Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Hungarian Grand Prix, Mogyoród

A year without pay-to-view F1 coverage // Enjoying the best season at the least expense

Published by Mr. C

Christine and I live in the future, or at least the future in comparison to the consumption habits of the average person, anyhow.

Living in the future means we get to download books and magazines without leaving the house, purchase an individual music track or an entire artists back catalogue unrestricted from the constraints imposed by physical media, and watch a seemingly endless choice of movies or television shows from the comfort of our armchair.

The future is clearly a fantastic place to be, however the BBC's decision in 2011 to share rights to its Formula One coverage for this season left us in a difficult position. In the UK right now, the BBC are a broadcaster at the forefront of content distribution innovation. Sadly the company chosen to share the F1 coverage, Sky, are one of the more backward.

Dish of the day

Have you met Ted?
Have you met Ted?Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty

It wasn't always this way of course, in the early 90's Sky completely revolutionised British television, taking us from a meagre four channels to more than forty, introduced pay-per-view live events and reinvented sports coverage along the way. These days, that same company have become a tired and outdated shadow of its former self, proving slow to adapt to technology that doesn't gel with their antiquated business models.

While the BBC spent the past summer streaming 24 channels of high definition Olympic coverage direct from their website, Sky launched the frankly dreadful NowTV service who's pay and play system had to be taken offline just three months after it debuted in order for the company to work on 'improvements'.

Without question Sky's attention is focused on a dish affixed to a wall and they do not appear keen (or able) to change that. In an age of 4G mobile bandwidth where you can start watching a programme on the sofa and finish watching it in the pub, the restrictions imposed by such legacy technology simply do not fit into our futuristic world.

All the small things

All of this gave us a headache when the changes to 2012 coverage were announced, we live in the future remember. Ultimately we opted to skip the ten races that Sky had exclusive rights to broadcast, watching only free-to-air highlights after the fact. This entailed some changes to the site, significantly the loss of the post-race podcast F1 Debrief. We received a bit of flak for making that choice, while others offered to help us cover the expense of the subscription, but this wasn't a cost problem as much as one of principle.

The first race of the year is of course essential viewing, with new drivers, new cars and a whole set of unknowns. Being a highlights-only option on terrestrial TV in the UK we needed a solution.

Having sourced the only commitment-free, online streaming solution Sky Sports offered in the shape of an iPhone app, we paid £5 for a month's access and watched the season opener on a 3.5" screen. It was as bad an experience as could be imagined, but it was live F1 without signing our life away and crucially sans anything hanging from the wall.

Video quality was terrible, more than a minute behind live timing and every 10 minutes the app would quit for no reason.

Aside from the problems with screen size, video quality was terrible, more than a minute behind live timing and every 10 minutes the app would quit for no reason. Some kind followers of Sidepodcast lent us their online details to try the desktop equivalent (longer term commitment required), but that was barely any better and we soon gave up.

That point might be worth reiterating. Sky's streaming solution was so bad, even the offer of watching live Formula One for free couldn't make up for how incomprehensibly terrible their technology was. Delayed highlights from a broadcaster with a clue was far, far more appealing.

For the remainder of the season, until the penultimate race, that is how we watched alternating Grand Prix. While we did miss the enjoyment of the shared live experience that commenting on Sidepodcast brings, it is hard to pretend we missed out. The inaugural Grand Prix in Austin, and one that may well have been a championship decider led us to fork out a second £5 for a final month's access on the tiny phone screen, but the situation had not improved in the slightest.

The net total of our entire expenditure on F1 coverage this year totalled just £10. Signing up to the full Sky package would have cost us an order of magnitude more and the enjoyment would have likely been exactly the same.

Sky Sports' F1 coverage of is out of date, poorly packaged and vastly overpriced. It's hard to imagine anyone signing up for a second season.

Where we're going, we don't need channels

Each and every fan follows this sport for different reasons. Each person has their own preferences and likely watches racing in a different way. That said, I encourage everyone who signed up to an expensive sports package this year to question whether that investment was worth while. After all we ran an entire website dedicated to the sport, just as well as previous years, all the while saving ourselves a pretty penny.

MBL on Apple TV

The internet is of course the great democratiser, cutting out superfluous middle-men at every twist and turn and in this case, the future of live sports holds much promise.

We have a relatively cheap cube situated beneath our television that allows us to purchase live sports coverage directly from Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Additionally that same cube can stream content from a National Football League (NFL) app directly to our TV. We are able to have a direct relationship with three major US sporting leagues and that is without doubt Sky's worst nightmare come to life.

The key players involved in the sale of F1 rights are currently too old or too out of touch to appreciate the benefit of selling directly to fans, but there is a feeling of inevitability surrounding the means by which we will all one day consume live sports.

It is still some way off in our future, and therefore an even longer way off in the future of many more, but the idea of a broadcaster creating a dedicated 'F1 channel' then trying to sell it as a package to fans for an annual fee already seems utterly absurd.




  • After a season of F1 shared between the BBC and Sky and the bitter taste still hasn't subsided for me. For the choices mentioned above, I tried to make do with BBC highlights but non-live F1 isn't the same for me. No social media, no live timing and avoiding spoilers are just a few pitfalls.

    I succumbed to Sky's uncompetitive sports package on offer for Virgin Media customers after the summer break. £25 per month in SD only [OFCOM forced Sky to make Sky Sports 1 & 2 available in HD] and I wanted to hate the coverage. I didn't.

    I still feel ripped off but it's my only choice without bolting and ugly dish on be wall. I can't see modern digital streaming choices being made available while Sky continue to be allowed to overcharge non-dish customers. With paid F1 entering more markets, it's only a matter of time before BBC coverage disappears altogether. I'll have to get used to coughing up.

  • I too borrowed a friends Sky Go credentials for the few 'Live on Sky' races that tickled my fancy/suited my schedule (Australia, Canada, Monza, USA) and whilst the experience was hardly ideal (stuck watching on my laptop with earphones or a 19" monitor in the study), it was palatable.

    What *did* shock me is Sky are trying to push their Go (and Now) services so that they remain relevent next to their competitors, but they're so hideous restricted compared to what the people with the black boxes & contracts have available, it's pathetic.

    None of their 'Race Control' stuff is available via their web streaming, the tablet app is only really useful as a 'second screen' and, perhaps shockingly of all, if you want to watch the entire race programme (all 5-6 hours of it), you have to watch it live, adverts and cruft and all.

    They just havent found a way to have the entire race (even with some of the fluff trimmed) available for consumption on-demand. All that is available is a 1-hour highlight program, lacking even the content of the BBC 3 highlights program because they squeeze some of the padding and adverts in.

    By comparison, the BBC have had their Live shows available, well, Live or on-demand in full since 2009.

    If I haven't been able to watch the race live on Sky, i'd have to either wait for the heavily truncated version or wait till 7pm Monday evening, when it is next replayed. Well, that, or just watch the BBC's competent highlights.

    Sky have got a lot of work to do to *sort* this out.

    The BBC having the much better, warmer, more relevant and less flabby presenting team (even now Jake has left) and the official BBC figures (however accurate they are) show that for the Live races, their audience figures have barely had a dent. Brazil had a peak of 6.5 million according to James Allen, up a million from last year (granted the championship was done this time last year), whilst Sky have released no official figures anywhere that I can find about how many people actually watch their shows, something they *can* track because of the digital nature of the service. My guess is if the numbers were anything to boast about, they would be.

    Also, given the TATA fibre investment mooted earlier in the year and Ecclestone's time running the show slowly coming to a close, I can imagine that a 'direct to consumer' service is due sooner rather than later.

  • Interesting article! Myself, I'd always been the biggest F1 fan out of everyone I knew, until the middle of 2011. I was so disheartened by the Sky F1 deal that I began the process of weening myself off F1, and then after the accident to Dan Wheldon I almost gave up totally on the sports that I used to love.

    However despite all the issues with the coverage this year, I'm amazed to say that 2012 has been my favourite season. I have enjoyed the highlights on the BBC (sometimes frustrating, but generally very good), and additionally enjoyed the free clips on the Sky Sports F1 website, such as Ted's notebook and driver interviews which were previously available on the BBC website. I think what swung it for me was a very spontaneous trip to the race in Valencia. It was the second race I had attended, and the first in 5 years (Silverstone 2007 being the other). In the 4 weeks before the race, I was able to book an Easyjet flight to Valencia (sharing the plane with Eddie Jordan), very cheap accommodation in a hostel in the centre of the bubbly city, a fairly cheap ticket, and one of the most exciting races of the season. I was able to wait outside the confines of the circuit for the drivers to leave on Sunday (seeing many people who had been my heroes for years) and to walk the track on the Monday evening.

    F1 really is a great sport, and what makes it special is the experiences which we have. At least we can still share the action via the BBC, and enjoy content from Sky. As Jake said at the end, 'Don't be sad it's over, be glad it happened.'

  • I can't see modern digital streaming choices being made available while Sky continue to be allowed to overcharge non-dish customers

    sky have nfl coverage, but nfl is still available on the apple tv (with sky games blacked out). the tipping point i assume is when the nfl make more money directly, than they do via sky. once that happens, what exactly is the point of the middleman at all?

  • What *did* shock me is Sky are trying to push their Go (and Now) services so that they remain relevent next to their competitors, but they're so hideous restricted compared to what the people with the black boxes & contracts have available, it's pathetic.

    absolutely agree.

    on the ipad, of all my apps, sky tv are the only ones to disable the mirroring technology that duplicates the picture on screen to the tv. they are absolutely scared witless.

  • I persisted with the free desktop version for several races, having been lent some login details, but yes it was annoying. I found I couldn't enjoy the coverage because I was battling the technology. Always a minimum of a minute behind, often buffering or crashing completely, always in low res - it looked as if you were driving after oil had been smeared on your car windscreen. This is on a machine on which iPlayer and Eurosport Player work pretty well.

    Funny thing is, when I went to my Dad's to watch the USGP on his actual TV with an actual Sky dish I thoroughly enjoyed Sky's presentation of the sport. They've improved as a team as the year progressed and given another half a year could and should be on a part with what the BBC are putting out - this shouldn't be a surprise given the BBC's headstart (remember they were shakey to begin with too).

    I have BT Vision. It has on-demand content channels too, yes the 'big five UK channels are there but so also are some major distributors: Warner, ABC (US), CBS, Sony, Discovery, ESPN. Despite these names this is greatly under-used at the moment. I can well imagine in a few years we'll see sports themselves appear as their own content channels (in fact 'World of Red Bull' already is - I just discovered I can watch Crashed Ice 2011 on demand for free).

  • A word on the BBC highlights too. They are far better than I'd expected and are really quality jobs. Not quite the same as live, and the delay is very annoying, but they are very, very well done. Obviously it varies race to race but there actually isn't a lot taken out and we still get well over an hour of track time. I'm pretty sure we got a good 90% of the USGP.

  • whilst Sky have released no official figures anywhere that I can find about how many people actually watch their shows, something they *can* track because of the digital nature of the service. My guess is if the numbers were anything to boast about, they would be.

    there was a quote of just 800,000 viewers for the penultimate live race (austin). shockingly low if true.

    Also, given the TATA fibre investment mooted earlier in the year and Ecclestone's time running the show slowly coming to a close, I can imagine that a 'direct to consumer' service is due sooner rather than later.

    very much fingers crossed. wouldn't fancy the job of getting fibre out to the circuit in south korea mind you :)

  • there was a quote of just 800,000 viewers for the penultimate live race (austin). shockingly low if true.

    Compared with the stuff on the subscription sports channels I understand that is quite high. They could've chosen to lock it into the Sports pack which would drop it down to 500k or lower based on some numbers being thrown around in March.

  • I have BT Vision. It has on-demand content channels too, yes the 'big five UK channels are there but so also are some major distributors: Warner, ABC (US), CBS, Sony, Discovery, ESPN

    bt hold so many cards. they're busy digging up half the roads in the uk to lay fibre, which third parties like sky will then rent from them. vision is one massive wasted opportunity right now, but mr humphrey is well placed to reignite the interest in the brand next summer. i wouldn't bet against "f1 brought to you by bt vision" before the decade is out and jake will be right back where he started :)

  • I have Virgin cable but I don't have SkySports subscription and to subscribe would of cost me another £25 per month just for the SkyF1 channel, as I would rarely have time to watch the Football live. I could of driven to my Mum's 6 miles away, as she has SkyHD and gets the F1 HD channel for free but I realised how cheap it would be to watch the live races on German Free-to-air channels on Satellite after looking at equipment on eBay. £150 and I got a dish, set top box and all the items required to install it including a dish motor, so I can turn the dish to other satellites if I want to. For the Sky live only races I tune into RTL, turn down the TV volume and listen to 5Live commentary on my Virgin TiVo! Works great and in sync (otherwise I could pause the TiVo for a few seconds) and RTL have another 4 year deal at least free-to-air and performs much better than a delayed internet feed.

  • Despite being a fan of more sports than are good for me I always resisted buying Sky. I object to having no alternative to giving money to Murdoch. The fact the government allowed Sky to buy BSB and have a satellite monopoly I find incredibly annoying. Not having live F1 is just not an option for me. Any delay or highlights package is so much second best that I would have struggled to maintain my interest all season. Other sports like football can be chopped up into a highlights package and still make sense unless they decide not to show a goal. In motor racing every second matters so chopping out a chunk of time here and there kills the logical flow of the sport.

    Sky's F1 coverage is far better than I expected. Their red button option of a load of other camera options etc is fantastic. The only annoying aspect of it is that while you can rewind the main feed to check on something that option is not available on the red button option. It is particularly annoying when you select one of the on boards and notice a flash of something on the track and can't run it back a few seconds to check what it was.

    Overall I am delighted with the service Sky produce via the dish on the wall. I am able to watch so many sports live that previously had me hunting streams. Since buying Sky at the start of the F1 season I have only used streams for Yankees games that were not on TV. Add in all the non-sports programming and Sky is well worth the money. I just wish that money was not going to Murdoch.

  • The key players involved in the sale of F1 rights are currently too old or too out of touch to appreciate the benefit of selling directly to fans, but there is a feeling of inevitability surrounding the means by which we will all one day consume live sports.

    That, that, that. However excruciatingly slow and frustrating the progress is towards a happy F1 viewing experience is, it is inexorable.

  • £150 and I got a dish, set top box and all the items required to install it including a dish motor, so I can turn the dish to other satellites if I want to.

    DISH MOTOR. I'm jealous. My basic German satellite set-up has gone unused for a few races since I was offered a cheap Sky HD package deal, but I look at it and think wistfully of adding a motor and potentially never leaving the house again. Mmmmmm, a squillion foreign channels. Mmmmmm.

  • Not having live F1 is just not an option for me. Any delay or highlights package is so much second best that I would have struggled to maintain my interest all season.

    but equally you skipped the bahrain gp and it didn't bother you. delayed f1 races are impossible to imagine, right up until you actually do it. then it just becomes normal.

    this year i watched dull live races and exciting highlights.

  • What?

    You guys are a supposed real F1 site and you don't watch all sessions live?

    There are countless streams that show SSF1.

    You MUST have been able to write off a Sky sub on your taxes right?

    Please...

    Jp

  • You guys are a supposed real F1 site and you don't watch all sessions live?

    if you didn't notice until we pointed it out, perhaps it doesn't make that much of a difference?

    question for you then. was sidepodcast.com noticeably worse this year because we watched 8 races at 6pm instead of at 1pm?

  • but equally you skipped the bahrain gp and it didn't bother you. delayed f1 races are impossible to imagine, right up until you actually do it. then it just becomes normal.

    I forgot all about skipping Bahrain.

  • You guys are a supposed real F1 site and you don't watch all sessions live?

    The BBC is a real F1 broadcaster, but it doesn't show all sessions, or races, live.

  • I don't think I'll bother watching Sky races live next year. I think we should band together and force FOM to sell us the rights directly.

  • Delayed until 6pm? Pfft, in Australia we used to get the races delayed then played from midnight (or 4am or some other stupid time).

    There are countless streams that show SSF1.

    So breaking the law is ok to make a site "real"?

  • What *did* shock me is Sky are trying to push their Go (and Now) services so that they remain relevent next to their competitors, but they're so hideous restricted compared to what the people with the black boxes & contracts have available, it's pathetic.

    Not to mention the abysmal speed. On SUnday, I got a stream with a resolution 200px wide - and it's not my Internet connection, because NFL Gamepass ran 4 simultaneous HD screens.

    Sky really have to get their act together.

  • Sky really have to get their act together.

    i can't see that they have any motivation to make their streaming competitive.

  • So breaking the law is ok to make a site "real"?

    Oh Please what are you my Mother?...get off that high horse of righteousness...

    If you want to be relevant in this day and age of instant assessment and reaction..

    It better be Live or it's just Jive... And I don't think the site is any better or worse for it NO.

    It's no different..Let that say what it will.

  • It's no different..Let that say what it will.

    In that case, I don't understand the problem.

    i can't see that they have any motivation to make their streaming competitive.

    Yes, in that they have exclusive rights to most coverage, there isn't. But I won't pay for it any more. Especially with things like Gamepass being so good.

  • It better be Live or it's just Jive... And I don't think the site is any better or worse for it NO.

    good to hear.

    next year, with only 19 races during the season, the beeb should have 9 of them live, so that's what we're planning on watching. the remaining 10 we'll catch before midnight :)

  • I missed Monaco, Valencia, Singapore, Japan, and India. I'm more disappointed about missing out on getting to chat with the people on here during the race than the races themselves.

  • Yes, in that they have exclusive rights to most coverage, there isn't. But I won't pay for it any more. Especially with things like Gamepass being so good.

    and that is how it begins :)

  • In that case, I don't understand the problem.

    Let me use a racing adage that's pertinent for you ....If you stand still your going backwards.

  • It better be Live or it's just Jive... And I don't think the site is any better or worse for it NO.

    If it makes no difference then don't complain and don't do things like call the site names about not being real.

    And as for my so-called high horse, I think you missed the point of my comment.

  • So breaking the law is ok to make a site "real"?

    There was me thinking the site was real. In a minute, I'm going to wake up in the shower and realise it was all a dream, right?

  • There was me thinking the site was real. In a minute, I'm going to wake up in the shower and realise it was all a dream, right?

    The site is Christine's version of Newhart.

  • There was me thinking the site was real. In a minute, I'm going to wake up in the shower and realise it was all a dream, right?

    The site is as real as any other on the internet.

    Considering how good this season was, there's a chance the entire season was a dream and we'll all wake up in Dallas.

  • That, that, that. However excruciatingly slow and frustrating the progress is towards a happy F1 viewing experience is, it is inexorable.

    i think the biggest surprise for me at this point, is that nascar isn't leading the charge. none of the US sports that are available to us right now involve any form of motorsport. red bull have their free content and we watched petit le mans via dailymotion.com but there isn't a shining light in racing we can compare f1 against.

  • I must say, I know times change and people revise their opinions (me more than most) but I can't let this pass without comment.

    In the UK right now, the BBC are a broadcaster at the forefront of content distribution innovation.

    I'm sure I recall at least one conversation blasting the BBC for hogging the podcast charts, ruining creativity, and stifling the broadcast business model in the UK with the unique way they are funded.

    I guess they got better! :)

  • there isn't a shining light in racing we can compare f1 against.

    I've not tried it, but I suspect MotoGP is the closest. Obviously, since it's free on BBC, and also on Eurosport, I've never bothered to subscribe. But they do offer the facility.

  • I'm sure I recall at least one conversation blasting the BBC for hogging the podcast charts, ruining creativity, and stifling the broadcast business model in the UK with the unique way they are funded.

    in a word, olympics.

    i was totally stunned by everything the bbc did this summer. they didn't have to, no-one even asked them too (so far as i know), but they provided the best coverage anywhere in the world and raised the benchmark to crazy new heights.

    i want all of my live sport delivered this way forever.

    fwiw, some of the sky f1 presentation is better than the bbc offer and there's a whole bunch more the beeb could do to improve f1 coverage they have, but in terms of content delivery, no-one gets close.

  • i think the biggest surprise for me at this point, is that nascar isn't leading the charge. none of the US sports that are available to us right now involve any form of motorsport. red bull have their free content and we watched petit le mans via dailymotion.com but there isn't a shining light in racing we can compare f1 against.

    They want to push people to their RaceBuddy/TrackPass things perhaps.

  • but in terms of content delivery, no-one gets close.

    actually, red bull man jumping out of space broadcast by youtube probably smashed the olympic download numbers, so there are other people out there capable. sadly, sky isn't one of those.

  • I've not tried it, but I suspect MotoGP is the closest. Obviously, since it's free on BBC, and also on Eurosport, I've never bothered to subscribe. But they do offer the facility.

    MotoGP do it for money.

    ALMS and GT1 and Blancpain Endurance do it for free, I think F2 may still do (not that that's really worth watching).

    There is stuff out there but it is usually just a straight web feed. The next step is to interact with people's TVs via Apple or BTV or what have you.

    One point worth making: Sky do have a pretty decent On Demand service of their own now, it was rolled out as an upgrade a few months ago. If and when things move that way for live events they are positioned to make use of it if they want to.

  • One point worth making: Sky do have a pretty decent On Demand service of their own now.

    Only for dish subscribers, unfortunately.

  • i think the biggest surprise for me at this point, is that nascar isn't leading the charge. none of the US sports that are available to us right now involve any form of motorsport. red bull have their free content and we watched petit le mans via dailymotion.com but there isn't a shining light in racing we can compare f1 against.

    Indycar used to stream live from their site until they did the stupid TV deal. Remember we watched Franck race live on the site and they had live telemtry including sterring wheel positiont. ALMS have also streamed some coverage live on their site

  • Indycar used to stream live from their site until they did the stupid TV deal. Remember we watched Franck race live on the site and they had live telemtry including sterring wheel positiont. ALMS have also streamed some coverage live on their site

    agreed, but pat's right with:

    The next step is to interact with people's TVs via Apple or BTV or what have you.

    most people aren't going to be watching this stuff on a laptop. getting the content directly on the television is when it becomes useful (and much less geeky).

    incidentally, our basic tv has a red bull tv app built in, so crashed ice will stream directly to it this weekend. however finding it and using it is still darn tricksy. nba/mlb on the appletv is the simplest thing in the world.

  • i was totally stunned by everything the bbc did this summer. they didn't have to, no-one even asked them too (so far as i know), but they provided the best coverage anywhere in the world and raised the benchmark to crazy new heights.

    i wonder how the coverage will be for rio.

  • i wonder how the coverage will be for rio.

    am hoping even better. presumably that'll be the first ultra-high-definition olympics . after the summer, they said:

    The infrastructure and video delivery systems we have put in for the games will be used for future coverage for both BBC Sport and the rest of the BBC.

  • i think the biggest surprise for me at this point, is that nascar isn't leading the charge. none of the US sports that are available to us right now involve any form of motorsport. red bull have their free content and we watched petit le mans via dailymotion.com but there isn't a shining light in racing we can compare f1 against.

    The closest I can think of as a comparison in motorsport streaming is MotoGP, who makes their entire coverage available on their website (for a fee).

    But at the end of the day, the reason TV still rules over Internet streaming for me is a very simple one: bandwidth. I had a Sky live stream going at the same time as my TV coverage (out of love for Crofty and Brundle). But it was a pain, buffering consistently from about Lap 20 onwards. In contrast, the TV pictures just glided smoothly from start to finish. Until the day everyone gets high-speed Internet, TV is still the best place to get the most people watching any and all sport.

  • Until the day everyone gets high-speed Internet, TV is still the best place to get the most people watching any and all sport.

    absolutely. which is why i started the post the way i did. our bandwidth is perfect because in the future, it's as essential a utility as electricity.

  • absolutely. which is why i started the post the way i did. our bandwidth is perfect because in the future, it's as essential a utility as electricity.

    in fact elsewhere on this site recently i argued bandwidth is more important that electricity, because you can generate electricity on your own. you can't generate connectivity, but you can live near an exchange or pay for fibre to your house (in some places).

  • Here in the US, we have coverage, but only if you want to pay for satellite or cable service. I opt not to, too expensive. So I get all my news and what not via internet apps. What I find troubling is to find a good provider that I can watch F1 on. I would be willing to pay for service, but only for the season, not the entire year. I am pretty sure that I will not be able to sign up for sky or bbc b/c I live in the states. I cannot watch some videos on bbc b/c of some copyright crap. If there are any decent sites or suggestions that I can try for next year's season, please let me know, will be more than appreciated. Thanks

  • there was a quote of just 800,000 viewers for the penultimate live race (austin). shockingly low if true.

    Is that for the UK? Wow! That compares to the US numbers. Gordon Kirby wrote this: "...the domestic television show on SpeedTV drew around 500,000 viewers for a 0.42 rating. It was the highest rated F1 race in America in more than a year..."

    The key players involved in the sale of F1 rights are currently too old or too out of touch to appreciate the benefit of selling directly to fans...

    Too harsh. The landscape is shifting, there is too much uncertainty, i.e. which basket for how many eggs? The immaturity of internet offerings is not because of ignorance but because they are secondary to the exploitation of the TV rights. The money, though shrinking, is still far and away on the TV side of the equation. After that investment, what really matters? How do we make them - F1, domestic broadcast rights holders, TV signal carriers, internet carriers, advertisers - care? Can we make them simplify their relationships?

    They need an impetus to deconvolute and alter their business/revenue model. Eyeballs watching TV is still what drives the whole thing. No rational business decision would trade the secure (real or perceived) for the insecure. There need to be assurances for all parties that moving in a new direction is worthwhile.

    MotoGP offers a season-long video pass for a flat fee (was it 99 Euros?). If 250,000 domestic fans offered to pay that amount for F1 access online, would that get someone's attention? (A call to arms, anyone?) FOM has the cameras, the satellite feeds, all the data fit to stream - but as yet no meaningful incentive to put it out there (separated, in their minds, from the primary route of TV).

    We need to behave like the FIA re-negotiating its standing via the Concorde Agreement. We are "the eyeballs" they want; we are the most important stakeholders in the equation. We need to demonstrate to F1, its participants, and, most importantly, its advertisers/investors: we aren't seeing your ads, you are wasting your money, because we are not watching the Old Idiot Box. We are watching the New Idiot Box, but you're not there.

    Consider this: Imagine if there were an incentive to buy a set of Pirelli tires that included fabulous 'net only content, as though you were sitting in FOM's broadcast trailer? World feed for the plebes, all the FOM content for the tire customers? Or how many truckloads of Red Bull to buy the same access? Mercedes sponsored four in-car camera streams on the SpeedTV website for Austin. Clearly, they felt the need to step up exposure. Are other parties in F1 amenable to doing similar things all the time?

    Leverage. We have to exercise our leverage. Who do we convince to take our cash in trade for the video of F1 only (without buying four hundred other channels, too)? How do we convince them? They will respond to money and product sales. I hope we don't have to wait until the TV numbers are so small that the 'net becomes some kind of default option.

    They seek revenue. We seek efficiency. Let's slay this dragon and get everybody hooked up!

  • Too harsh. The landscape is shifting, there is too much uncertainty, i.e. which basket for how many eggs? The immaturity of internet offerings is not because of ignorance but because they are secondary to the exploitation of the TV rights.

    if that were true. where is the all bonus f1 content to purchase? the bits that aren't tied to tv rights. there might be a dvd season review if fans are lucky, but f1 right holders have access to masses of archive footage that could be made available for a price.

    the people in power have shown zero capability towards understanding the future of content distribution.

    We need to demonstrate to F1, its participants, and, most importantly, its advertisers/investors: we aren't seeing your ads, you are wasting your money, because we are not watching the Old Idiot Box. We are watching the New Idiot Box, but you're not there.

    100% agreed. and not paying for sky is us doing exactly that.

    I hope we don't have to wait until the TV numbers are so small that the 'net becomes some kind of default option.

    i sort of think we might have to. until sky sports f1 flat out fails, bernie is going to take their money and run. maybe, just maybe he won't be in charge of f1 for much longer and that could offer a slim opportunity.

    They seek revenue. We seek efficiency. Let's slay this dragon and get everybody hooked up!

    love that enthusiasm :)

  • If there are any decent sites or suggestions that I can try for next year's season, please let me know, will be more than appreciated. Thanks

    usually the place to find them is in the live discussion on this very site, just before an event. the viewing experience though, isn't always that great :(

  • if that were true. where is the all bonus f1 content to purchase? the bits that aren't tied to tv rights. there might be a dvd season review if fans are lucky, but f1 right holders have access to masses of archive footage that could be made available for a price.

    There's always been a season review since the 80s. Bonus footage has been available since the first DVD release in '03.

    usually the place to find them is in the live discussion on this very site, just before an event. the viewing experience though, isn't always that great :(

    Indeed. That said, I've found some (generally) reliable streaming sites. The only caveat is, they will likely lag on you during high-popularity races (just like that last race).

  • There's always been a season review since the 80s. Bonus footage has been available since the first DVD release in '03.

    yeah, that's not what i want though, that's all we get (and remember dvd's are dead to me, we don't even have a player anymore).

    what i want is to buy previous races on itunes, or race highlights, or pole laps, just like the premiership. why do we have to wait for someone to make a movie on senna to see some senna footage, why can't we just buy some? that has nothing to do with tv rights, that's simple a lack of market awareness.

  • here's a related post by dan, on that very subject - sidepodcast.com/p…y-dont-like-money

  • There's always been a season review since the 80s. Bonus footage has been available since the first DVD release in '03.

    Personally, I'd like to be able to buy blu-ray of entire races. Ends up being very expensive (especially at a price F1 would charge) but it's not that hard to make possible.

  • what i want is to buy previous races on itunes, or race highlights, or pole laps, just like the premiership. why do we have to wait for someone to make a movie on senna to see some senna footage, why can't we just buy some? that has nothing to do with tv rights, that's simple a lack of market awareness.

    I'd be very surprised if no one's suggested this to Bernie. Would be intriguing to hear his reason why he's not doing it.

  • I'd be very surprised if no one's suggested this to Bernie. Would be intriguing to hear his reason why he's not doing it.

    Bernie has said in the past that limiting access to the archive makes it more valuable. It's completely idiotic thinking but that is how he sees it. Anyone in his position should realise that the fans paid for the archive to be created in the first place so should have easy access to it. Unfortunately Bernie sees it as his personal plaything

  • [Mr. C, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Wife came home, we're prepping dinner - then my sister rang the doorbell. Which was odd because: she lives outside Toronto, I live outside of Chicago, and I haven't spoken to her in 3 years. It really ruins an evening getting ambushed like that.]

    if that were true. where is the all bonus f1 content to purchase? the bits that aren't tied to tv rights.

    Mercedes put their name on in-car footage for Austin on the SpeedTV website. Somebody wanted to give the fans more. I loved it! It was awesome watching all the passes on raceday.

    there might be a dvd season review if fans are lucky, but f1 right holders have access to masses of archive footage that could be made available for a price.

    You are 100% correct (on the quote above). They have stuff they could sell if they wanted to.

    the people in power have shown zero capability towards understanding the future of content distribution.

    When I called it "secondary" I exaggerated. Clearly, it isn't of primary import. What I mean to say is that they are satisfied with the status quo. I would bet dollars to donuts that multiple feasibility studies, reports, impact studies, etc., have been done: TV, satellite, radio, 'net, disc, free vs. pay, sell the feed vs. sell a canned program, spin off an internet division, demographics/youth movement, you name it. (Can you hear the geezers "Harumph!"-ing around the boardroom table in true "Blazing Saddles" style?)

    Please understand that the barrier is not intelligence, lack of imagination or knowledge at FOM (are you stifling a laugh?). On the contrary, intelligent people have chosen their plusses and minuses and concluded to operate the way they have. The inertia on this is huge.

    It's pretty much the same thing everywhere, too. It is an uphill battle to tell people investing millions in order to make millions that "We have an idea to make a little bit now, but we're pretty sure that we'll make a lot more later." They will be skeptical: "Where are your customers? How much later is later? Do you have any data?" It will end with them telling you "You know, we make a lot of money the way we're doing it now. Since our customers haven't told us to change anything, we'll stick with what we've got. But our door is always open..."

    Corporations don't manage displacive technologies with any kind of success rate. They do it very badly, actually, because they like to predict, they like to dictate. How many entrepreneurs do that (predict and dictate to the market)? They don't. They innovate, they suggest, and they respond to forces that will bring them business. They also adapt quickly out of the need to survive. FOM is not in the entrepreneur game.

    love that enthusiasm :)

    Thanks. It's part of a sort of Manifesto. I'm tired of waiting for the common sense that we are talking about. All I want out of my TV is racing. To pay ~$1000 for that (more for the "bundlers"), when racing barely registers in that ocean of TV is nuts. All I want is to pay for the one thing. Like going to the movies (which is where big races were screened decades ago). I'm not asking anyone to lose money on it. Just give me the one thing at the fair price. It's time to plot a course of action.

  • Corporations don't manage displacive technologies with any kind of success rate. They do it very badly, actually, because they like to predict, they like to dictate. How many entrepreneurs do that (predict and dictate to the market)? They don't. They innovate, they suggest, and they respond to forces that will bring them business. They also adapt quickly out of the need to survive. FOM is not in the entrepreneur game.

    okay but nlf/mlb/nba and more are already doing this and they are each arguably a bigger corporation than fom.

    in this game f1 is a tiny, tiny minnow. albeit a tiny minnow still faxing people and using dot-matrix printers :)

  • in this game f1 is a tiny, tiny minnow. albeit a tiny minnow still faxing people and using dot-matrix printers :)

    Darwin definitely needs to hear of this.

  • I must admit to getting though this season relatively well without SkyF1 coverage, if you really wanted it for nothing there are loads of places online you cab watch it for free however it's usually pretty poor quality although from reading the post this might for all I can tell be the actual quality Sky churn out anyway.

    I refused to subscribe to Sky for the F1, partly financial, mostly that like you Mr. C I have an AppleTV and it has revolutionised how I watch TV content (as and when I want/can) although I never actually watched TV in the first place beforehand anyway and still don't so coughing up £30 p/m for Sky just for F1 was out of the question.

    Oddly I have cable and my provider does carry Sky F1 but only in SD as BskyB refused to allow them the HD feeds, this is no cheaper at £45 but at-least I'm getting unlimited 60MB broadband too - the real kicker is the need to pay £15+ p/m for a phone line on top of that for the set box to use. Honestly, how does a phone line cost so much to maintain?!

    Fortunately I did have alternatives, my missus is Polish and she has a Polsat HD box and they have F1 in HD on there although I only really bothered watching the first handful of races which weren't on the BBC this way - obviously it's the same FOM feed everyone gets so I'll just turn the volume down (my Polish is terrible and more significantly the Polsat coverage is just devastatingly poor) and either listen to Five Live or just follow the action on Twitter.

  • why do people keep banging on about Sky being bad value ?? of course it is if you only ever watch 1 channel out of the 100s that are available!??! ... but if you DO watch many of the others also its not so bad...

    .. also, how much would people pay for a seasons pass to watch F1 online in HD ?? £50 ?? £100 ?

    people spend there money on different things at the end of the day... I think buying the new iFruit product everytime one is announced is a waste of money... each to their own..

  • and yes, SkyGo can be massively improved upon... its mainly crap because it uses Micro$hite Silver$hite ... :-/

  • .. also, how much would people pay for a seasons pass to watch F1 online in HD ?? £50 ?? £100 ?

    I'd pay £10 per month for F1 online in HD so that'll be around £100 per year, there are a few asterixis to this such as how the content is delivered.

    For example I really like the idea of Mubi at £2.99 p/m but until they adopt a HTML5 player to allow my iPad or Galaxy Note to view the films and stream them to my ATV via AirPlay then I'm not interested in watching lengthy video content on a small screen or really on my (ageing) laptop.

  • okay but nlf/mlb/nba and more are already doing this and they are each arguably a bigger corporation than fom.

    Thanks for reminding me that all I want is for F1 to copy these guys, more or less. I share your opinion about the matter. I just want to point out that FOM's behaviour is predictable, not surprising.

    In the NFL/MLB/NBA circumstances (they are orders of magnitude bigger than FOM), wasn't it the carriers (cell and 'net) that pursued the content? I'm pretty sure that the NFL let it come to them, not the other way around. These leagues are NOT forward thinking. And TV still rules, far and away.

    You and I - what can we do to bring pressure/influence to affect the appropriate changes? I'm not pessimistic. Somewhere, with someone, a reasonable, fair proposal can be made.

  • Here in Canada, since I moved here from the UK in 1996, I've had to pay for F1 coverage. Pitiful F1 coverage at that.

    To get the sports channel that shows the race, I have to pay at least $25 a month. Though occasionally (like Austin) the race airs elsewhere. In short, I have to pay $60 a month for F1 coverage. Races have aired on four different channels here. All owned by the same company. (That'd be Bell who own CTV, CTV 2, TSN and TSN 2)

    What do I get for that?

    Ben and DC commentating from the 5 minutes to go animation. Ads during the race (they shrink the race down to a postage stamp. I've taken to zooming my TV, blocking my vision of the asinine commercials and muting the sound, purely on principle), then often no post race. In fact on a couple of races this year, they ended their coverage before all cars had crossed the finish line! Qualifying sessions are shown clean, but jam 5-6 minutes of ads between the session. Note: For this money, I get ZERO coverage outside of qualifying and the race. Speed showed FP2 (but they've lost the rights to F1 now) and while Speed streamed FP1 and 3 online, it was blocked in Canada.

    There there's TSN's legendary sound issues. Seriously, you'll find message boards discussing it. They'd have the world feed AND the BBC audio. So while Ben and DC (and in years prior Brundle etc...) sounded fine, due to ONLY being on the BBC feed, you'd have echo on the rest. Bad enough on the engines, but rendered team radio completely unlistenable.

    Now people could say "But it's a general sports channel, so unlike Sky Sports F1 you get other sports" which would be GREAT... If TSN showed a SINGLE OTHER THING I watch. I love baseball for example, but refuse to watch on TV because of commercials. In fact I've given up a LOT of televised sport purely because of it being utterly ruined with ads.

    I've long since given up watching live sports, except football, since that they don't ruin with ads. (They just jam about 13 minutes of them during half time.)

    I've put up with this pitiful coverage for over a decade now, and to be quite honest my interest in F1 has suffered greatly because of it. I was losing all interest. Yes, losing interest after the first few races of this year! So for Valencia I decided I would get a torrent of coverage instead. Avoiding spoilers is easy. Don't go on Twitter, FB, check my mail, and be very careful where I go online. It's not that hard. I got a proper pre race, post race, no ads... What a vastly different experience! First race this season I'd enjoyed!

    I continue this over the course of the season. In August I signed up for a VPN service so can watch iPlayer and for live races, that's what I've done now. Watched the archived coverage. (I've long since given up watching the races live here unless they start later than 10am local time). I skipped live coverage of one race, Monza, and don't feel I missed anything with the BBC highlights. I'd certainly rather see highlights designed to show me the action than what we get on TV here, which is if something happens during commercials, we get no replay unless the world feed shows it again.

    I would love nothing more than to give FOM $25 a month to access decent online coverage on a par with what MLB do. Of course, like all Blue Jays home games in Canada on MLB, I imagine the coverage would be blocked so TSN can still show their pathetic coverage.

    Way I see it from over here, all Sky offers is Tooned! I mean I love Crofty and Brundle, but having listened to both this year, DC and Ben have been great this year too. In Brazil in particular DC was hilarious.

    Apologies for the long post, but just wanted to give a perspective of what fans in other parts of the world have to suffer.

    In short, I would KILL to get Sky level coverage for what you guys pay!

  • why do people keep banging on about Sky being bad value ??

    i would suggest, that its because the people banging on about it, think it's bad value?

  • Thanks for reminding me that all I want is for F1 to copy these guys, more or less. I share your opinion about the matter. I just want to point out that FOM's behaviour is predictable, not surprising.

    yeah, i'm with you there. given their current approach to handling youtube videos (destroy everything, always, ask no questions), that i'm not in the least bit surprised by their apathy.

  • I would love nothing more than to give FOM $25 a month to access decent online coverage on a par with what MLB do.

    same.

    Apologies for the long post, but just wanted to give a perspective of what fans in other parts of the world have to suffer.

    understood. but if my coverage were that bad, i'd either stop watching, or move. f1 just isn't worth the effort you're putting in, is it?

  • When it comes to watching extra channels on Sky - I am quite happy with the FreeView content, and I had Sky in my old house for two years! So I don't like the idea of paying for 10 races when I'm very happy with the BBC's coverage of the other 10.

    The BBC can, I feel, be proud - they were hammered by losing half their team to Sky, but the coverage has been better. Ben Edwards and DC have gelled well in the comms box, and Gary Anderson is great with his insight. I watched the Aussie GP on my sister's SkyGo, and it seemed gimicky. What was Ant Davison doing in a white box with a screen - when the BBC can show exactly the same replay with graphics without the need for the presenters to 'touch an image'.

    And I'm sorry, but wing walking into the British GP coverage - well, BBC gets my vote next year. I'm happy to watch the highlights (I forgot I was with the quality of the US GP), and save myself £300 odd quid while viewing superior delivery.

  • And I'm sorry, but wing walking into the British GP coverage - well, BBC gets my vote next year. I'm happy to watch the highlights (I forgot I was with the quality of the US GP), and save myself £300 odd quid while viewing superior delivery.

    i didn't total exactly what we saved this season, should have done that. if it was as much as £300, i'm even more chuffed :)

  • I'm basically the same with everyone else wanting a new way to access coverage outside of the current traditional methods. I guess NBC will be showing F1 over here in the states next year, however if things go to plan I'll be living in Japan by spring of next year and will be in the same boat as I am now. I'd gladly play to access F1 races online.

    It would be nice if all sports adopted an a la carte system of purchasing their product.

  • ...if it was as much as £300, i'm even more chuffed :)

    That is a good fraction of a new iDevice :)

  • why do people keep banging on about Sky being bad value ?? of course it is if you only ever watch 1 channel out of the 100s that are available!??! ...

    It is bad value when compared to Sky customers, who can opt for the F1 Channel on it's own. Cable customers are forced to pay for 4 Sky Sports channels plus Sky Sports F1 in Standard Def only. I'd call that anti-competitive

  • people spend there money on different things at the end of the day... I think buying the new iFruit product everytime one is announced is a waste of money... each to their own..

    i'm not criticising your (or anyone else's) life choices? spend your money in whatever way makes you happy. the point of this post is that we tried something different this year, for reasons that were important to us, and it worked. it worked out very, very well indeed.

    one year ago (ish) when we announced our plans we received some criticism, but did it anyway. i for one am very pleased we did.

    i already said all this in the post, but it's worth repeating in case you overlooked it:

    Each and every fan follows this sport for different reasons. Each person has their own preferences and likely watches racing in a different way.

  • Not too bothered about getting all the races live, I don't even mind hearing the results before I watch, it's interesting to see how it happens after you know the result.

    But for you folk who must have the live stream you need to find another source. I watched the US race from start to finish on Viacom in Sweden. I know that there are German stations showing it start to finish. Just repoint your dish and use a suitable receiver. £50 to £100 if you do it yourself.

  • That is a good fraction of a new iDevice :)

    yet sky go is restricted to just two devices, because, you know, they're completely paranoid.

  • Mr C: Been a fan for 26 years. Be a cold day in hell before I stop watching. I remember what passed for coverage in the UK until the 90's. 25 minutes of highlights about 11pm on BBC2, so even what I have at the worst points here is better than I had 20 years or so ago. Unlike now where I can keep up all the time online, the best I got in those days was Autosport's premium F1 phoneline and that was it. (We didn't have a Ceefax capable television) So the situation now is considerably better than it was back then. Just considerably crappier than it SHOULD be with our current technology.

    Regarding Sky and what you pay where, here we have bundling, meaning to get the channels that show F1, I have to pay for about 30 other channels I don't want. When asked if you can buy it separately you're told in no uncertain terms it'd be more expensive than the bundle, but if you push them for a price you won't get one, because there isn't one. It's an outright lie. We're forced to get channels in bundles (barring a few digital ones you can get for $2) and get gouged. I wish TSN would lose the rights. In fact I wish they'd just give up airing it on TV here at all. They treat it like absolute crap anyway.

  • Mr C: Is that two devices, full stop? Or two devices at the same time?

  • Mr C: Is that two devices, full stop? Or two devices at the same time?

    so far as i can tell, two devices full stop (and that includes laptops too). i haven't paid for a sky go monthly ticket, but i created a free account to see, and it shows just two slots for registering sky go devices.

    perhaps someone who uses it can confirm?

  • the best I got in those days was Autosport's premium F1 phoneline and that was it.

    a what?!?

  • so far as i can tell, two devices full stop (and that includes laptops too). i haven't paid for a sky go monthly ticket, but i created a free account to see, and it shows just two slots for registering sky go devices.

    Yeah - my experience with borrow the in-laws' SkyGo is that it's 2 devices (inc LTs) full stop (you can use them at the same time to watch whatever you want). I think it's possible to 'manage your devices' so that you can change them over time, but I don't know how crafty you're allowed to be with that.

  • I think it's possible to 'manage your devices' so that you can change them over time, but I don't know how crafty you're allowed to be with that.

    crazy. a truly awful media company. they don't deserve to succeed.

  • perhaps someone who uses it can confirm?

    As someone who works for the company that actually makes it (I'm not involved with the project directly, but work closely with the people who are) I can confirm it's 2 devices total, and you're allowed to change 1 device per month.

  • crazy. a truly awful media company. they don't deserve to succeed.

    A lot of it is to do with the rights holders too, especially the big movie studios. (I'm not defending Sky, as a Virgin customer it's ridiculous that they expect me to shell out over £25/month for Sky Sports F1 in SD!)

  • As someone who works for the company that actually makes it (I'm not involved with the project directly, but work closely with the people who are) I can confirm it's 2 devices total, and you're allowed to change 1 device per month.

    surely the people working on this must know that these limitations are completely loopy?

    this month alone we've bought three new devices capable of playing sky go content and there's only two of us. the only audience who maybe wouldn't require more than two devices activated are those signed up with a dish and a box. even then anyone with kids will be flat out of luck.

    the sky go monthly ticket is almost entirely useless.

    A lot of it is to do with the rights holders too, especially the big movie studios. (I'm not defending Sky, as a Virgin customer it's ridiculous that they expect me to shell out over £25/month for Sky Sports F1 in SD!)

    we can rent a movie from itunes and stream it to any connected idevice, laptop or appletv. i've yet to find a limit. if movie studios are concerned, they've given apple a free pass. same with netflix.

  • surely the people working on this must know that these limitations are completely loopy?

    Yep, completely loopy!

    we can rent a movie from itunes and stream it to any connected idevice, laptop or appletv. i've yet to find a limit. if movie studios are concerned, they've given apple a free pass. same with netflix.

    Yes, but Sky (and other traditional suppliers) will only change when those services (yes I know iTunes makes a bucketload of cash) start severely impacting the bottom line. The web offerings of both Sky and Virgin are both just there to tick a box on the advertising, the money is still primarily from the boxes under the TV, and by offering the bare minimum online they protect that for as long as they possibly can.

  • The web offerings of both Sky and Virgin are both just there to tick a box on the advertising, the money is still primarily from the boxes under the TV, and by offering the bare minimum online they protect that for as long as they possibly can.

    true story :(

  • To get the sports channel that shows the race, I have to pay at least $25 a month. Though occasionally (like Austin) the race airs elsewhere. In short, I have to pay $60 a month for F1 coverage. Races have aired on four different channels here. All owned by the same company. (That'd be Bell who own CTV, CTV 2, TSN and TSN 2)

    Just by way of comparison xe.com shows $60 Canadian = £38 GBP so it is comparable to a Sky Sports pack.

  • The BBC can, I feel, be proud - they were hammered by losing half their team to Sky, but the coverage has been better.

    Good point, I completely agree.

  • Mr C: Back in the late 80's and early 90's Autosport ran a news phoneline. It was an 0898 number.

    Pat: That may be, but the package to get TSN and TSN 2, they largely duplicate content. I don't get a huge lot of sports for that. Nor do I get any decent coverage. I'm paying for a bundle which nets me coverage that gives no pre-race, a race with ads, and no post race. That's it.

    I'd have no problem paying what I pay to get just Sky's F1 coverage.

  • As someone who works for the company that actually makes it (I'm not involved with the project directly, but work closely with the people who are) I can confirm it's 2 devices total, and you're allowed to change 1 device per month.

    I found you had to go back to an active device to de-register it before it would accept the login on a 3rd. Or rather it would accept the login, think about life for a while, then give you an error.

  • Pat: That may be, but the package to get TSN and TSN 2, they largely duplicate content. I don't get a huge lot of sports for that. Nor do I get any decent coverage. I'm paying for a bundle which nets me coverage that gives no pre-race, a race with ads, and no post race. That's it.

    It does sound terrible.

  • It does sound terrible.

    In fact it sounds like you must be quite desperate to pay it!

  • Awesome thread!

  • The BBC having the much better, warmer, more relevant and less flabby presenting team (even now Jake has left) and the official BBC figures (however accurate they are) show that for the Live races, their audience figures have barely had a dent. Brazil had a peak of 6.5 million according to James Allen, up a million from last year (granted the championship was done this time last year), whilst Sky have released no official figures anywhere that I can find about how many people actually watch their shows, something they *can* track because of the digital nature of the service. My guess is if the numbers were anything to boast about, they would be.

    Sky's figures are available via BARB. On average their exclusive live races have been hitting 700,000 - 800,000 viewers, while their shared races drop to around 400,000-500,000 viewers. BBC numbers have taken a hit throughout the year with the finale being the exception.

    In general, it's looked like approximately a 16% in viewing figures for F1 this year.

  • Sky's figures are available via BARB. On average their exclusive live races have been hitting 700,000 - 800,000 viewers, while their shared races drop to around 400,000-500,000 viewers

    i don't get why there's a drop for shared races? if you're already paying for sky coverage, why wouldn't you want to derive value from it at every opportunity, shouldn't it be the same either way?

  • i don't get why there's a drop for shared races? if you're already paying for sky coverage, why wouldn't you want to derive value from it at every opportunity, shouldn't it be the same either way?

    Some people said they would stop watching all together when the Sky deal was announced. Maybe some of them actually went through with it?

  • i don't get why there's a drop for shared races? if you're already paying for sky coverage, why wouldn't you want to derive value from it at every opportunity, shouldn't it be the same either way?

    Maybe the BBC coverage is valued more. Personally I'm not a fan of Sky's presentation. Too many presenters and talking heads, a few of whom shouldn't really be on TV.

    Aside from that, I'm still not down with the idea that one of Sky Sports F1's leading presenters was nailed for drink driving and yet no one seems to bat an eyelid - but that's a personal quibble.

  • Was I hearing things or did Jake say that the whole season would be live on the BBC next year? I haven't heard any more about this or any reaction to it but that seems like a big deal.

  • Inching in the right direction? (Excerpted from here: auto-racing.speed…aytona-coverage/)

    "SPEED.com, which streams multiple on-board cameras throughout the entire 24 hours, takes over live-event coverage during the overnight hours. In addition, SPEED.com auto racing editor Marshall Pruett and sports car reporter John Dagys will provide trackside reports, photo galleries, Web video features and blog updates throughout the race.

    SPEED and SPEED.com broadcast schedule for the Rolex 24 at Daytona (All times Eastern and subject to change):

    o Jan. 26 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. live on SPEED

    o Jan. 26/27 from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. on SPEED.com

    o Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on SPEED"

  • o Jan. 26/27 from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. on SPEED.com

    wonder if that's available outside the US?

  • wonder if that's available outside the US?

    I doubt it, but I'll happily be wrong. My experience has been with the BBC 5 Live F1 "radio" streams (airquotes because it all blends...), live or replay. They are blocked on account of the BBC not having the US rights.

    SpeedTV/Speed.com(/FOXSports) is in a state of flux, now. There was a time when the overnight portion of the race would have been on TV (back further still, overnight wasn't broadcast at all). Going to Speed.com is an interesting shift of direction. The implication is that there is more money to be made from airing informercials on the TV channel (typical late, late programming) than from airing the race. But why put it online? Will it make enough money? Any money? I'm puzzled. We'll have to see what they have in store for us.

    Speed already has Speed2.com, for cable/satellite subscribers only, to augment their broadcast programming (Speed2.com has additional, internet-only programs - stuff too obscure for the TV channel).

    SpeedTV used to air the Race of Champions (tape delay, never live, I'm pretty sure). This year, the DRIVE channel on youtube was the way for us to get it, and live, too! I was quite surprised.

    Are things similar for you? Are race events migrating away from TV and getting scattered onto the 'net? I'm curious, can you get the DRIVE RoC show (via youtube)?

  • o Jan. 26/27 from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. on SPEED.com

    In the past I think we have been able to see some of this race on Speed.com.

    SpeedTV used to air the Race of Champions (tape delay, never live, I'm pretty sure). This year, the DRIVE channel on youtube was the way for us to get it, and live, too! I was quite surprised.

    Hate to break it to you but it was not live, far from it. It was a tape delay... on the internet. It was on Drive at 7pm ET, the RoC actually started at 8am (1pm UK, 7pm Bangkok). There was no live stream anywhere in the world this year.

    Are things similar for you? Are race events migrating away from TV and getting scattered onto the 'net? I'm curious, can you get the DRIVE RoC show (via youtube)?

    Not really. FIA WEC has an online feed but it is better on the Audi site. ALMS is online with a great unrestricted feed (unless you're in the US). I've started watching Grand-Am races on their website but I don't think they're live, just archived. European series aren't really doing it either, the only ones that are are some of the SRO GT series (GT1 World, GT3, Blancpain Endurance Series).

    I can't think of anything that has exclusively gone to the 'net. For Le Mans, Eurosport has a similar arrangement Speed does for Daytona. Much of it on TV, all of it on Eurosport Player.

    I haven't tried getting the Drive RoC show but it was supposed to be geoblocked when it aired, no idea about after the fact, but I can usually see their other shows.

  • AutoGP is online too, no idea if they're live.

  • I can't think of anything that has exclusively gone to the 'net. For Le Mans, Eurosport has a similar arrangement Speed does for Daytona. Much of it on TV, all of it on Eurosport Player.

    there was one obscure thing they tried to get us to stream here. gt1 maybe? couldn't be sure it was exclusively online, but there was a push to get it onto as many motorsport sites as possible a few years back.

  • (Thanks for keeping up a conversation, Mr. C and Pat W.

    Sorry about the late replies from me. Snowstorm threw me off track for a little bit. Tracking normal, again.)

    Hate to break it to you but it was not live, far from it.

    Thanks, Pat W. Sorry about my error. It got into my mind as "Live!" probably because of my excitement over discovering a new channel. I think I'm late to the table with my "discoveries"... I didn't try to watch the race, either. I just thought it significant that what was formerly a TV program had become someone's 'net program.

    I wanted to add this to the discussion on Thursday, when I first read it (before the snowstorm intervened): www.motorracingne…-Media-World.aspx

    The article is a review of the landscape for NASCAR (and all other racing, by corollary) on US TV for 2013, and on. Please give it a read and let me know what, if anything, jumps out at you. There are a couple of interesting statements (to me, at least). I wouldn't mind hearing another's perspective.

  • there was one obscure thing they tried to get us to stream here. gt1 maybe? couldn't be sure it was exclusively online, but there was a push to get it onto as many motorsport sites as possible a few years back.

    Might've been them, when it relaunched and got Crofty and John Watson and others doing commentary. It worked to some extent too as it reached new fans, but it couldn't seem to hold them. The series folded this year. (Partly this is due to the same organisers having a European series of 3hr races called 'Blancpain Endurance', which the teams & drivers prefer - and that's live online too).

  • Sorry about the late replies from me. Snowstorm threw me off track for a little bit. Tracking normal, again.)

    Hope the snow is clearing!

    I wanted to add this to the discussion on Thursday, when I first read it (before the snowstorm intervened): www.motorracingne…-Media-World.aspx

    The article is a review of the landscape for NASCAR (and all other racing, by corollary) on US TV for 2013, and on. Please give it a read and let me know what, if anything, jumps out at you. There are a couple of interesting statements (to me, at least). I wouldn't mind hearing another's perspective.

    I didn't see anything revolutionary there that regulars to live commenting threads at Sidepodcast wouldn't know already: people like talking to other people on a second screen when they watch something live, usually sport but you also see it with the singing/dancing talent shows on Saturday night TV or the latest reality thing.

    It's just taken the media (TV & print/web) a while to catch on. :) People have been doing this for years, whether it be sites like this, Twitter, I was even doing it on old newsgroups thirteen years ago. I bet people did it with IRC as well. :)

    Interesting that Nielsen are working on ratings for it. That could lead to more of the sponsor-centric hashtags.

    The odd thing was the NASCAR rights bidding $$s increasing (vastly so) at a time of declining ratings. I suppose that has some correlation with Sky paying for F1 here yet having tiny ratings.

    I'm interested in the reshaping of the sports channels in the US, viewed through the lens of a racing fan, as that'll shape how F1 and IndyCar and others will be seen there over the next few years and that's important on a wider scale given the size of the US market.

  • Hope the snow is clearing!

    Thanks! The weather is just cold and icy, now.

    Thanks for reading and commenting on the story. You picked up on what I found interesting, too. These points opened my eyes:

    - NASCAR...rising to number two on the 2012 list of trending topics, trailing only the NFL.

    - creation of the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating”

    - Despite a drop in ratings an increase in $$ paid for TV rights to NASCAR

    - (let's call it) the ESPN Effect: "As part of the mighty ESPN machine, NASCAR enjoys a hefty amount of promotion...across a variety of television, radio and online platforms...NASCAR’s decision may well come down to whether a bigger rights fee check from NBC is worth a decrease in exposure the sport currently enjoys with ESPN."

    I'm interested in the reshaping of the sports channels in the US, viewed through the lens of a racing fan, as that'll shape how F1 and IndyCar and others will be seen there over the next few years and that's important on a wider scale given the size of the US market.

    Ditto. F1 is my first love, still the racing dearest to me. Sports in the US is ruled by football. Auto racing is ruled by NASCAR. Poll numbers I read (declaring a "favourite sport"): football (1st, 36%), baseball (2nd, 13%), and auto racing (3rd, 8%). And it's worth $300 million/year to FOX, despite declining numbers.

    F1 is just a speck, in this context. The only meaningful single-seater event on US TV is the Indy 500 (not what it was, but still important/a big event). F1 is invisible, though it shouldn't be. How to gain leverage/traction? Low ratings on Sky can't be a good thing, can they?

  • Here's a new twist:

    www.gizmag.com/in…et-top-box/25592/

    Are we inching closer to a new TV content distribution model (or whatever it's called)?

  • Are we inching closer to a new TV content distribution model (or whatever it's called)?

    potentially, but a "city-by-city" rollout isn't the future. global access, a-la youtube is far more exciting to me. can't wait for CES though :)

  • potentially, but a "city-by-city" rollout isn't the future

    You are correct, it isn't the likely long-term scenario. But in the short-term? City-by-city is less risky, more flexible, and much sneakier as far as business tactics go. I give them credit (if this is what they do announce) for not claiming that they are the solution. They are almost approaching this as entrepreneurs. (When they were entrepreneurs, 40+ years ago, they were pretty clever. The stuff for case studies.)

  • City-by-city is less risky, more flexible, and much sneakier as far as business tactics go.

    looks like the reality won't live up to the hype: www.philiphodgett…able-tv-industry/

    i do like the sound of a future where the exact same content still gets produced by the same creative people only minus the antiquated business models of middle-man cable co's.

  • looks like the reality won't live up to the hype

    That's what we should expect. Still, if Intel's ambitions are initially modest enough, and they have the endurance, they might achieve what they set out to do. The key point I take from the article is this: "...when the deals with cable companies are so lucrative. For now." The "For now" part is in serious flux. I'm excited to see where it goes.

    i do like the sound of a future where the exact same content still gets produced by the same creative people only minus the antiquated business models of middle-man cable co's.

    I like that picture of the future, too: very, very little in between the artists and myself. Direct transactions between artists and customers. But I think that all we're going to end up with is just a change of middleman. I hope my pessimism is proven wrong. Thanks for keeping the conversation going.

Comments closed to new entries.