US fans to get Sky Sports F1 coverage on ESPN and ABC
Innovation
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Feb 2018   |  6:51 am GMT  |  182 comments

F1 fans in the United States are to get the Sky Sports F1 UK package on ESPN and ABC under a deal announced yesterday.

The deal for ESPN to replace NBC as the rights holder in the US was done last year and there is also an OTT (Over The Top) offering in the US.

ESPN looked at various options for how it could work with F1 to get coverage of the races, qualifying and practice, as well as supporting content.

With Sean Bratches being a former ESPN executive and Chase Carey having worked for Rupert Murdoch and Fox for many years, the pathway to this arrangement clearly made sense.

What it means for F1 fans in the US is that, although they will not have their own dedicated team as they had under NBC, they will have access to more content. It is similar to what happens in other countries, like Australia, where the Sky coverage is carried on Foxtel behind a paywall.

NBC had its live presentation team based in the US, travelling only to occasional races in the US timezone and Monaco, while Will Buxton was dedicated on-site NBC reporter at every round together with producer Jason Swales, producing interviews, reports and live grid coverage.

There was no American voice in the NBC coverage, which was led by Australian Leigh Diffey and that will also be true of the Sky package on ESPN.

But this is part of a process to drive more engagement with sports fans in the US, which F1’s management has identified as a territory with strong growth potential, along with China.

Getting a comprehensive broadcast and OTT package together is an important step in that process, as the way fans consume TV and video content is changing quickly. ESPN has suffered in the last couple of years from ‘cord-cutting’, where US consumers give up expensive cable TV packages in favour of OTT and mobile offerings.

But Sky has a new head of F1 in Scott Young, for whom 2018 will be his first season, and it will be interesting to see how he evolves both the coverage and the team over the coming seasons.

For example, while Sky’s coverage has lots of in-depth interaction with the cast of characters in F1, it isn’t particularly rich on stats, which is considered an important part of a US sports fan’s appreciation.

Sky will be the exclusive carrier of F1 in the UK from 2019 onwards, behind a paywall, while this season it has taken a dominant position in Italy also, with RAI only carrying one live round at Monza.

Photos: LAT Images

Are you based in the USA? What do you think of this development? If you are UK based or watch the Sky coverage in Australia or other territories, let your US counterparts know what to expect, using the comments section below

Featured Innovation
INNOVATION BRIEFING
technical innovation from tata COMMUNICATIONS
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

182comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

I may have missed the info., but does the Sky feed in the U.K. show adverts? We get Sky on TSN here in Canada and get adverts, TSN is a pay channel in so far as you have to pay for cable to get it. It is picture-within-picture during the adverts but you have to figure out what happened yourself as the talking heads don’t know that you left.

2

As an Aussie expat living in the US, always preferred the BBC/Sky coverage. I think the NBC team did an admirable job explaining things for an audience that may not have grown up watching F1, but were always too removed from the action to know what’s really going on.

3

Sky uses the FOM feed, so it’s pretty impartial on who it highlights. The commentators are also pretty impartial I find. Having watched F1 for about 45 years the Sky production is the best, far superior than the NBC showing. How can you get the excitement of a GP over to an audience without actually being there, 3 people sat in a studio in suits is the worst idea I can think of.

What will kill it is if ESPN cut to adverts during the race.

4

The Sky F1 coverage is far superior to anything offered in the US. The depth of reporting is second to none… Every aspect of the weekend is covered with great reporting……. While NBC’s coverage did the best the could with what they had, I believe the Sky coverage will educate the US viewers on the sport…. Hopefully raising it’s popularity…. F1 is such a great sport with so many areas to enjoy, the technical, the gear heads, strategy plays in every race, the best drivers….. Unfortunately here in the US, many believe racing involves turning left over and over….

5

James….how about a follow-up on this question later on in the year and maybe again at the end of the year. Might be interesting to see if our opinions change and the US fans reaction to the broadcasts both initially and long term.

6

We shall do that. Thanks

7

Any idea what is happening with the Canadian TV feed?

8

I watched F1 back in India and from the last 10 years in US. NBC commentary team is really boring and bland without much excitement and on the other hand British commentators speak at a fast pace during the race and makes it more exciting….. only drawback …. if you are not a LH fan…. it can be boring at times as they use him as reference so many times

9

Matchett and especially Hobbs have been terrific. Buxton, a fairly recent addition is quick, dynamic and knowledgeable. It will be hard to accept a new team for US viewers. Perhaps another nail in the coffin for F1. LM series racing was already becoming more engaging.

10

I have very much enjoyed the Speed and NBCSN coverage of F1 over the years. Having listened to Sky coverage of F1 occasionally over the last few years, I can tell you that it is a welcome addition. As much as I enjoy Hobbs, Matchett, and Buxton, the Sky crew is considerably more engaged in the racing. Hoping that there are considerably less in-race commercials. I love that Sky doesn’t “stop” broadcasting for commercials. They were insufferable here in the US.

11

A memory from an old white haired git. I remember back in the 1980s when F1 came to us in Canada via ABC (?). There were many breaks from the action that were apropos of very little. One broke away to a driver’s Mother in her garden answering a dumb question while some terrific action was about to happen. I was so incensed that I had to leave the house before I strangled the family cat. Just to say that we do have it pretty good now. OK, Crofty is a tad hysterical.

12

I have been watching Sky’s coverage on TSN in Canada. Overall its been good, we get all the pre and post race shows as well. As it is a British broadcaster, if you are not a Hamilton fan, could be a bit of a bummer.

13

James (or anyone else)

Is it just me, or has the email notification of comments/replies changed? I’m getting email notifications of all comments – not just replies to my comment.

Thanks

14

@C63

I’m getting the same problem😱

A tad annoying me thinks😄

15

I’ve had an email from James confirming there is a problem with the emails and it’s being worked on. At least it’s not something I’ve done wrong !

16

You’re the new admin, C63! Do us proud.

17

Am I – no one copied me in 🙂

18

I suspect F1 viewship in the US will likely plummet as a result of this arrangement. American fans are going to be resentful about losing their broadcast “team”, and I don’t think the Sky coverage will be popular at all — as others have pointed out, too much nationalistic fervor and the lack of awareness of commercial breaks will absolutely kill the experience. Very bad move in a market F1 not only cannot afford to lose, but actually needs to expand.

19

I will miss the NBCSN (née Fox, née Speedchannel) crew, but it will be interesting to see what UK viewers usually see.

20

I live in the US and have been an F1 fan since childhood, when I saw Rindt chase down Brabham in the ’69 (?) Monaco race. I liked the old NBC team but figure this will be fine, as long as ESPN delivers it as Sky does, WITHOUT COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTIONS OF THE RACE! The biggest beef I have is that whoever programs this stuff does not understand the a race is similar to a soccer match, it develops over time and having a steady connection to the event is critical to understanding all the things that are happening. In the US I often leave the english language broadcast once the first commercial break hits and watch the rest on Univision (spanish language) where at least the commercial breaks use a moderately distracting advert frame, rather than a complete interruption or a tiny “side by side” window which lasts 3-5 times as long as the Mexican broadcast commercial. Make it special Liberty Media, and I think you’ll see more fans.

21

The only problem with this arrangement is that the SKY races run commercial free, but ESPN will have commercials which means our broadcasts will have no lead ins when they go to commercial and there will be no explanation what happened while we were on commercial. Finally, I doubt ESPN 2 will give up any extra time for pre-race or post-race broadcasts. There will be no immersion or localization and viewership will decline back to where it was before NBCSN grew F1 to record level viewers. For me the only good news is that the FP sessions if broadcasted will have voice over unlike NBC which only covered FP2.

22

When talking of Matchett discussing tyre strategy, that was intended to a Steve Letarte (NBC) or Larry McReynolds (Fox) type role whose game was the pit box, not the wheel. As we saw when NFL Films made the engineer the star in Audi’s “Truth in 24” series, Jason Swoles and crew wanted to develop a pit box-oriented coverage where it was not just driving but also taking notes on what happens in the pit box.

The rules requiring two types of tyres and the different type of engineering wanted coverage that focused on little things, a more technically oriented broadcast. What should be interesting is the difference between a high-energy start and as we saw at the FTA INDYCAR coverage by the recently released commentator, a low-key commentator whose starts were very silent on television, though he came up the ranks from the late Barney Hall, a motorsport commentator on radio where you had to come through to earn experience to be on television. (Three motorsport commentators in the US — Joy, Alexander, and Snider — currently on air worked with Hall on radio. If ESPN is smart, they’d work to get Mike King to do the Indy 500, since it would only entail five weekends — St. Petersburg, three Indianapolis weeks, and Detroit, since releasing Allen Bestwick, another Hall protege.) Also in the past, you had Bob Jenkins, now at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s public address system, who also learned his art of motorsport on radio.

Should be interesting for US motorsport viewers to see the difference between the Sky style and other US motorsport styles, especially since they don’t have credentials that have Barney Hall, Sid Collins, Paul Page, Bob Jenkins, Mike King, or Joe Moore.

If NBC had kept F1, they would have attempted for the races they went on site a style similar to NASCAR or INDYCAR radio. Imagine Mike Bagley standing on top of Beau Rivage covering the action and zooming by his post as he covered the cars through Casino Square, then sending the action to a commentator positioned on a building that surrounds Fairmont Hotel to cover the action from the downhill descent into the hairpin to Portier. Don’t know if Croft could ever be “The Bagman” with the Sky coverage we now have on ESPN!

23

I am quite excited by this! I’ve watched SkyF1 along with NBC’s F1 coverage over the last 3 or 4 years. It’ll be interesting to see how commercials are worked in on ESPN side since SkyF1 doesn’t have commercials during the race.

24

We will certainly miss Matchett and Hobbs. They’ve been our F1 voice for over a decade. Will B was good and I liked Varsha. But we certainly like having our own coverage. NBC did a great job with pre and post race coverage. This will be a tough transition but I’ve always liked Brundle. If Sky needs an American perspective I’m here to help 😬

25

No experience with the Sky’s broadcast, but I hope it isn’t a cheerleading rally for HAM in disguise… I might have to watch with the sound turned down if it is.

26

hope it isn’t a cheerleading rally for HAM in disguise…

I guess the answer to that will depend on who you ask. I would say they are at pains to try and talk up other drivers. But it is a fact that Ham has taken a lot of wins and poles and indeed championships – what are the meant to do; ignore that and pretend it isn’t happening? He also has a lot of supporters – should they try to antagonise them? Personally I reckon they get it about right and whatever they do someone will be moaning about it. Watch it and see – I’d be interested in your take on it.

27

I live in the US and have watched F1 on NBCSN for part of the season and Sky for the rest. I am really pleased that ESPN will be using the Sky team since it is far superior to the NBC efforts , no doubt due to minimal investment by NBC. As James described, NBC had only 3 commentators sitting in a studio plus Will Buxton at the race. It seems that Leigh Diffey will switch from NBC to ESPN for F1 which is a pity since he is more a hype promoter than a real sports commentator. Too bad they couldn’t have found somebody better!

28

I happened to be travelling in Italy during last year’s Mexican Grand Prix and got to watch the coverage there. I was pleasantly surprised at the almost total lack of commentary during the broadcast; it was almost like being at the race sitting in the stands. While I respect Steve Matchett, David Hobbs, etc. I can also do without all the made-up drama and supposed “insights” into tactics and strategy.

I would look forward to race coverage with minimal commentary.

29

@DL,

“I would look forward to race coverage with minimal commentary.”

Better don’t expect too much in this respect.

Crofty will rarely leave you alone for more than 2 turns.

30

When my bootleg UK SKY feed was unexpectedly terminated part way through last season, I spent F1 weekends at my brothers house and was forced to consume the US NBC coverage, which in my singular opinion I thought was atrocious. I do not have cable and consume my video entertainment completely online, so I’m really hoping we get a robust internet stream without the need for a cable subscription.

31

We get Sky here in Australia and I think the coverage is pretty good. Plenty of coverage before & after quali and the race (maybe a little too long at times) and the team good to watch. Ted’s “Notebook” at the end of the race is always enjoyable and he will always provide an awkward moment talking to a mechanic packing up that doesn’t want to on TV or almost getting run over by a forklift in pit lane 🙂

If Sky could get DC to join that would make it better.

32

@ Brendan…Sky would themselves and all the fans a great service if they dropped Damon Hill and that other ‘jerk’ Johnny Herbert. They are an embarrassment to all, especially the latter. Their collective fawning over Hamilton is both cringeworthy and an open invitation to regurgitate.

33

I partially agree – never had much time for Jonny Herbert (even when he was driving, I thought he was a bit of a lemon when interviewed) but I like Damon Hill.Have you ready his book ‘Watching the Wheels’? It’s very interesting and gives a great insight into being the son of Graham Hill (one of my heroes as a small child). Imagine growing up under the shadow of someone as famous and charismatic as Graham Hill and then losing his Dad to a plane accident when he was 15 years old and all the financial grief that came with that – it cannot have been easy.

34

Hi Brendan,

I would prefer JA and DC calling the race , with Webber in the pits and perhaps Brundle doing the notebook grid walk etc

35

What about Canada ? We tell our friends to the south that we are on top and much bigger !

36

Brit living in SoCal. I quite enjoyed the NBC coverage, and I’ll miss their team, but I would usually seek out a dodgy stream of Sky coverage to listen along with because I always prefer Brundles commentary, so this is exactly what I was hoping was gonna transpire after NBC pulled out. I hope they include the full buildup/post race coverage.

37

It doesn’t matter who broadcasts it or if it’s behind a paywall or not….the F1 product is poor for lots of different reasons and far fewer people will be watching over the coming years.

Who wants to pay to watch a “HYBRID” that sounds RUBBISH, looks RUBBISH and where the competition is RUBBISH?

38

If you don’t like F1, watch something else. If all you are going to do is moan about how rubbish everything is, nobody want to hear it.

39

Except your logic does not explain why NBCSN has had significant growth in its ratings in the US TV market over the last few years.

I will go so far as to say that the biggest reason for the decline in TV number in F1 is because Bernie and FOM made the decision to move Europe onto the pay TV model from free television and they lost people who do not want to carry the F1 cable or satellite package. In the US where 80%+ of TV is already on cable or direct/dish satellite the numbers have not gone down but up.

40

So true. If I could only tell the multitude of free to air brits what my cable bill is monthly, their heads would spin! They complain about paying for F1- when it’s not only the reason I have top shelf tv and cable, but pay a premium for a DVR as well.

41

It pains me to say it, as I love the concept of the sport – open wheel, open cockpit racing with major manufacturers and private teams running bespoke prototype chassis and engines – but this is bang on. The show can be as well-commentated or hyped as possible, whether behind a pay wall or not, but quiet hybrid cars are not sexy, the newer drivers seem two-a-penny kids with no charisma or life experience and the management and restrictions of the technical regulations stifles all the fun (6 wheels and fans anybody?!)

42

This move should come as a surprise to no one. They are all espn, fox men.

43

The fact is FTA TV is dying, advertising revenue is drying up rapidly as more and more viewers slip watch and/or channel flick to avoid commercials. Plus the never ending move to online streaming and other content. Without advertising dollars they simply can longer afford to pay for live sports coverage.

Better get used to paying for your sports coverage, it’s unavoidable. You simply have to choose by what method you want to pay for it. Pay TV, streaming subscriptions and/or data plans are the future and its here right now.

44

Or alternatively, don’t pay and don’t watch, as I will be doing.

45

Same here. I’ll just have to “read all about it” later with my $75/month internet connection…

46

I am “in theory” interested to see if the Sky broadcast will remain as brit-centric as it has been, now that the yanks are on the end of the line?

I say, “in theory” because i gave up my foxtel subscription here in AU after Abu-Dhabi ’17.

I really enjoyed the coverage….so when will F1 catch on that people want to consume their product without having to purchase a whole lot of sh%t they don’t want or need?

I thought this media company was going to do something revolutionary??

47

Yeah, F1 has always been about the “stats”.

48

Apart from Alonso’s jaunt to Indy to last year, I rarely watch American motorsports… what stats am I missing out on?

49

I’m based in USA and whilst I enjoyed the NBC coverage I’m looking forward to the Sky F1 coverage. Our NBC presenters were all good but were all male and generally made the sport look a bit like an `older guy’ pursuit. There is plenty of room in our sport for younger presenters and to hear some female commentary. For example, during last year I was occasionally able to watch Sky’s Natalie Pinkham race reviews and on each occasion thought how great it would be if we could `add a Natalie’ to the F1 commentary mix here in the USA. She is very knowledgeable, features great guests on her show and facilitated really good discussions about each race. Yes some male presenters can do that but we already have `wall to wall’ male coverage of F1. It’s surely time to mix it up. Sky USA coverage may serve up another all male presentation team … but here’s hoping not. Go Sky!

50

Female commentary? Turn in your man card ASAP.

51

Wait… Grid Girls are banned, but not Commentary Girls?

52

First off, I do like the SKY team, but I’ll miss the NBC team dearly. I also really liked having a U.S. centric broadcast. I’m afraid Americans need to get ready to probably never hear about HAAS again. Also ESPN has said many times they are NOT showing any pre/post race coverage. So unless that changed we are gonna loose that (about an 1.5 hours of coverage a race). Also the OTT package and any content other than 10 minutes before the race seems heading for the internet and not the ESPN network. Since Americans already have to pay for ESPN (through cable subscriptions) any further pay service is yet more Americans will have to pay for F1.

But that’s just a small cookies compared to the big problem. WHAT ABOUT THE COMMERCIAL BREAKS?! There is no mention of ESPN showing this commercial free. So that means that unlike with NBC, when ESPN goes to commercial SKY is just gonna go on like they do now not knowing or caring about what U.S. fans missed. NBC would at least show us what we missed while we where away, talk about it and show us a replay, but SKY isn’t gonna do that because their real audience (the UK) saw it live.

I fear Americans are gonna miss on track things that will not be shown to us when ESPN cuts back. Get ready to be watching Alonso driving the wheels off the car only to cut to commercial (probably mid sentence) and cut back in 2 minutes latter (probably mid sentence) and yelling “why is Alonso sitting in a deck chair now?!”

53

I fear that the Sky broadcasts on ESPN will be like how Formula E broadcasts come off on Fox Sports now. Randomly breaking away for endless commercials then returning to the broadcast with no attempts by the newscasters to let viewers know what happened while we were away. It feels like we are eavesdropping on somebody else’s party. It is neither welcoming nor engaging. And if I have to go online to catch any pre- or post-race analysis (and pay even more) then forget it.

54

As a US fan who has seen both the UK and US coverage in recent years, I am very excited for the US to get the UK broadcast. Unlike some other US commenters, I for one will not miss Steve Matchett blathering on about tires incessantly week after week. I will however miss David Hobbs and Will Buxton who provided insightful commentary.

55

US F1 fans are fortunate to get Sky UK’s F1 package. I’d read earlier, when NBC lost its rights to F1 in the US, that we would get the worldwide feed this year. We’re accustomed to hearing commentators’ English, Australian and Scottish accents so no problem on that front.

56
Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

They might be English, Australian and Scottish, but they are US-based English, Australian and Scottish, and I think that’s going to make quite a difference. Still an American perspective, just with a different accent. Hobbs is obviously up in Wisconsin, Matchett’s in North Carolina.

The Sky crew are going to have to conscious that Kansas is listening too now. I wonder how they’ll change.

The ad breaks are going to be a farce unless ESPN broadcast without commercials!!

57

Sky feed is world wide. America is not the centre of the world. There’s more people tuning into to F1 broadcast in my town (Montreal) than all of Kansas. No need to cater to America when the whole world is watching.

58

Oh look, Carey thinks what he is delivering to Formula 1 fans is “the same game”!

Is Carey having a piss? Does this Formula 1 look, sound or feel like the F1 you grew up with?

>>>>

“The fans are incredibly important to us,” he told Sport Bild, “just as Europe – including Gremany – is our base.

“So our motto is: same game, different approach. We want to create a product that includes everything the fans grew up with, but that is not frozen in time. Because if you do not allow change, you cannot grow.

“Bernie Ecclestone said himself in 2016 that he would not buy a ticket to a race. There was a negative spiral and we had to break it,” American Carey added.

59

Sebee, what do you think Liberty could have done in one year? You realise they want to remove the mguh which would make the engines sound exactly like the F1 a lot of us grew up with, but Ferrari threatened to leave the sport if they do it? You realise the engine regs sre set untill 2021 right?

60

Sebee, xf1 is never going to happen. The series you describe would cost a fortune to run and generate hardly any income.

61

Perhaps you’re right TimW. This thing is too far gone and beyond saving.

Formula X1 fresh start is the only way to fix this mess then?

– NA V10s (or V12s if you wish)

– KERS optional, but no car weight increase to force everyone to run it.

– Ground based aero to help passing, common aero components to reduce a solid billion in annual cost.

– No DRS

– No fuel flow limits

– Single engine mode, fixed for season

– No Halo of course

– Free to Air TV

– Low cost circuit hosting fee structure, low cost tickets

There is absolutely room for this product on the market. It amazes me that someone doesn’t do it. All that middle east money for example…they should aspire higher, and create their own series instead of having F1 pretend that fuel in racing is a bad thing.

62

Our friends David Hobbs and Steve Matchett will be very much missed. That other fella and NBC’s efforts, not so much.

Let’s hope that the Sky offering is available and they are able to provide the appropriate notice which outlet and when to the cable channel guides. Best of luck to the new approach.

63

No more, “argy-bargy with that Vettel fellow!”.

64
Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

Expat Brit in the US. I’m curious to how this goes. Sometimes I watch Sky, sometimes NBC. The Sky commentary team often goes off on tangents that aren’t going to make much sense to some of a US audience, BUT it would be a real shame if they are told to make their commentary more accessible. Then again, if the commentary deters new viewers that’s not good for anyone.

From memory I was watching a Sky broadcast last year, I think it was a practice session, and there was a lengthy rain delay with no on track action to talk about. The commentators veered off into a discussion of 1970’s glam rock and British children’s TV, which made sense if you were a Brit who remembers Bod and Mud, but I thought to myself at the time “how does this sound in NZ or the Netherlands or other places that take the Sky feed?”

Hank? HANK?! What is farmer barleymow and why do frogs drink milkshakes? HANK?!

65

There will be mass confusion for the US audience. I doubt if there are long rain delays ESPN will play the Sky broadcast, in fact I feel they will just abandon the broadcast and put on replacement entertainment. Advertisers do not pay for rain delays.

66

Expat Brit here.

This is FAB news. Can’t wait… But…

James, since I’m unwilling to subscribe to cable TV, what are my options? What is OTT? Is there life on Mars? Where exactly IS Lord Lucan?

🙂

67

OTT for ESPN will require that you have ESPN in your cable package.

68

Ok, as is the case with so many sports/events in the US then… so, let’s be clear, it’s reallly NOT an OTT option… you still have sign your life away for some crappy cable package.

I’ll stick with the pirate streaming, thanks very much.

69

As a long time fan in the US, I will surely miss the Hobbs/Matchett/Buxton combo. Leigh Diffey not so much.

70

Will be interesting to see what the US think of it. Personally i think there are too many ex presenter and ex drivers

71
The Grape Unwashed

My impression too, as a Brit who has on occasion watched Sky clips. It’s my 50th birthday this year, but the Sky team look geriatric even to me – and overly focussed on the British drivers – and a little bit whiny. In contrast, the Channel 4 team is nearly perfect. The only person I’d keep from Sky would be Ant Davidson.

72

To my ear, the “young” drivers – DiResta and Davidson – seem to have a much deeper understanding of these modern PU cars than Hill, Herbert and even Brundle. E.g. the comments about tyres are more insightful. It’s a reason to watch the practice sessions.

But this is for the nerds. From a casual fan perspective, it is worrying that so much of what is really going on is invisible to the viewer.

73

I actually don’t agree. Having watched public and pay-tv coverage in the UK for many years, I think the ideal team would consist of a mix. I for one hate the lack of in-depth coverage David ‘always on the fence’ Coulthard provides. So here is my all American F1 commentator team:

Play by play coverage: Ben Edwards, Croft is alright but a bit too sensational for me.

Color commentator: Martin Brundle, has there ever been a better commentator on the game, reminds me of Cris Collinsworth in the NFL.

On track commentator: Tom Clarkson, an all-american, what can I say?

On track expert: Mark Webber, at least he has an opinion DC! And Anthony Davidson, added value.

Feel free to comment.

75

Well we have heard how good Sky coverage is now we’ll find out. Sad to part ways with Steve Matchett and Will Buxton, maybe, hopefully, they will resurface at Sky.

76

I understand that ESPN plans to start the broadcasts 5 minutes before the start of quali/race. What or when is the supporting content broadcast?

77

Oh, we will certainly miss Steve Matchett, as well as David Hobbs!

78

The details are still missing as to whether the U.S. will receive Sky’s pre- and post-race coverage or just 10 minutes worth before the race.

79

I’ve been an F1 fan for all my life, despite the fact that F1 has done virtually nothing to cultivate fans in the U.S. The growth in F1 viewership here is almost entirely due to the efforts of Steve Matchett and David Hobbs, they have been a consistent, informed, highly insightful and entertaining broadcast team for many years. I think it’s highly ironic and disappointing that they are being tossed aside by the new deal that F1’s American owners have made. Matchett and Hobbs rotated from network to network as the rights got passed around, but the work done by them and NBC in recent years was by far the best, richest coverage we ever got, which the numbers reflect. Chase Carey is seriously underestimating their value to American fans.

80

This is fantastic news for US fans… who are willing to pay for cable. I couldn’t stand the NBC coverage and would always find a way to get the Sky UK coverage.

As I am one of the aforementioned “Cord Cutters”, i will only be watching the races broadcast on ABC and will have to figure out how to get the ESPN only races.

I refuse to pay $150+/month just to watch sports

81

The cheapest (legal) way to get ESPN is to subscribe to Sling TV. $20/month for their basic package includes ESPN and ESPN2.

82

Would like to hear more details on what their “OTT” plans are. If we can’t have Buxton and crew then I think SkyF1 is the next best choice. However, all things considered, it doesn’t really matter what feed we’re getting as advertising interruptions typically render US broadcasts unwatchable. When will these companies get the message that a significant amount of their viewership would rather pay them through their wallets rather than their eyeballs?

83
Tornillo Amarillo

I expect not to be bored by Herbert or Hill anymore…

84

Tell the US fans they’d expect price increases in 2019 .

The coverage is very Tabloid Sun Newspaper like as is it’s hysterical presenters bar Anthony Davidson Martin Brundle and Damon Hill. The rest are average to below par. Not on a par to the BBC coverage. Have to say the Channel 4 guys do a better job.

As for as Sky goes it’s another sport that’s going into obscurity in a couple of years time. Still I’m surprised they didnt bring Fox News F1 Fireworks into the frame and the Orange face Panda to say congratulations to Murdoch.

85

Bk, channel four has Eddie Jordan……

86

Only for a few races at a time. He is never on every race weekend. But I’d rather have Jordan than Kravitz and co.

87

F1 is already tremendously foreign for USA viewers. This Sky arrangement will make it even more so and ultimately drive down viewership. F1 needs American involvement to be more relevant to USA based viewers. Haas and Austin Texas are not enough to grow the USA base. We need American drivers and presenters as a reason to stay fully engaged. This new proposal would like watching the Olympics with no USA athletes and American based presenters. We know our NBC presenters are not American by birth but we love “immigrants”, especially when they broadcast from our station and studios. They become one of us. Ultimately, America needs to win at F1 , and the Sky approach does not allow for that.

88

We will certainly miss Hobbs, Matchett and Buxton.

Had the pleasure of meeting Hobbs at an auto concours he spoke at and also ran into him and Matchett at St.Elmo’s in Indianapolis during one F1 weekend.

Hard to imagine that the Sky team could be as interesting.

In all, probably an off-putting move by ESPN, further distancing the USA from F1.

Time will tell.

89

Well, this is good news, since the US coverage has been foosty ab ovo.

More details on the OTT offering please? The ESPN website is coy on that just now in their press release.

90

Well, who are the commentators?

We have no clue Stateside.

Thanks for the great site.

91

I like the concept of utilizing Sky’s broadcast and announcers but I will miss Will Buxton and the US based announcers. Also, looking forward to the OTT content and cost. 2018 brings a lot of changes to F1 and I can not wait for the season to begin.

92

I fear this is first step to getting to a “pay” to watch model…at which time I would not follow F1!

93

I’ll pay to watch…but just F1…$20 a race with all trimmings.

Just don’t bundle it with a whole lot of other polava for $87 a month!

94

I’ll go with $5. And I want the ability to record it and watch later – up to 3 days later. With the VCR and now DVR, I haven’t watched a race live since the mid 1980s.

95

As an American viewer, I’m going to miss Steve, David, Leigh, and Will. That they weren’t Americans themselves doesn’t matter to me – they were still OUR team, and understood the American audience.

I’m especially hopeful that Will finds a place to use his talent – he’s young and energetic, obviously loves the sport, and deserves to be able to continue his career somewhere good. I just hope wherever that is, I can see or hear him in the future.

96

I’m in the States and I plan to record the races on ESPN. I’m only concerned with the race. I hope the commentary isn’t annoying.

97

Brundle and Crofty are my favorite commentators and i enjoy them significantly more than Matchett/Hobbs/Varsha/Duffy or the BBC crew.

98

I am not really exited about this SKY/ESPN coverage. All I can say is that if it sucks, somebody somewhere will have live streaming.

99

I’m glad to hear that ESPN will not use their personalities to produce the content for the races. Will miss Will Buxton immensely but hoping to see more content and analysis from Sky TV. As a new fan to the sport (five years) I’m looking to learn and understand more about the sport. I’m hoping that ESPN does not delay the broadcast of the races because I really enjoy watching them live no matter when they’re on

100

I read elsewhere that Liberty plan to have an in-house streaming solution available right from the beginning of the 2018 season; with apparent regional lockouts for all the countries that currently have pay-TV deals. I’d imagine with the amount of money companies like Sky UK are paying for their exclusive TV deals, they’ll be wanting to put some pretty firm VPN detection protocols around this service. I guess they’ll be gauging it’s popularity in the territories it operates on initially to see if buy-outs of the current exclusive TV contracts would be a viable option moving forward.

101

I always preferred when the host nation was responsible for the production, like Channel 9 in Australia or RAI for Imola, where as now all TV production is done in house by FOM. There was some hit and miss affairs, notably Spain and Hungary being patchy direction to say the least, but taken in the round the host nation knows best.

102

Gaz boy, I remember seeing endless shots of Ferraris trundling around in P10 at Monza and Imola while McLaren and Williams battled for the lead unseen….

103

I was wondering why there was no news from ESPN on the new F1 crew. It makes sense as ESPN essentially has no motorsports coverage anymore. It’s better overall for access here as anyone with a basic cable package should get practice, quali and all races, whereas NBCSN was not included in most basic packages. I was not a fan of Diffy, so I won’t miss him. Most fans here liked Hobbs and Matchett, but Hobbs was probably going to retire anyway.

There’s a huge untapped market here, but it’s unlikely ratings/viewership will go up. As James notes, ESPN is losing millions of subscribers a year with cord cutting and it’s unclear whether they can get those viewers back through streaming or other means.

I think F1 has two big problems to overcome in the USA – the first is the majority of people simply don’t know what F1 is and they won’t differentiate it from our racing series, which are declining in attendance/ratings. Second, to the extent there are new viewers, will races in 2018 be exiting? Will there be a legitimate battles for the championships? I hope so, but It’s hard to be optimistic with managing engines, fuel limits, halos, looming MB dominance, etc. It seems like the majority of rules work against close racing at the limit. Why can’t anyone see this is F1’s primary product?

104

I generally like the Sky coverage as every session is on live and it’s augmented by additional programs/documentaries/classic races etc. The Sky team present well and are generally knowledgable. As with anything, I also have a few criticisms of Sky’s coverage:
– More isn’t always more (race day programming can sometimes drag on a bit)
– Martin Brundle & David Croft are good commentators but the overall commentary style seems to be more conversational and often lacks excitement compared to watching F1 in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
– Sometimes feels like too much focus on the Sky presenters (as though we’re tuning in to watch them at a grand prix rather than to watch a grand prix that’s presented by them).
Everyone will have their own favourites, but for me, Martin Brundle, Damon Hill and Ted Kravitz are what make the coverage for Sky.

105

Martin Brundle & David Croft are good commentators but the overall commentary style seems to be more conversational and often lacks excitement compared to watching F1 in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

You can’t create excitement where it doesn’t exist; the races in the 90s an 00s were generally pretty exciting to watch, save for one or two seasons of where Ferarri were totally dominant (armchair historians will tell you otherwise, but there were in fact only 2 or 3 years where the championship didn’t go down to the last race or two) .

I happen to have the opposite grumble; David Croft tends to ramp up his voice to extreme levels at the smallest little thing. Not all starts are exciting – shouting (and then bizarrely onto squeaking, in Croft’s case) is only appropriate if there’s *actually* something noteworthy happening; same is true for pit-stops and drivers getting close to each other.

106

Well, it could be good or bad. The team we had in the US before wasn’t all that great – really missed Bob Varsha, who was doing the announcing before NBC took over.

While the Sky team looks pretty good, I worry that we in the US will get shafted by the commercials – I suspect ESPN will just break away whenever “it’s commercial time” with no regard for what’s happening on track. NBC did at least have a small picture to the side of the commercials, and ABC/ESPN have done the same with IndyCar coverage. But the announcers are aware of the breaks and catch us up afterwards. The Sky announcers won’t have any idea they were cut off and won’t tell us what we missed or show any replays.

107
Gareth (the Phildelphia one)

That occurred to me to, the Sky commentators can’t do a “this happened while we were away update” for when US TV comes back from an ad break.

Maybe it’s going to be broadcast without commercials! (joke)

108

In Canada we get the video as picture-in-picture during the commercials. Still miss any commentary, team radio, etc.

109

Hey James, any idea of the implications of this for Canada? Last year our sports channel (TSN) offered all races live and without a pay-wall. It featured Sky sports coverage. This year I have seen no news around Canadian coverage other than a mention on the TSN website that coverage is through ESPN. Not quite sure what you article above about ESPN means to Canada but hopes everything remains the same. Do you know more?

110

Where did you read that, about TSN using ESPN? I’m expecting the same as last year, which was FP2/quali/race, all with pre- and post-race segments.

111

TSN is behind a pay wall, TSN is part of a cable package which I assume that you are paying for. No FTA TV in Canada since CBC went digital a couple of years ago.

112

Down in Australia we get the full sky coverage. Absolutely fantastic. Worth paying for believe me.

113

Will the Sky F1 coverage become more Americanised?

What about F1 trading cards? I’ve got a Claire Williams and a Bob Fernley on swap and I need the Jock Clear hologram card.

Actually, I quite like that idea. Lol.

114

Hi James. When reading these reports on Pay TV you hardly appear bothered about the fast that a large proportion of F1’s loyal fans won’t be watching anymore.

Is it journalistic practice just to report the facts and not let emotion get into it, or doesn’t this bother you to much?

All add a bit to the last paragraph:

Sky will be the exclusive carrier of F1 in the UK from 2019 onwards, behind a paywall, while this season it has taken a dominant position in Italy also, with RAI only carrying one live round at Monza. The decision for most countries to go behind a paywall is seen as a travesty for a number of passionate fans who have been following the sport for decades and might not necessarily buy into the Murdoch business plan due to affordability or simply not agreeing with it.

115

You can’t put the ‘blame’ anywhere but at tbe door of the FIA who sold the sport off to Bernie and we are now facing the unpleasant consequences. There is little point in speculating if the messenger approves of what he is reporting on!

116

I am not sure how the European market will react, but in the US most major professional sports are mostly on pay TV (cable).

Even with significant cord cutting over the last few years, pay TV is still more than 80% of the TV broadcast market in the US. The main reason cord cutters are getting so much attention is the demographic of the people doing it – the 18 to 35 year old viewers which for Americans is the most important demographic group traditional TV advertisers crave in the US market. Plus if people in this group start watching TV on the internet, they are less likely to join cable TV in their later years.

117

Well said Mansell Mania.

It’s amazing how jolly all this is witj Sky latching onto ABC and ESPN. Seems Chase Carey is still don’t of his previous employer Murdoch. Conflict of interest or Murdoch’s man in F1 .

118

I give fans like you a chance to make your voice heard

I have also said many times that I anticipate a backlash against Sky in UK in 2019 when the coverage is exclusively behind a paywall

119

JA, not sure if you’ve done this before…but it begs the question regarding sponsorship and brand advertising? As viewership falls (depending on who slices and dices the figures) do you have a sense of the $ quantum and number of advertisers that are leaving the sport?

To me this hits teams and prospective teams from both sides….lower prize money (+appearance fees) + lower sponsorship….versus increasing R&D costs..

It’s no wonder FE is becoming a real option!

120

Not conscious of it becoming a thing. Boss and Allianz went to Formula E, but not aware of significant sponsorships not being renewed. Getting new ones in is pretty challenging, it seems (especially in the $10m a year and above range) but I believe there are some names that will be announced as we get into launch season.

Hilfiger just came onto Mercedes – that was a $3-5m a year level sponsor.

121

Hi James, I’d be interested to hear what the sponsors and marketing executives make of the increasingly restrictive coverage of the sport. Surely they can’t think it’s good for business? I certainly feel for the guys whose job it is to fill the blank spaces on the cars… they really have their work cut out in the current economic climate!

I think back to the 90s when there were so many household name sponsors involved, where they were clearly happy with the exposure that F1 brought them. I don’t think I’d recognise 40% of the current mob!

122

I’ve been on F1 business panels where this has been discussed.

They are aware that there are many other opportunities to leverage their sponsorship through social media etc and that many fans see that stuff if it’s well done and well targeted. So while not comfortable about the paywall with TV they are still getting their return on investment. They just have to work harder to get it

123

A backlash that won’t bother Chase Carey , being an ex employee of The Oily Murdoch empire.

The Backlash will be huge in Great Britain, but it’ll be a ‘fart in a jar’ as SKY would’nt give a monkey’s. It’s all about one up man ship and grabbing sports and shoving into their grubby Sports Package Pay Wall.

Well they can shove it, as I’d rather not give my money to Murdoch and his not so merry channels.

Trust Murdoch to be involved with The Disney Empire another cooperation tainted by hate from its originator…allegedly.

Yep F1 will be a “What’s that all about Sport in 2019” to future fans .

124

The UK F1 Fan is being let down very badly due to:

1) All F1 races going behind an expensive pay-wall from 2019

2) No streaming of F1 races due to exclusive Sky contract

3) No British GP from 2019 as of present.

4) No fighting support from F1 journalists for the fans on this subject, they only make comments what may happen.

5) No support from the F1 teams for the UK fans.

So one can only assume that the powers to be are not interested in keeping the UK fans, only interested in the USA and China. In my family there are 8 grandchildren and 2 seniors all F1 fans that will be lost to F1 in 2019 and it seems nobody cares.

125
The Grape Unwashed

James, right now I feel I won’t be watching after 2018. 2017 was one of my favourite seasons, but I’m not willing (or really even able) to pay for a Sky sports package when F1 is the only sport I watch, nor can I opt to watch races live online as most Sundays I’m busy (at present I record and watch them in the evening).

Even now, I feel my enthusiasm draining away in anticipation of the shutters (in the UK) coming down in 2019. I’ve been watching F1 for over 20 years, but I’m now retired and the sport just doesn’t seem interested in retaining long term fans with limited spending power.

As my enthusiasm wanes I find I’m commenting less and less on the sport, so I want to thank you now for your tireless work to provide fans with informed analysis. You are one of only two journalists I’ve found to be both really informative and reliable (the other is Mark Hughes). There are a number of decent journalists covering the sport, but too few willing to delve into the numbers and provide a proper analysis of the races; which is what interests longer term fans. Keep up the good work!

126

Thanks and stay positive. There will be solutions

127

Channel four will still have highlights though won’t they?

128

You’re right about that James, i’ve followed F1 since 1991, but thanks to Sky, 2018 will be my final season.

129

I’m in Aust and the Sky coverage is flipping awesome. But then the bar had been set pretty low, with one of our major commercial FTA stations – with no physical presence at any GP except at the Aust GP – previously having carriage (albeit switching to Sky for the race commentary itself). So sounds like it may not have been dissimilar to the NBC arrangement? Anyway, double thumbs up Sky.

What is NOT good is most races starting an hour later, such that they now start 11pm Sun night here in Oz!…but that’s a rant for another time/article, perhaps.

130

I know the bar was set low previously, but at least I didn’t have to pay the exorbitant prices that Rupert sets for his pay television monopoly out here. Small wonder why we’re the piracy kings of the world – or so Fox News would have us believe.

Plus starting the races an hour later isn’t going to be that big of a deal in Australia – we’re already used to sleepless Sunday nights anyway, right?

Lest the poor Euros have their lunch interrupted!

131

As an American, I absolutely hate this arrangement. The last thing I want is constant Lewis Hamilton favoritism. It got annoying with NBC, and it’s going to be worse with a British based crew.

132
Clarks4WheelDrift

I can imagine the pain, Jonny Herbert is bad enough bleating on and on like a one man Lewis Hamilton fanclub without decent analysis or content…

…to have him doing all that whilst wearing a cowboy hat, an inane grin and finishing every line with y’all and every sketch with yeeehaw…

…jeeeez!

(and SkyPPV expect people to shell out a load of cash for it from 2019, better hope it isn’t dominated by one team, by PUs, grid penalties and pole taking engine modes!)

133

Brace yourself….:)

Crofty keeps a stat on what colour underwear he’s had the most race wins in…

134

Justafan, if your looking for a commentary team that never says anything positive about Lewis, then try the Aussie feed…..

135

Have you even watched the Channel 10 coverage

@Sars

I’ve not seen the C10 F1 coverage but I have watched plenty of rugby (union and league) matches with the local Aussie commentary team and they are definitely biased. The same goes for rugby matches from New Zealand – they are definitely biased towards the ‘home’ side. It doesn’t bother me as I just watch the game and make up my own mind.

With regard to the Sky commentary on F1 – specifically what is it that you don’t like about it? What do they do that you don’t like – I get that you don’t like Lewis winning but that isn’t the commentary teams fault is it. What should they do about that? Ignore it? Pretend it isn’t happening? They can only commentate on what is in front of them. I remember when Vettel was sweeping up at Red Bull and it was just the same – the intro even featured a close up shot of Vettel’s face and into his eye! They still show it now when the broadcast one of their F1 classic races.

136

Just a little joke Sarsippious, based on the apparent irrational dis like of Lewis down under. You can ‘tow’ whatever line you like btw, just try and keep it factual….

137

…’cause if you’re not with us…you must be against us!

138

Have you even watched the Channel 10 coverage before Tim or is that comment based upon your dislike for certain Australian posters who dont tow your preferred Lewis is the greatest line?

Maybe James can enlighten us all since he has worked on the Australian coverage for many years and surely can attest to the professional and unbiased commentary we used to receive down here before the majority of the races were put behind the Foxtel paywall with the Sky coverage that we all know is focused entireky on Lewis.

139

There’s nothing worse than having a commentator so obsessed with repeating pointless stats from a computer screen, that he misses the action on track. Viewers of UK MotoGP coverage will be very familiar with that situation. There’s a place for stats – Nerdsville, not ruining my viewing.

Sky must be over the moon getting this contract, because there’s no doubt they paid FOM far too much for the seasons beyond 2018. Not that they will keep it for long, as FOM’s own internet broadcasts will soon be available, at it’s claimed, a very competitive cost.

140

claimed by who?

What, when, where??

141

Well lets hope so! And with Cromecast you can stream anything from the internet to your main TV anyway.

142

@Mansell Mania,

Yesterday for the first time ever I succeeded to do the same in a hotel room (I am on Gran Canaria now). Usually Chromecast will not work in hotels because of Client Isolation and logon splash screens which it cannot negotiate.

There are workarounds with portable routers, WIFI hotspots on your mobile phone (provided you have independent reception), etc.

But I simply requested the Helpdesk administrator to whitelist my Chromecast’s Mac address for the length of my stay. Bingo!

143

Crikey. Our American cousins having to watch a sports event without some home grown commentator going OTT about everything and trying to kill the event with endless statistics.. How will they ever survive😎😂😂

144

The F1 coverage in the US hasn’t had an American commentator for about 5 years now, and before that it was only one guy (Bob Varsha) – who is not a typical, obnoxious sportscaster at all.

145

The US deal may be the saviour of F1 on Sky, since their UK paying audience is normally ony around 500k to 700k, while the FTA Channel4 audience is 4 or 5 times greater, stilla far cry fom the 8-11million of old BBC and ITV days.

The addition of the USA audience to Sky’s reach will enable a profit, while the UK subscribers must barely have covered costs, a very small audience could not have attracted great advertising revenue.

146

Rpaco, Sky pay around 150 million a year for F1, 700k people paying £27.50 a month for Sky sports is 231 million a year, plus advertising revenue and what they get from other territories.

147

Jon, that’s how many are watching the races on Sky according to Rpaco. I don’t think you can get one without the other, but clearly Sky think it’s worth paying 150 large for F1.

148

Mansell mania, I haven’t seen much of the ch4 coverage, but I guess that’s what you get for free!

149

Hi TimW. Sorry do you mind if I reply to your Channel 4 highlights post here as I couldn’t seem to on the actual post.

Channel 4 highlights are a piece of (enter bad word). Advert after advert – and sometimes very on into the race. I once saw a program where the highlights came after lap 3! And putting up with that god dam Big bother bloke. Highlights on Channel 4 is nothing. Absolutely diddly squat.

150

@timw. Is that 700k subscribers for f1 or sky sports in general?

151

“Sky will be the exclusive carrier of F1 in the UK from 2019 onwards, behind a paywall, while this season it has taken a dominant position in Italy also, with RAI only carrying one live round at Monza.”

So have the Tiffosi realised this yet? While we in the UK are more than somewhat upset at our own coverage going “pay only” next year, the Italians are usually rather more passionate and volatile, Ferrari is far more a national intitution than any UK team. I am rather surprised that there have not been street demontrations about this and of course Marchionne’s threats to abandon F1. 7

Of course another Italian characteristic is not to worry about anything until the last minute or some time after it, so the ructions may only start when they sit down to watch the first race and find it is on Sky only. Or maybe they are all better off and can afford Sky sports.

152
Clarks4WheelDrift

They’ll just move from F1 to bikes.

Wonder if the US TV audience will peak this year then drop off after they watch the 2018 season and reconsider the cost vs entertanment value, with the massive PU field spread gaps and Mercedes cruising to poles and wins…

153

You forgot to mention the Halo

154

You’re right about the Italians, when i was there, lots of the little shops in the area i visited sold Ferrari stuff, and i quite often spotted Ferrari flags hanging from buildings.

155

Interesting to see what they do with the stats. Unfortunately a lot of them are now meaningless due to too many changes. The pole record is skewed by the qualy changes over the years, the points record is completely meaningless due to the changes there, most wins in a season doesn’t have any gravitas as there are so many races now etc.

So the only real stat that matters anymore is most world titles.

156

James, do you know something more about the live streaming service liberty is planning to offer in markets like Germany? I would be interested in a pay per race kind of subscription on one of the streaming platforms. It’s about time I get to see f1 around the world with the commentary in the language I like

157

So access to more content is how you would characterise being behind a paywall here in Australia and the UK? So since I can’t justify fox sports @ $25 per month here in Australia for one sport that I follow. Effectively I now have next to no way to follow F1, certainly not live and in full. How exactly does this further grow the sport?

158

@ Iain F….. try $60 PM! The $25 figure was a fraudulent come on. Yes, the F1 package was $25 but it was not possible to access that segment at that price by itself as you had to take the C class entertainment add on as well which just came to another $25…then there was a price hike around mid last year of around $9 or so. It is a pure scam as the ‘entertainment ‘Add On’ is cheap and nasty filler that no one want or watches. The Foxtel marketing management just laughed at me whilst admitting it was all a scam to get people to take the package even though they wouldn’t watch.

159

@ LKFE….Gee, is that all. Is it a must have?

160

$87 if you want the Great British Bake Off as well Kenny!

161

try $60 PM!

You’ve got it cheap kenneth! All in for Sky and Bt Sports (motogp isn’t on sky over here) I’m paying the thick end of £100/month – that’s ultra HD and multi room etc so I could cut back a bit I suppose – certainly that’s what Mrs C63 says from time to time – but I like watching TV in different rooms 🙂

162

I will miss the team that is no longer. Leigh Diffey (preceded by Bob Varsha), Will Buxton, Steve Matchett and, most of all David Hobbs. They were very knowledgeable about the sport and it’s history. And most of all, they seemed to be just a bunch of guys having a good time sharing the broadcast with us. I always thought of them as my friends sitting around enjoying the race with me.

163

Personally I think the Sky coverage is excellent. If they could get Coulthard alongside Brundle that would improve things, but overall I consider Sky good value for money. They cover all practice , quali and the races live and they have hours of programming either side of the race – what else (apart for FTA) could you want?

164

C, tell me you haven’t got a screen in the “Thrown Room”?

Mind you…if the pipes weren’t working…10 minutes with Crofty would do the trick!

165

haven’t got a screen in the “Thrown Room”?

Lol – not quite! But the Sky Q thing is good – I can pause on one tv and then go to another room/tv and pick up from where I left off – very clever 🙂

166

If they could get Coulthard alongside Brundle that would improve things

I agree; I was extremely sceptical of having two ex-drivers narrating the races, especially ones that were quite so pally, but Coulthard and Brundle turned out to be my favourite commentary team – shame they only lasted the one year together.

James & Brundle were a close-run second (sorry James), followed in a distand third by the generally unpopular team of Legard & Brundle.

167

@ C63 Ant Davidson is definitely a keeper but Croft is a boring one dimension apologist for one particular nation and their drivers. The race combo could be so much better with Brundle/ Webber/Davidson/ Di Resta. these guys do know what they are talking about and there is enough variable opinions to make it all very entertaining whilst seeing the race for what it really is.

168

I like the drivers commentary on a race – they nearly always ‘see’ something the viewers have missed eg Ant Davidsons analysis is always bang on the money.

Going back a while now, but I used to like John Watsons commentary when F1 was broadcast on Eurosport – he was reasonably blunt and didn’t pussy foot around. Crofty can be a bit bland for my taste – always feels like he’s trying to be all things to all men.

169

Omg

Sky is pants. Coultard with Jake Humphries own their own TV broadcast company who do F1 for channel 4. I think he’d rather do something else than jump ship like turncoat Brundle did at the BBC.

Plus why would Coultard want to play second fiddle to Brundle ?

Sky are pants.

170

C63

Have had Sky sports package for a month few seasons back as a Birthday gift.

It just didn’t deliver I ended up putting radio 5 live commentary on the races just to get Martin Brundles hyperactive side kicks voice off. As for the content it’s watered down to stretch the length of race weekend. Some content is repeated or dragged on until the next segment. I’d rather have Channel 4 or BBC doing F1 and not Sky they just don’t do a good job.

But whatever floats your boat C63. Seems you are what Sky will be catering for. Not the majority of Fans in Britain. Just the 300 / 400 thousand with Sky.

Lately watched abit of its coverage in a sports bar and it’s rank. There F1 show is hilarious and jarring. Johnny Herbert is definitely morphing into a mini lurch from the Munsters.

I’d never pay for Sky.

171

Sky is pants

Obviously this is a subjective discussion, but how do you know Sky is pants if you don’t watch it? There’s always commentators that some like and others can’t stand but overall I reckon Sky offer very good and comprehensive coverage of a sport which I enjoy. I’ve been a subscriber for over 26 years now so it would be hard to imagine not having them.

A polite correction; Coulthard and Humphries do not own a TV broadcast company – it’s a production company. I’ve watched both, usually I watch one broadcast live and record the other. I like Coulthard and Webber on C4 but they could lose Eddie Jordan and Steve Jones and it wouldn’t spoil my day.I also like Karun Chandhok, but then again Ant Davidson is very good on Sky. I get that people don’t like paying for something which was free but thats just the way the world is nowadays. It will find a happy medium somewhere along the way as market forces will ultimately dictate the price which can be charged.

172

This is the target group that will just move onto a different motor sport or move onto another adrenaline sport. It’s up to F1 to provide a direct way to get/view F1.

Sky Murdoch and it’s man on the inside ‘Chase Carey’ are living on a different planet to the millennials , who dip in and out of direct viewing like Moto GP.

173

I’m not going to defend Murdoch and Co, but you have to admit it’s a bit ironic that you are quite happy to consume a product that the Bernard had his hand in, not to mention his very good friends Flavio and Mallya. I’m struggling to see why one is so bad and the others get a pass if I’m honest with you. Either way up, each to his own I guess – you don’t like the Sky F1 product and I do. IMO it’s massively superior to the BBC offering and worth the money. Others can disagree and if enough people vote with their feet then FTA will return. I wouldn’t hold your breath though 🙂

174

Plus C63

Sky are trying to flog themselves to Disney but nothing’s happening. It’s going through the US governing body to see if it’s okay regarding competition.

They tried to do same in Britain. The competition commission put the kaibosh on its plans to buy abit of their own company back.

At least Britain knows it’s a bad idea.

Murdoch’s taint will hang on wherever Sky goes.

I’d rather have a direct choice from F1 and do away with Sky and The pay wall.

175

I like pretty much all the Sky coverage, but I wish they’d stop with the “Lights off and away we go” at the start every time. 😤

Oh and bin Johnny Herbert too please as he’s like an over excited little puppy next to the others. Loved Alonso putting him in his place the other year.

I can understand not liking Murdoch and his ways, but it’s not Sky’s fault that it’s not on FTA – that was the BBC and Ecclestone.

176

I can understand not liking Murdoch and his ways

Aren’t Sky on the verge of a buyout from Disney? Or did I dream that? Anyway, Sky is for sale so what will be the excuse if Murdoch no longer owns them?

177

I’ve watched both and U.S. fans are in for a treat. Sky is so superior to the NBC coverage it isn’t funny.

178
Gareth (the Philadelphia one)

But we’re just going to get the FOM world feed, with different commentary. ESPN is not going to broadcast all the hours of pre and post race stuff SKY creates. ESPN will start the broadcast 10 minutes before the race starts (note the race starts have been punted back 10 minutes off the hour) and the broadcast will end before the last wheel stops turning. ESPN will have junior league women’s baseball training camp footage to prioritize.

I don’t personally know a single F1 follower in the UK who thinks they’ll be watching F1 as a TV broadcast in 2019. The sport is going to cease to exist for most of the people I know. F1 is a global sport, but a UK-based global sport – how long can it survive if the UK pays no attention to it? I can’t think of a sport that is a global success but irrelevant in its home country, can you?

179

I’ve also watched both over the last few years and i totally agree. This is a big win for US fans.

180

When will F1 step out of the dark ages and offer an online subscription service like MoroGP. More and more millennials have already cut the cord and rely on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. for content. They don’t have access to ESPN or ABC.

181

When will F1 step out of the dark ages and offer an online subscription service like MoroGP

This season, apparently. Although details are sketchy and it’s clearly going to be blocked in countries which already have exclusive TV broadcast agreements.

182

Robin totally agree with . Think I accidently sent my post to C63. But it was agreeing with you.

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!