a sport that lives for advertising do we have to pay through the nose...

sorry to double dip, I hit return too soon!

The answer to your question is that we live in a free market economy. The price or value of any product is determined by market forces - supply and demand. In short, the vendor will sell it for as much as they can get away with. You are right, though, if enough viewers stopped paying the broadcasters then the commercial rights holders would have to re-think and it may return to FTA broadcasting. Until/if that happens there is no chance of anything changing - the CRH's will never voluntarily drop the price tag, they will only do this if forced too.

58

@Oddball

Its not just 10.99 per race...

I don't think that's right, but I stand to be corrected. I have the full package with Sky and have done for years - over 23 years as I signed up way back when, as the BBC were not showing the races live - so I don't use the service myself, but looking at the website it doesn't say that a Sky subscription is required. It appears that you buy your pass and away you go.

http://www.nowtv.com/sports - sky pass website

http://help.sky.com/articles/watch-sky-online-without-a-subscription - this is the explanation of how it works.

Good luck 🙂

59

@c63. Its not just 10.99 per race, you have to have the sky standard subscription as well, if it was done your way,for the year you are looking at a min of £220 plus the sky subs at a min of £240 so that's £460 for the year..just for F1,factor in a live race weekend and you are looking at £800 ish to follow my passion for a year. I pay the old rate at the moment, I took out f1 HD when sky first took over the broadcast but this yr I have had serious thoughts of cancelling the TV and following the races on the radio..coupled to a free,cough,cough, sat feed. Why,in a sport that lives for advertising do we have to pay through the nose, I don't see why we need to support,del,Microsoft,petronas,Mobil,genii..they pay to have their brands splashed on the screens of our TVs and as a collective we are stupid enough to pay them again to watch..advertising should support the sport while we mugs watch the action surrounded by ads,that way the broadcast is free,we pay to watch through enduring the billboards..its how its always worked..until CVC got greedy.now is the time people,we can make a stand,let's take back out sport and drive the elite back into the dark...THEY CAN TAKE AWAY OUR BRAND..BUT THEY CANNEY TAKE AWAY OUR FREESAT!! ..sorry..bad brave heart impression there;)

60

@oddball

I would happily pay for a single feed.....

Instead of subscribing to the full sky package, why don't you buy a 'sky pass' - a 24 hour pass is £6.99 and a weekly pass is £10.99. All the free practice, quali and the race for £10.99 - seems cheap enough to me.

61

In the US, when Speed TV was still carrying F1, they used to run a show called F1 decade which showed fairly extensive highlights of the races from 10 years previously (so in 2008 they would show 1998). They had the then-current commentary team (Varsha/Hobbs/Matchett) who did a pretty decent job of explaining differences between "then and now" and reminiscing about the cars and drivers of the era.

But they stopped doing it, presumably for some cost-saving reason.

62

Yeah, it's probably to save money.

Shame really.

It's always great to look at the late 70s/early 80s ground effects and later turbo era in grand prix racing, when the likes of Andretti Senior, Jonsey, Lauda, Pironi, Laffite, Arnoux Regga, Reutemann, Prost, Rosberg Senior, Mansell, Piquet Senior and of course Senna were either trying to manhandle a skirted ground effect machine with over 5G of cornering force or later on trying to cope with the monstrous turbo 1.5 litre brigade with over 900 BHP in race trim.

Ah, those were the days............

63

I believe the broadcasters have to pay FOM to show these classic events.

64

I'd quite happily pay for F1 + support race coverage if it involved me JUST paying for those things. Sky at the moment charge £45 for anyone who just wants F1 because they feel that they have to sell at additional nonsense to go with it. It was free for the first year to customers who bought the Sky HD Pack but now you have to get sky sports.

65
Antony Peacock

Your comment is slightly misleading.

"It was free for the first year to customers who bought the Sky HD Pack but now you have to get sky sports."

Customers that had the HD pack during the time it was available, and importantly never got rid of it at any point, still have the channel. I am such a person.

You only have to get Sky Sports if you either never had the HD pack, or removed it from your subscription.

66

I know...i moved out the country then came back. But £45 for a TV package when i only want to watch f1 all year around is a lot when i won't be watching any other channel. Point being I'd rather just pay for f1 and support race coverage and nothing else.

67

I’m wondering how many cars will be left on the grid –

And how many fans will remain world-wide –

By the time F1 adopts that ‘direct distribution’ model.

And the cost? It’ll have to be free –

If they procrastinate much longer.

68

It all sounds very impressive, but it is getting expensive this being an F1 fan business! I pay the extra for the SKY package as I find it incredibly irritating watching a highlights package, as I am often monitoring battles further down the field, and if the action skips a couple of laps then you miss the outcome. Factor in a couple of grand stand tickets for Silverstone this year and my outlay goes past 4 figures! Does this allow me to complain about the poor quality of the camera work at the circuits? Or the sometimes terrible choices made by the director? I have moaned on here before about the bizarre decision to make the fastest cars on earth look as slow as possible with wide panning shots etc, and even at the last race the director was apparently unable to understand the big story in the closing stages was Kimi catching Nico, he preferred to show us lap after lap of Vettel not overtaking Bottas!

At some point the bigwigs have to realise that if you charge more and more for a product, you have to improve it by a commensurate amount, the coverage was a bit shaky in the old days, but it was free, it has got better since then, but not enough to justify the outlay.

69

I fully agree. I find myself shouting at the TV when there is some on track action and the director cuts to show people in the pits (typically the prat perch) looking pensive or a bit glum. I tune in to watch cars racing not engineers looking at monitors - I can do that at work!

I must admit I've enjoyed the WEC on Motors TV. It is something I wouldn't have watched if I hadn't stumbled across the last race of the 2014 season at Intelagos. It is, after all, free to watch. If it was behind a paywall i wouldn't have watched it. The race at Spa was interesting, the length of the race allowed me to dip in and out during the afternoon. Catching a couple of the LMP1 cars go side by side through Eau Rouge is my racing highlight of the year. The cars look fast and tyres last forever. I also got the impression the drivers enjoyed driving the cars. Roll on Le Mans.

70

You make a good point about watching the WEC, how is anyone going to stumble across F1 if it is all pay per view? The next generation of F1 fans will struggle to even find the sport.

71

Tim your frustrations are mine, and very well put.

Only the other day I had a moan here about the broadcast quality. As the sky/ FOM broadcast comes to me via virgin, we don't get the interactive bits from FOM every race, maybe only half the races or less.

But I get to watch the race live. Apart from JA on fp fridays,I don't like the bbc output or the DC/ EJ stuff, and while there is Brundle on sky, he contributes less than Hill and Johnny Herbert, unfortunately.

When Raikkonen retires in 2017 or whenever, I will continue to enjoy F1, but I won't be paying anyone a cent from then on 🙂

72

Phil, to be honest avoiding EJ's ramblings was a large part of my decision to go with the Sky coverage! The programme itself is very good and there is plenty of added content, but the feed from the tracks is beyond their control. I wonder if any of the decision makers ever watch the TV feed? I guess if they want to see what an F1 car looks like blasting through a series of corners they can just look out of their window, they probably don't though.....

73
Stephen Taylor

James , whilst I appreciate F1 now has Youtube channel I think the content they (FOM) upload is rather poor. I think it would be good if they uploaded some full features and 10-15 minutes of classic race highlights.

74

As a life-long F1 enthusiast I used to watch every race live irrespective of the time it was broadcast.

Since the BBC stopped broadcasting more than half the races, I've been watching less and less. I also take a more detached interest in F1 in general.

Moving to an subscription-only FOM direct broadcasting model will mean I will probably stop watching altogether. There are plenty of other interesting things to do on a Sunday.

I am nearer to 70 than 50 and, yes, I could afford a Rolex if I wanted one but Is this really what Bernie wants ?

75

I sympathise Monza 71, I too would not loose much sleep if CVC cuts me off. I'm a Seiko fan and would not want a Rolex, so I'm of no use to Bernie anyway.

76
Mansell Mania

It's sad what they've done to us isn't it

77

James,

If Tata's system is the way forward, what is the current system?

is it not fibre and satellite also, but just belong to someone else (not-TATA)? What's new about this new system apart from the owner of the infrastructure?

JOS

79

Well it would be easier if all races were on BBC.
We pay enough for a TV Licence &[mod]
Bring back full F1 race schedule on the Beeb.
Even on the radio we have only the 3rd practice live & Quali & the race.
The rest you go online to website & buffer your way through FP1 FP2.
"Brundle et al" seem to enjoy being on a limited audience pay to watch channel.
Well what can anyone do Bernie CVC has everyone in a Knacker Grip !

80

The BBC wanted out and it was them who went to Sky to do a deal, so if you are going to point the finger, point it at the BBC.

The BBC had a contract to cover it all, but they didn't want to. You're argument only works if the BBC or any other FTA broadcaster wants to cover it all live, the simple answer is that they don't.

81

I agree with you Andy.

BBC are to blame but its also F1 asking for a higher payout from global broadcasters in the bidding wars.

Murdoch & his media company can outbid most of the other tv companies.

BT Sports may outbid Sky next time, bud a strategic partnership may allow both media organisations to take control of the whole show.

F1 has over inflated it's position financially within the sports arena, hoping for quick short term gains while the company implodes.

I wish the BBC would spend more on sports than it does on soap operas like Eastenders.

82

Now the BBC have killed the Top Gear cash cow they will have even less money so I won't be holding my breath. Poor old DC will be down the job centre.

83
Mansell Mania

About the only things the BBC have left now is Snooker and the Boat Race.

ITV have the Touring Cars - so maybe the BBC can promote Sunday morning Banger racing?

84

I do believe the contract for TV rights in the UK is up for "discussion" from the 2018 season..........

You can watch all races live though on your PC via VIPBOX. I watched the races in Texas and Brazi via them, and although a bit "blotchy" and the picture sometimes cuts in and out (kind of like the turbo lag in the 80s..........) it's not a bad feed. And it's free!

85
Mansell Mania

2018 will probably mean the end of any live races. And a move to pay per view

86

Isnt VIPBOX a bit piratey? Not making a value judgement, in fact, if this money grab continues, it will just encourage it.

87

"I do believe the contract for TV rights in the UK is up for “discussion” from the 2018 season………."

I'd bet everything I have on the next contract been either Sky or BT Sport, I'd even be surprised to see any live FTA content.

Live sport for FTA broadcaster's is a dying thing as the costs involved in producing the broadcast's is now too high for the budget's the FTA broadcasters have. Thats why ITV dropped F1 before the end of there contract (Amid internal budget cuts & problems finding program sponsors for F1) & why BBC went to Sky with the idea of the shared coverage the UK now has.

Its not so much what they are asked to Pay Bernie for the rights, Its the actual cost involved in producing there own coverage. Live sport cost's a fortune to produce/broadcast & a sport like F1 which travels the globe every other week is even more so & thats is a big part of why the general trend the past 10 years has been live sport moving to PayTV

88

I am sceptical this or any other corporate tie-up will lower my monthly money-out-the door. Theoretically all these "triple-play" or "quad-play" packages that the phone/TV companies have come up with over the last few years should've saved my combined Sky+Phone+Mobile+Internet bill ... but hasn't it.

Innovations such as this _should_ allow me to pay less because I want F1+Cycling+Cricket but not football... but somehow I doubt it will happen!

89

Sadly Sky (or other pay-TV broadcaster) will see this "innovation" as a threat to their cosy monopoly, then pay an insane fee to FOM to maintain their exclusivity for the UK market, and then pass those costs on to their entire customer base.

Note the recent football deal and the subsequent increase in costs.... Sky standard entertainment packages are taking a bigger increase in cost than the sports ones to fund their bidding hubris (£3 increase for entertainment pack, extra £1.50 increase for sports pack IIRC), so the evidence says that when Sky pays stupid money for sporting rights their entire customer base pays through the nose (whether they want any sports at all, let alone the sport in question).

I've been a long-term F1 and football fan, but the Sky pay-TV model has killed both for me to the point I cancelled Sky a few months ago on principle.

90

Maybe I'm grabbing the wrong end of the stick here, but would it not have been relevant to get the reaction of, for example, Sky F1 to accompany this article? They will be aware that, in the long term, their future is under threat so I can't see that the value of the TV rights can be protected now that the technology - and clear intention - to put them out of business is almost upon us. Or is it a bargaining tool? "Give us more and bigger pots of gold, and we won't go ahead with our plans for direct distribution." Now, obviously, it's hard to imagine honourable businessmen adopting such an approach, but the thought did just cross my mind.

91

Why would it put them out of business? They may be the broadcast partner of something like this for their territories? They may buy F1..there are all kinds of possibilities and they will be as alive to the next steps in this industry as anyone

92

"They may buy F1"

No thanks, don't want Murdoch to own F1.

93

Well, as I said, I may have misunderstood, but In the article you say that "the future lies in distribution direct to the end user". This implies to me that they can do without a broadcast partner.

94

I'd be happy to pay for a premium yearly subscription service that's competitively priced, providing it is premium.

I want to go to a reliable site on race day, stream a live race, practice and qualifying, choose which in car cameras I want to watch the entire race, switch off commentary and listen to in car radio chatter, look at the live timing and scoring and telemetry data all from one easy to use website.

If I've missed a race or incident then I can access all of the video footage anytime.

95

I'll never pay to watch cars covered in advertising, driving on tracks surrounded by hoardings. If Mercedes, Honda, Renault, Red Bull, etc. want me to watch, make it free.

96

If I was sponsoring a F1 team I would want maximum exposure, if my "audience" is being reduced by pay per view I would think again. Cost control may be forced by a lack of sponsorship.

97

Not sure I see too many cars covered in advertising these days! The only sponsors I can name from memory on any car is Martini on the Williams rear wing. The rest are just team names, Merc, Honda, Redbull etc.

98

You mean Mercedes Benz Petronas, McLaren Honda, Redbull Infiniti, with Shell, Tag Heur, Santander, Kapersky, Fiat, Hublot, Johnnie Walker, aigo, mobil etc. you mean?

99

Exactly - but If you don't have a Rolex Berine doesn't care...

Tv - I pay for

Electricity - I pay for

F1 covered in advertising - should be free (money made on advertising)

Now Bernie has people paying for very heavy advertising on their TVs. Either have free advertised F1 or remove all advertising at the circuits and cars and have it as a pay service.

100
Stone the crows

Easier access and more content should be the first priorities. As others have posted, in most locales around the world you have to pay for several packages in order to watch a race, and in some cases cannot watch the practices or qualifying. I'd pay for internet feed, since I've had to pay for a lot of other channels that I didn't want in order to get Formula one on a channel that I may not even watch the rest of the year when the F-1 season is over. Additional production should be put in place, so that viewers can watch a part of the race that they would prefer rather than what one network has decided upon. I'm sure that when the USGP is on the folks in South America would like to check on Sergio Perez' progress, or the Paulistas on Massa, etc. etc. This would also help with the criticism of F-1 being a boring procession at times, if viewers can see what else is happening on the track besides Hamilton vs. Rosberg yet again. Another thing they need to do recognize is that quite a lot of people are giving up on cable and satellite TV and distribute their shows the next day to streaming providers such as Hulu. Hopefully Bernie will recognize the plethora of revenue streams available and take advantage of them in a way that will benefit the fans and the sport.

101

Stone the Crows,

Your last sentence should be. Bernie will recognize the plethora of revenue streams available and take advantage of them in a way that will benefit Bernie.

102
Stone the crows

Point well taken, I'm sure if Bernie's recognizing the possibilities of expanding the distribution of F-1 feed he's also considering how he can increase the size of his own piece of the pie.

103

I said this in reply to a comment above but I want to add to it in a stand alone comment.

I’d bet everything I have on the next contract been either Sky or BT Sport, I’d even be surprised to see any live FTA content.

Live sport for FTA broadcaster’s is a dying thing as the costs involved in producing the broadcast’s is now too high for the budget’s the FTA broadcasters have. Thats why ITV dropped F1 before the end of there contract (Amid internal budget cuts & problems finding program sponsors for F1) & why BBC went to Sky with the idea of the shared coverage the UK now has.

Its not so much what they are asked to Pay Bernie for the rights, Its the actual cost involved in producing there own coverage. Live sport cost’s a fortune to produce/broadcast & a sport like F1 which travels the globe every other week is even more so & thats is a big part of why the general trend the past 10 years has been live sport moving to PayTV.

Live F1 & live sport overall on FTA to TV is going to disappear over the next 10 years, Its going to move to PayTV & subscription based online delivery.

To be perfectly honest the only thing stopping the subscription based online content from happening now is the PayTV broadcasters who still have exclusive contracts And/Or are unwilling to let whats keeping them alive from been available stand alone/cheaper elsewhere. Additionally there's the problem of not everyone having internet speeds capable of handling the live streams which is preventing the rights owners from really pushing for it just yet, As soon as the number of those with speeds fast enough hits a certain point then you will see the move start.

104

"I suspect the BBC pays for Wimbledon rights, and then sells this content on around the world."

Wimbledone TV rights are owned by AELTC & not the BBC so the other broadcasters around the world have to buy the rights from AELTC & not the BBC.

Should also be noted that the BBC have been looking to enter a shared TV deal for Wimbledon which would see much of the 2 weeks on PayTV with the BBC retaining highlights & the live finals-

http://bit.ly/1Ih6DWG

105

Something to consider when looking at the viewer numbers is what the current figures are been compared against.

Its true that there has been a drop since 2012, But the decline is when based off 2009/2010/2011 which were 3 years that saw a spike in F1's TV figures.

When you look beyond those 3 years you actually see that the current F1 viewership figures on still higher than what they were for most of the 2000's & that there still strong overall.

Looking just at the UK as there the averages I have to hand right now these are the averages per-year.

2009-2011 - 4.4m/4.3m/4.6m.

2001-2008 - 4m/3.7m/3.6m/3.1m/3.1m/2.9m/3.8m/3.9m.

From 1992-2000 the figures were 5.1m/3.9m/4.1m/4.5m/5.3m/4.6m/4.8m/4.5m/4.1m.

Looking at the figures from 2012-2014 where we had the Sky/BBC shared deal in the UK:

3.92m/4.06/4.01m.

106

It's lovely that you have an inside track on how broadcasters regard the spend on F1. The point surely is that F1 is losing viewers, therefore relevance. Yes, we expect more than a commentary from London on a summary feed, and we don't want to pay a lot, and we have other things we can spend our money on.

The challenge for F1 is to stay relevant in that environment.

107

I don't agree, it's absolutely the fee demands of F1 which mean the BBC are not prepared to pay that premium for F1 when they have a broad remit and other sports to cover. Sky can budget the cost as part of their strategy to capture customers for Sky's other offerings and get extra payments for advertising as well as generate extra revenue by slicing their offering for extra sport, extra movies, extra 'family' content.

Meanwhile F1 fracture their offering to generate income by offering lap data separately, and then soon what? extra commentary, extra in car, extra analysis.

I see that Autocar are rowing back from their paywall by offering more free content before subscription. Presumably because of falling numbers. Personally I switched from Autocar to Yahoo Sport (same content), but in the end the adverts/moronic user comments lead me to switch that off as well.

F1 seems to have reached the absolute limit of how much money it can extract from the paying public. No wonder they are pressuring the teams to race more cheaply 'for the show', we won't notice right?

It's a long slippery slope, try and enjoy the ride.

108

I suspect the BBC pays for Wimbledon rights, and then sells this content on around the world. Very different to paying Bernie 2m/race for the right to their feed and passes for a truckload of staff. I have loved F1 for a long, long time, but it is a minority sport, and it will continue to be so. It might be on a par with tennis, but is not the Premier League. Bernie can inflate and massage the figures all he likes, but someone watching a 30 second insert on the news does not count. It is not so long ago that we had the race feed and nothing else, shoved out without fanfare on BBC2, with Murray +1 commentating over the TV feed from a small studio in London. Let's get real here.

109

"I don’t agree, it’s absolutely the fee demands of F1 which mean the BBC are not prepared to pay that premium for F1"

Trust me the fee itself isn't the problem, The BBC were happy to pay it when they got the contract in 2008 & as I said what Bernie ask's is actually not that much when compared to what other sports are asking. BBC pay more for several other sports they show for instance.

I think i've said this before on here but back in 2008 when BBC did the deal to show F1, They worked out the deal with Bernie & as I say were happy to pay what he was asking (£40m a year as I recall, Same figure they pay for Wimbledon), At som epoint someone from BBC contacted ITV to get a broad idea of what they could expect to spend to produce the coverage & when they were told they realized they had badly underestimated the figure & were going to hit trouble down the road with regards to budget.

Remember that they have to send out TV production trucks & all the equipment that goes with it, The staff to run it & handle things like editing, B-roll etc.. They have the on-air staff & the camera crews that work in the pits/paddock, You have to then pay for hotel's for the crew & to feed them on top of there actual salaries. You then have to pay for the satellite uplink to send the coverage back to base for broadcast. Also consider the cost of producing the various features you see in the pre-race shows now & of course the transportation costs of sending everything out to each race.

Its all that where the real expense lies & its all that which FTA broadcasters are struggling with, Especially as the more advanced technology used in Live TV production now has seen the cost's of the equipment needed rise.

With regards to the BBC, They had ways to cut production costs which woudl have allowed them to retain there full live F1 coverage, They simply decided against them. For instance there was talk of cutting coverage of practice, Producing the Pre/Post race coverage from a London studio & sending a skeleton crew out to races (Just enough to have a pit/paddock reporter) & there was talk of ditching the Red Button coverage, ditching the extra content feeds like the in-car camera channel, timing, driver tracker etc.. & reducing the length of Pre/Post race.

The BBC refused to do a lot of that because it was felt these were all things viewers expect now.

110

Pay-subscription global streaming service via an app (andriod, apple, xbox, ps4, etc), and web-based access. Just like UFC (Fight Pass) - for which we pay $10 a month. Throw in the archived race catalog and some interview coverage - F1 could probably justify $25 a month for that . I'd pay it.

111

I live in Australia and I'd happily pay $100-$200 per year for a live stream of all F1 sessions, rather than pay $50+ per month for FOXTEL (whose coverage is rubbish anyway). FOXTEL should offer a one-off F1 package, but they don't and probably never will.

112
Luke Clements

G'day James,

Sort of related to this, I checked into a hotel the other night, switched on the TV and pay TV just happened to have the WEC cars lined up on the grid at Spa about to start.

I've never watched a race, but I thought "you rippa!". I watched for about an hour and a half(getting very late into the night in Australia) and thoroughly enjoyed it. It would be difficult not to enjoy snail races around Spa.

Anyway, then I was interested to find out who won etc. so I "liked" WEC on FaceBook and went to bed. Ever since, I've had literally dozens of videos from the WEC feed available to view on Facebook. All sorts of race highlights, interviews and even fan footage from Eu Rouge that WEC feeds on to all it's online fans.

It's absolutely fantastic, and great model for F1 to learn from. They really do seem behind the times compared to the job WEC does.

If I could watch a WEC race (and had the time) or an F1 race at the moment, I'd probably go with the WEC race. I know it's a small sample to go on, but I really enjoyed it. The differences in the cars and categories all on the same track. And probably the bit I loved most which was pointed out by one commentator, these guys are going hell for leather for the whole race!

No engine or tyre management crapola. Just 100% the whole way. Great stuff.

Cheers

113
Stone the crows

I agree, WEC at this point is much more interesting than F-1. Used to be, I couldn't stand to miss an F-1 race, now its 'eh, no big deal.'

114

Just to put the mathematics in perspective here, I pay for a $10 per month higher tier to get motogp, formula 1, formula E, and up until last year also DTM, Aussie touring cars and BTCC in the off season.

When they stopped showing the Aussie touring cars in the of season, I didn't go off searching for an extra subscription to that series. I simply stopped watching.

So I presently pay about $120 extra for a bunch of motor racing channels. I won't pay $10 per race just for F1. It's worth possibly $10-$20 per year to me in the overall spectrum of TV that I watch.

Then spare a thought for the teams that make the actual show in F1. Even with the same amount of money going to CVC, this model would represent a massive drop in viewing figures for the series. If the teams think it's difficult to attract sponsors now, just wait for this monetization model to bite.

I don't doubt that it is great for the commercial rights holders ability to milk the last drop of fluid from this desiccated cash cow, but it will be the death of almost every team in the series, leaving what remains completely irrelevant and devoid of entertainment value.

We are watching the death throes of a once mighty race series. It's getting increasingly difficult for me to see a way that the different vested interests could pull back from the precipice of financial disaster.

115

Call me cynical, but I don't see this leading to much in the way of positive change for the fans. Firstly, it's almost certainly not about improving the product, but about FOM consolidating and reducing costs (and maybe about the relationship with Tata, who are a big player in India and other markets), and secondly Tata have done a very poor job so far with the live data app and website, which is now a significantly worse experience than last season. Even the payment system didn't work properly when I tried to sign up.

The quality of the footage and the feed is important, but the bigger issue for fans is the distribution model - currently it's a hodge podge of deals with free-to-air networks and cable or satellite pay-tv. FOM seem to be phasing out the FTA deals and moving to deals with legacy pay-tv networks, which is insane from a fan perspective because cable and satellite are a dying medium. Streaming internet delivery is the primary way all mainstream content will be delivered in the very near future, and locking yourself into multi-year deals with legacy platforms is a very good way of ensuring that your product won't be mainstream for much longer. The cable and satellite companies are willing to pay over the odds for content right now because they know their business model is doomed and they want to prop it up for as long as possible. In Australia Foxtel wants as many exclusive content deals as possible, because they want to force people to buy a subscription, even if 99% of their TV viewing is on another platform, just to watch the 1% that only Foxtel has.

Bernie is showing the now-classic signs of a successful 20th C businessman who doesn't understand the 21st C. He knows who his customers are - they're the people who give him money for his product. We're just the product he's selling them. His objective is to please the customers (TV companies, sponsors), and to extract the most money from each deal.

That mindset worked 20 years ago, even 10, but it doesn't work now, because the product - the fans - knows that they have options, and has seen a better way of doing things. 99% of my TV watching is on Netflix. I have no broadcast tv receiver, no cable or satellite system. I would happily give Bernie money to be able to stream decent F1 coverage, both live and delayed for the ones I can't stay up for. But Bernie doesn't want my money - he wants Foxtel's money. What he doesn't seem to realise is that Foxtel and their ilk are going away, very soon now - while they may not die completely for a while, their ability to pay for big deals with content providers will be gone very shortly, because they won't have enough customers to justify it.

And once they've gone, Bernie - ore more likely his successor - will finally be forced to ask me to pay him directly to watch F1, but maybe by then I'll have found a different hobby.

116

James, how do the teams feel about the sport moving towards Pay TV only? Do the falling viewership numbers make it hard for them to attract sponsors? Or is this offset by the fact that they receive more money from TV deals?

It's gone mostly to Pay TV here in Australia and most people I know have stopped watching it entirely. With the other major sporting codes of cricket, AFL and NRL having their premier games on free to air, pay TV doesn't offer enough incentive. Netflix has just launched here as well, giving us even less reason to purchase Pay TV.

An option to pay for race coverage through the F1 website would be awesome though.

117

Only a journalist would find this remotely exciting. WHo cares who brilliantly F1 looks if the end product itself is utter crap. Indy Cars are undoubtedly the best open wheel series with F1 lagging very distantly behind in their slow, bloated, and overly gaudy karts.

118
Torchwood Five

I have a tv-streaming app on my smartphone, that with Wifi access, can stream live tv from dozens of tv stations across the world.

From ABC in the US, to Sky F1 here.

That is an option if you cannot get Formula One on your local television, but already possess a smartphone.

119

I am surprised that no-one has mentioned the FIA WEC live streaming site. US$5 for one race & $30 for the complete season by way of comparision

Normal race coverage on one stream with commentators who enjoy their job and a selection of in-car streams that you can select instead.

Not sure if you have to purchase the subscription via an I Phone / Android phone, via but it runs through a standard computer.

120

If you've paid for the membership you can login to the app using your username within the app and watch all the channels and timing

121

I can't believe it, not one comment on Videopass in MOTOGP which is their internet streaming service.

I am in my second season paying €99/yr I get all the races/testing/practice live and recorded for that. 18 races and all practice. OK sometimes the bandwidth is hit and the picture could be better but at £4 per meeting I really don't mind.

Some real old school overtaking, so I have to ask what's so great about the Tata F1 proposed coverage?

122

F1 Just ned to FIAWEC with their app coverage and live streaming

123

The same one which I couldn't sign up to in the early hours of the race, so by the time I could and it was more than half way through, wasn't worth paying for?

It's amazing to me how bad WECs live timing is. Yeah, it's still better than F1, but there's info there that I wan't, and they don't make available.

124

Ive been watching F1 FTA for the last 25 years here in Australia and a I cant bare the thought of giving money to Foxtel/murdoch for PayTV and even worse the thought that some of my money goes into Bernies pocket. No thanks.

Ive payed the $30 season pass for FIA WEC this year and the coverage has been fantastic. F1 needs to go that way, but they probably wont until bernie thinks he can make more money that way than by selling TV coverage to the foxtel and Sky's of the world.

Bernie's stuck in the 70's model will bite him big time sooner rather than later. Then hopefully the investment companies who own F1 will kick him out on his ass. !

125

I rarely saw such a long string of comments / reply on any technical or sport aspect of the F1. Any Marketing person should read it and draw the obvious conclusion:
Price asked by pay TVs are maybe insignificant for Bernie alike, but normal people have just so much "extra" to spend for fun, and 20 x a couple of hours in the armchair, watching a screen, won't compete with the gym subscription, in some cases not even with a fishing party.

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