Sky confirm Sky Sports F1 pack changes from April 1st

The F1 Broadcasting Blog can confirm that from April 1st, new customers will need to take the Sports pack in order to view the Sky Sports F1 channel.

In a statement to this blog, Sky said “I can confirm that new HD customers will need to take Sky Sports in order to receive the F1 channel from April 1st, existing HD subscribers will continue to receive it however.”

This change has been rumoured for a while, ever since this post was put on the Sky Views website in mid February. The statement confirms that the change will affect new customers from April 1st, but that existing subscribers remain unaffected. Please note also that this affects Sky only, as far as I know, things will be remaining the same for Virgin Media subscribers.

The move also explains the advertising blitz from Sky concerning Sky Sports F1 and the HD Pack – even going as far as a ‘virtual grandstand’ via @SkyF1Fan on Twitter – in order to try and convert as many people over as possible before April 1st. For those not wishing to take up Sky’s offer, a list of ways of viewing Sky Sports F1, and via the cheapest methods for 2013 is here.

It is not a surprising development, it has to be said, but a disappointing one. Given that existing customers are already locked into the channel though, the change will not directly affect the viewing figures for the channel, and nor will it ‘mysteriously disappear’ from customers’ packages.

12 thoughts on “Sky confirm Sky Sports F1 pack changes from April 1st

  1. Inevitable as the channel is haemorrhaging money, which is why there’s so little original content on a 7 days a week channel.

  2. So Sky have decided to treat F1 as a bonus for football fans rather than a sport in its own right. Got it.

    They had a chance to get an extra tenner a month for a Motorsports package, inc Motors TV, Eurosport and F1 IMO.

    Someone needs to teach them about Venn diagrams. Nobody is going to pay for the full sports package just to watch F1 (except 1%ers). Not even in 3D. Sorry.

    If I had a financial stake in the sustainability of F1 I’d be very very upset.

    1. I mean, how difficult would it have been to pick up WRC, MotoGP and IndyCar/NASCAR rights, rebrand F1HD and pick up 90% of the under-served petrol head market?

      Not that I’m annoyed or anything 😀

      1. DTM, BTCC, WTCC, WEC, RofC, Formula E, GP2, GP3, WSbyR, it’s an acronym soup of easily-packaged content that’s out there.

        I’ll stop now…

  3. my work told me about. he has sky hd but wont get sky sports as objects to funding football. he thinks you will def have to have sky sports next year to watch f1

  4. Major setback for Sky’s motorsport fans. Are people really going to pay huge subscriptions to watch an extra 10 races live? I don’t watch other sport – so why would I subscribe to the whole sports pack? Madness.

    I give Sky until the end of 2014 before they drop out of F1.

  5. i have noticed that williams and maruissa dont have lot of sponsor on there f1 drivers kits yet. Is this cause the season has not started or because of the pay per view costing smaller teams sponsors?

    1. For sure this will be a side effect of a smaller audience. Which is why smaller teams are against the move to pay-TV (they get a small share of the TV money) but the big boys are all for it (they keep their sponsors as their cars are heavily featured in the media spotlight and they also get a bigger share of TV money).

      1. It’s not just TV viewers that have lost interest since the partial hiding away of F1 behind a pay wall, (22% in the UK), but also specialist magazines have seen a drop in readership.

        Autosport has lost 9% of readers since the Sky deal, and now relies on Sky advertising just to stay in business, (maybe one of the reasons for the loss), F1 racing has lost out too, it’s sales are massively down on recent years, and now also has wall to wall Sky adverts and supplements, the inevitable Sky ‘puff pieces’ of pseudo journalism do nothing but turn people off the magazine.

  6. With nowtv, sky’s online streaming service, already offering day passes for Sky Sports for 10 pounds per day and their recent launch of a 9.99, no commitment iplayer capable streaming box the “now tv box”, there are options for watching the Sky coverage without going for the dish. Their current cost model of only providing access to the sports channels in 24 hour slices wouldn’t really work with racing fans that want to watch qualifying / free practice, but if they got their act together they could provide low barrier to entry F1 packages.

    I know months back Bernie was telling them to give the boxes away for free. It may not work well with their plan to upsell all the other Sky packages but at least it could provide some revenue and viewers for the F1 coverage. I would probably pay say, 10 pounds, for every race weekend not covered by BBC or would be interested in a season pass that just provided F1 if the price was reasonable.

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