Watching F1 on TV

Watching F1 on TV

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Quartz Ninja

13 posts

73 months

Tuesday 18th May
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Mr Pointy said:
There's an interesting piece on F1 & FTA v Pay TV here:
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/the-pay-tv-vs-f...

Given the quoted views of F1's director of media rights (Ian Holmes) I'd say there is very little chance of F1 moving away from Sky when the current contract is up. There might be an opportunity to allow F1 TV in the UK but I'd be very surprised if we ever see live F1 back on an FTA channel.
A brilliant article in motivated reasoning to reach pre-chosen conclusion of 'pay TV is good'.

Names a 3-year period of declining TV figures and yet, somehow, that is a win. And declining figures during 2020 is a bad sign when, at times, large parts of the globe were under lockdowns. If anything, that should drive TV figures up, not down, as leisure-time choices were drastically restricted by, effectively, large-scale house-arrests.

Liberty's Ian Holmes comes across as an aspiring political spin-doctor and sounds like the type to urinate on your leg and tell you its raining.
Exposure means nothing, if less people are engaging - i.e. watching the sport and becoming regular viewers. And the Sky billboards are trying to sell you Sky as a product, not F1. It is merely hoping to lure existing fans to subscribe to Sky - and pay-extra on top of that - to watch F1 live. Having a dedicated Sky channel is just serving those eager fans and will not capture those 'channel-hopping' with no pre-exisiting interest in F1.

Free-to-air allows new audiences to try F1 without financial risk - the only cost is time and attention; and they can do this multiple times too. Some new fans might 'risk' a one-off cost to a service like Now TV. But if they pick a race that is almost certainly dull - Sochi or, perhaps, the forthcoming race in a Miami car park - then they are hardly going to be willing to try and pay again.

"This year's season opener in Bahrain, Sky delivered its biggest ever TV figure up until that point – with an average of 1.98 million watching the race and a peak of 2.23 million."
A one-off race peak. Great! That's fantastic when, according to the Independent: "Formula One lost 8.6 million television viewers in Britain in 2019 fuelled by a new contract which gives Sky Sports exclusive rights to show all but one of the races live." A small growth when the wider picture has been millions lost. #Winning.

Increased exposure on social media? Fine. But does it translate into anything? Trends on social media are ephemeral. Meme's rarely last in the memory. If Pay TV - and social media fluff - was working, Ian/Liberty would be able to point to Teams' selling more merchandise than ever, along with new big-money sponsors falling over themselves to sponsor teams. But, funnily enough, he doesn't present such evidence. I wonder why?

I've seen too many sports (especially boxing and motorsport) go behind paywalls and become fringe interests. I remember times (in the UK, at least) you could talk to 'casual' fans about rallycross and rallying, as these were well covered on free-TV. These days, they either don't care or are even surprised such a sport exists. If you slowly kill off the TV audience, you'll kill off those willing to attend a race. If fewer are attending a race, then no-one will be able to afford hosting one, save countries with questionable current human-rights records looking to buy a PR-image. That will kill off the sport in the long-run.

And the Lewis quote makes me laugh: "I do understand for the people that can't afford to have paid TV or Sky or whatever it is. But it is the way of the world today and there is not a lot we can do about it." Nope, you've no influence or power in F1 whatsoever, of course not. Forgotten about your upbringing in the 'slums' of Stevenage? Would Lewis have gotten interested in F1, if it was behind a paywall back in his youth? I guess inclusivity doesn't include those who can't afford pay TV. Let them eat cake, right Lewis?

Stan the Bat

6,487 posts

178 months

Tuesday 18th May
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Good post.

I can accept the CH4 coverage and will stay with that.

Would obviously prefer live, but not as fussed as I was went it originally went to Sky.

I notice Motogp are now experimenting wth FTA coverage.

LukeBrown66

831 posts

12 months

Tuesday 18th May
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Has anyone here subscribed to the F1 tv site?

I am interested in how far they go back in the back catalogue, if the quality is any good, is it just the full race, all sessions, original comms?

EddieSteadyGo

7,849 posts

169 months

Tuesday 18th May
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LukeBrown66 said:
Has anyone here subscribed to the F1 tv site?

I am interested in how far they go back in the back catalogue, if the quality is any good, is it just the full race, all sessions, original comms?
Lots of stuff in the archive.... the most recent years include the practise, qualifying, full race, plus in-race driver cams etc.


carl_w

6,686 posts

224 months

Tuesday 18th May
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I'm no fan of Sky or of sports in general but I took up the £20/month NowTV subscription and am enjoying the IndyCar (timezone permitting) and the occasional golf tournament.

Stan the Bat

6,487 posts

178 months

Tuesday 18th May
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carl_w said:
I'm no fan of Sky or of sports in general but I took up the £20/month NowTV subscription and am enjoying the IndyCar (timezone permitting) and the occasional golf tournament.
What package is that? I have never looked at now tv.

I'm interested in watching a bit of golf as well.

carl_w

6,686 posts

224 months

Tuesday 18th May
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Stan the Bat said:
What package is that? I have never looked at now tv.

I'm interested in watching a bit of golf as well.
There was a discount on the Sports package earlier in the year which meant you got it for £20 a month for 9 months to cover the F1 season. But you get all of the sports channels with it. I was looking to go F1 TV until the offer popped up.

coetzeeh

2,329 posts

202 months

Thursday 20th May
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carl_w said:
There was a discount on the Sports package earlier in the year which meant you got it for £20 a month for 9 months to cover the F1 season. But you get all of the sports channels with it. I was looking to go F1 TV until the offer popped up.
Might just look into that

Cabinet Enforcer

474 posts

192 months

Friday 21st May
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EddieSteadyGo said:
So for the foreseeable future, UK customers can either pay for Sky (or Now TV) which is the "official" way. Or they can use the workaround listed above to get access to F1 TV via a VPN. Both are "legal". Or someone can just get a free stream, which is illegal, and which I wouldn't recommend.
Or VPN into Austria, and pick up the free webcast from either ORF or Servus (they take turns).

HurryUpAndWait

992 posts

169 months

Friday 21st May
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carl_w said:
There was a discount on the Sports package earlier in the year which meant you got it for £20 a month for 9 months to cover the F1 season. But you get all of the sports channels with it. I was looking to go F1 TV until the offer popped up.
Do they still charge you extra for HD?

carl_w

6,686 posts

224 months

Friday 21st May
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HurryUpAndWait said:
Do they still charge you extra for HD?
Yes, standard is 720p I think.

EddieSteadyGo

7,849 posts

169 months

Friday 21st May
quotequote all
Cabinet Enforcer said:
EddieSteadyGo said:
So for the foreseeable future, UK customers can either pay for Sky (or Now TV) which is the "official" way. Or they can use the workaround listed above to get access to F1 TV via a VPN. Both are "legal". Or someone can just get a free stream, which is illegal, and which I wouldn't recommend.
Or VPN into Austria, and pick up the free webcast from either ORF or Servus (they take turns).
Crafty! Although I presume the commentary is then also in German?

The F1 TV uses the Sky commentary, which I know isn't popular with everyone, but I think works well.

angrymoby

1,472 posts

144 months

Friday 21st May
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Cabinet Enforcer said:
Or VPN into Austria, and pick up the free webcast from either ORF or Servus (they take turns).
this was my original plan (& use 5 live for commentary) but i lucked out & won a raffle for a firestick with the appropriate iptv on it

Flooble

3,067 posts

66 months

Thursday 10th June
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carl_w said:
Yes, standard is 720p I think.
Just gone up from £3 extra for HD to £5 extra. Bit of a jump. Wonder if the monthly fee will go up further too ... and what’s driven that commercial decision.

EddieSteadyGo

7,849 posts

169 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
Flooble said:
carl_w said:
Yes, standard is 720p I think.
Just gone up from £3 extra for HD to £5 extra. Bit of a jump. Wonder if the monthly fee will go up further too ... and what’s driven that commercial decision.
It is the consistent Sky strategy. Bait in customers (whether on Sky platform or NowTV) with low prices. Then gradually squeeze the prices up. Until you threaten to leave, at which point they give you back some of the increases, before starting the whole process again.

It is a business model which relies on customer lethargy to succeed. And it isn't just Sky - most subscription services try it e.g. Spotify have announced their new business strategy of price increases in established markets now they have a dominant position in the music streaming market.

Flooble

3,067 posts

66 months

Friday 11th June
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Do you mean to existing customers, or across the board? This is an all-customer increase, so presumably they don't think they will get any new customers?

https://www.nowtv.com/boost