Doing the sums: the cost of viewing Sky Sports F1

Note: This article was originally published back in January. Since then though, the pricing in some parts have changed, and new customers now must purchase the Sports Pack to view Sky Sports F1, as revealed back in March. The original article is still getting a substantial amount of interest, hence why I am republishing it with amended and up to date details.

One of the key questions fans that want to watch every F1 race live in 2013 over the Winter will have been asking is ‘how much does Sky Sports F1 cost to view?’. The answer, is that you are likely going to have to part with at least £100.00 – maybe more. But how much exactly? That answer depends on what you want to watch.

Starting with Sky, the first option is to switch from your current provider to Sky, purchasing the Sports Pack on top of the required Entertainment Pack. The Sports Pack costs £21.00 a month, meaning that when you include the compulsory Entertainment Pack, this option will put you back £42.50 a month. Given that 12 months is the minimum subscription (see the small print here), this is £510.00 a year, which is probably not the most desirable option for those just wanting their dose of Formula 1.

If you then want to watch every Formula 1 race in HD, as well as the above you need the HD Pack for £5.25 a month. However, if you scroll down, on the right hand side you see:

To get 6 Sky Sports channels in HD you need:

– Sky+HD box with Sky TV
– HD ready TV
– Sky Entertainment Extra+
– Sky Sports
– HD Pack

In other words, if you want to watch Formula 1 in HD, the basic Entertainment Pack is not enough, you need the Entertainment Extra+ Pack instead. So to watch Formula 1 in HD, you need the Entertainment Extra+ Pack, which is £31.50 a month, the Sports Pack, £21.00 a month, and the HD Pack, £5.25 a month. This is £57.75 a month, which is £693.00 a year.

Moving away from TV, and we move towards viewing Formula 1 via Sky Go’s Monthly Ticket system. Unfortunately, Sky do not offer the Sports Pack on its own, instead like with TV you have to add the Entertainment Pack at a cost of £35.00 a month. The benefit of Sky Go’s Monthly Ticket is that it is simply that – a monthly ticket which you renew, if you wish, every month. With that in mind, the 2013 calendar is as follows:

– May 26th – Monaco (Monte Carlo) – Sky
– June 9th – Canada (Montreal) – BBC and Sky
– June 30th – Britain (Silverstone) – BBC and Sky
– July 7th – Germany (Nurburgring) – Sky
– July 28th – Hungary (Hungaroring) – Sky
– August 25th – Belgium (Spa) – BBC and Sky
– September 8th – Italy (Monza) – BBC and Sky
– September 22nd – Singapore (Marina Bay) – Sky
– October 6th – Korea (Yeongam) – Sky
– October 13th – Japan (Suzuka) – BBC and Sky
– October 27th – India (Buddh International Circuit) – BBC and Sky
– November 3rd – Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina) – Sky
– November 17th – United States (Austin) – Sky
– November 24th – Brazil (Interlagos) – BBC and Sky

If you want to watch all the remaining races live:

– ticket 1 can be used from May 14th to June 14th (Monaco)
– ticket 2 can be used from July 1st to August 1st (Germany and Hungary)
– ticket 3 can be used from September 15th to October 15th (Singapore and Korea)
– ticket 4 can be used from October 30th to November 30th (Abu Dhabi and USA)

Four tickets at £35.00 is £140.00 at most for the remainder of the season.

But can you get it even cheaper? Sky have announced that their internet TV service NOW TV will be available on a pay-as-you-go basis for £9.99 a day. What this means is that you can watch the seven remaining Sky exclusive races for £69.93. If you want to add Qualifying to that, however, this will increase to £139.86. My own personal opinion is that £9.99 a day is too steep – I guess it depends though whether you are just interested in F1 or Sport as a whole, if it is the latter than the Sky Go Monthly Ticket may appeal more, whereas F1 only fans may be more enticed into buying several NOW TV pay-as-you-go days. However, at the moment NOW TV and Sky Bet are running an offer whereby you create a Sky Bet account and get a free NOW TV Sky Sports day pass if redeemed before the end of May. This means that there is a free and legal method of watching the Monaco Grand Prix live.

NOW TV, whilst cheaper than Sky Go and Sky’s TV packages, is not the cheapest way to go. Enter Sky Sports TV for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android for £4.99 a month. Of course, you need to actually have one of these items and be prepared to watch it on a smaller screen, but at £4.99 a month, four calendar months of F1 (see ticket section above) means at a cost of £19.96, it is by far the cheapest option.

Over on Virgin Media, their Sky Sports Collection pack is available for £25.75. Add the TV M+ package on top of that and you are looking at £39.75 a month, or £477 a year. As of writing, Sky Sports F1 is not available on BT Vision or Freeview, meaning that the above are the only viable options.

To summarise:

– £693.00 a year – Sky TV – Entertainment, Sports and HD Packs
– £510.00 a year – Sky TV – Entertainment + Sports Packs
– £477.00 a year – Virgin Media TV – M+ + Sky Sports Collection
– £209.79 – NOW TV – Practice, Qualifying and Race (remaining seven exclusive weekends)
– £140.00 – Sky Go Monthly Ticket
– £139.86 – NOW TV – Qualifying and Race (remaining seven exclusive weekends)
– £69.93 – NOW TV – Race (remaining seven exclusive race days)
– £19.96 – Sky Sports TV App (four separate ‘months’)

All prices correct as of Saturday 18th May 2013. Information contained in this blog post is subject to change.

5 thoughts on “Doing the sums: the cost of viewing Sky Sports F1

  1. £693 a year, got to be partially responsible for the low viewing figures, and the 17% drop in viewers this year on Sky.

  2. These prices are truly horrific and exactly why OFCOM and The Competition Commission need to get involved.

    When a company manages to take sole control of an existing commodity and it’s pricing, that’s a monopoly.

    TV companies ransoming coverage of existing sports to an established fan/customer base is no different to one company acquiring all the telecommunications or energy companies in a single country and suddenly charging exorbitant rates.

  3. 9.99 per race.. When they… Sky.. Did F1 digital plus in 2002 they charged 12 pounds but at least for that you got the whole weekend… And a great service 🙂

  4. The other way to look at is, if you already have Sky Entertainment, it is an extra £21 a month = £189 for the whole season. For the rest of the season from Monaco = £147. Is it really worth the hassle to pay £140 for 4 separate tickets?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.