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back to article Formula 1 revs engines through Virgin Media

Virgin Media has announced that Sky Sports' new Formula 1 channel will be available this March for those subscribed to the Sky Sports package already offered. Sky Sports F1 is set to be a dedicated racing channel, showing live coverage of every Formula 1 race, practice and qualifying session. BSkyB upset millions of racing fans …

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Unhappy

Not for me

I won't be giving a penny to Sky for F1 coverage this year, and many die-hard fans won't be either.

Steve Ryder is already saying that Sky will cut out the Beeb in a few years to come, and for me it's either stop following one of the only sports I enjoy, or hit the streaming sites.

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Absolutely

Nobody with a shred of decency should be giving any money to Murdock. I've been watching F1 since I was eleven, and I'm not sure I can even be arsed to watch the races Sky allowed the beeb to have.

It looks like the Six Nations is the only thing I'll be sitting down to watch from now on.

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Likewise ...

... I will not be paying Sky any money for this ... I will just resign myself to watching half of the races.

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"die-hard fans of the sport will no doubt stump up the cash regardless"

I've been watching F1 since 1979 and you are completely and utterly wrong with regards to this statement. I will not be forking money over for a Sky package.

I will be sorting out the satellite disk that is on my house (mounted by previous owners) and using the German F1 coverage to watch the race. Seeing as I speak German at home, I have no need to find any English coverage although I'm not happy about having to watch RTL's adverts :-(

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Go

I'd like to thank Rupert Murdoch....

...for possibly giving me the right incentive to become fluent in German.

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MJI
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Still not sure what to do

85cm dish is a must.

I will need a sat meter.

Also will need new quad LNBs anyway

But do I get RTL and use my Humax HDR?

Or do I get TNTSat and a TNTSat box?

Or do I get a Dreambox, almost tempted to do a single LNB on Astra1 and get a Dreambox and TNTSat card and use TF1.

My daughter knows some German and some French I know some French.

Decisions decisions

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Angel

You don't even need TNTSat - just get a multi-feed dish and a HD box - TF1 Suisse is FTA on 9'E (not HD but needs DVB-S2) :)

RTL + TF1 = FTA F1 and you can channel hop round the ads!

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MJI
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Yes but after TF1 HD

Got an HD TV and I am used to the BBC broadcasts.

But RTL will be a good start

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Silver badge

Though I big F1 fan, I had already told the missus-to-be that I would not be paying extra for F1: I already hate paying for Sky, even on the basic (HD) package, and will not pay extra. She blames me for getting her into F1.

Luckily, I have been reliably informed that the F1 channel will be free if you have either Sports or HD packages, so I should get it for no extra.

If not, I can get my motorsport fix elsewhere: MotoGP anyone?

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I've heard the same, that you only need the HD package to receive the new F1 channel, we shall see if that's still the case when it launches in March. You also only need one of the Sky Sports 1/2 packages if you don't have HD.

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Go

Thats right

If you have standard SkySports or Sky HD you get F1 channel free.

See here https://twitter.com/#!/search/skysportsf1 they have answered lots of viewer qs.

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Happy

Dr, Mouse

"I can get my motorsport fix elsewhere: MotoGP anyone?" Better yet (depending on where you live), check out your nearest racing circuit and go and support it. There is more good racing at an ordinary club meeting than you will see in multiple F1 races - seriously, do yourself a favour and spend some time watching some live motorsport :-)

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FAIL

Bah

There's no way in hell I'm paying for Sky. The only TV I watch these days is iPlayer (and occasional 4oD) stuff. Rarely anything live except for F1 races.

If I could pay for just the Sky Sports F1 channel and nothing else, I'd reluctantly stump up the cash, but that's it. I have no interest whatsoever in the bazillion other channels they bundle in, and I refuse to pay for such dross.

It'll be a streaming site for me, or friends/pubs with Sky.

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Silver badge

"It'll be a streaming site for me, or friends/pubs with Sky."

I reckon you'll be lucky to find a pub showing the F1.

F1 races are on Sundays, normally in the afternoon. Guess which more popular sport is also shown on Sunday afternoons on Sky?

There was one pub I went to which showed F1, a biker bar which has sadly shut down, but that was because it was FTA (they didn't have Sky).

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This is just a game to you?

That's not a real photo is it?

On topic, I'm not going to sign up to a sports package just to get F1. I want to watch the F1 not the football.

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Any word on whether this is in HD on Virgin?

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Bronze badge
Pirate

F1 was always going to end up down the pay TV route in the medium/long-term. It's far too expensive for the BBC to continue to cover. Which is a shame as the BBC coverage has been decent. If the most-watched commercial TV station in the UK (ITV) couldn't cover the rights+broadcast costs through advertising, then the Beeb had no chance of keeping it beyond the end of their current deal.

It will be interesting to see how this works out though. F1 is such a commercially-dependent sport and I wonder how the reduced viewing figures will impact the teams' ability to attract sponsorship. I don't know how significant the UK viewing numbers or price of UK TV rights are compared to other countries. It might be that noone's bothered about a few million fewer Brits watching. Will F1 have to return to free to air TV one day as it needs the numbers watching so it can feed itself? Or will the whole circus just have to get alot cheaper to participate in and run?

I generally watch more MotoGP (Eurosport via Eurosport Player, not BBC) anyway and only watch F1 when I've run out of MotoGP to watch on my commutes.

If Sky's current sports coverage (not just football) is anything to go by then I expect shiny suits, a smattering of casual racism and a pitlane bimbo to be the order of the day. Perhaps with gridwalk analysis of the outfits of the brolly dollies.

Pirate icon because that's what will be happening across the country! Instead of having to pay for the entirety of Sky Sports just for F1.

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Silver badge

"It will be interesting to see how this works out though. F1 is such a commercially-dependent sport and I wonder how the reduced viewing figures will impact the teams' ability to attract sponsorship."

I wouldn't be surprised to see it end up the same way Premiership football has: so dependant on TV fees that it becomes their bitch.

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Pirate

What's curious about the "pay TV" bit is that around 40 other countries paid for the BBC coverage as part of their deal with F1. ITV couldn't make it work, and while Martin Brundle came back to the BBC, they added David and Eddie, plus the pit walks, the F1 forum, and the insider interviews with many of the team principles.

Somehow I can foresee those countries doing their own commentary in the future, given Sky is unlikely to get the support and access the BBC has achieved recently.

Sky need to remember that money doesn't buy everything.

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Silver badge

Blame Ecclestone

Without that noxious, profiteering little shit, the series would have to pay the TV companies to show it. That's the way it used to be, and it should never have changed - it didn't improve F1 or the coverage.

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Bronze badge
Mushroom

It's even simpler for me regarding F1 and Murdoch

Since the F1 teams decided that they preferred to have the extra money from Sky rather than bothering about their UK viewers, after 41 years of F1 interest I'm giving the sport the order of the boot and won't be watching any of it, listening to it or reading about it.

That is how poisonous the Murdoch brand is to me and how angry I am with the treacherous BBC who have reneged on the agreement they made with F1 and conspired with Sky to ensure no other free to air broadcaster could inherit the F1 coverage.

Stuff the lot of them.

And no, this is not about phone hacking, as a long time Private Eye reader Murdoch has always been viewed in the same way as the stuff you have to scrape off the bottom of your shoe that dogs have deposited.

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Unhappy

Brian, whilst I agree with your view on Murdoch, I think your criticism of the BBC is going a bit far.

The BBC haven't reneged on anything - their agreement was running out, and a new one had to be made. And if the BBC hadn't made some kind of deal with Sky, then no other free-to-air was going to come in with an offer that could compete with Sky.

That said, I don't think BBC should have made that deal with Sky - they should have left a stark choice for the sport - hidden away on Sky, or entirely free-to-air for less money. As far as most of the teams are concerned, the TV income doesn't make up for the loss in exposure from not being free-to-air.

But, like you, after 25 years, I'll be giving the boot to all of it - BBC coverage included. There is no point in watching part of the season.

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Stop

C4 were...

http://thef1times.com/news/display/04202 - Channel 4 had made a serious bid, and if the BBC hadn't got in bed with Murdoch it would have gone to them (since there's a clause guaranteeing F1 should be free to air in significant markets)

I like F1 - but I'm not sending any money towards Murdoch if I can help it.

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Stop

Alas, the original contract still had a few years to run - 2015 IIRC, certainly wasn't the 2012 season!

And the other option which the beeb didn't entertain was to share with Channel 4 which would have left it all FTA.

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MJI
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Teams are unhappy

And have asked for more money from Ecclestone

Loss of viewers is a big deal to them.

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FAIL

No deal

Just had a look and from what I can see on the VM website then to get SkySportsF1 I'll need to buy the SkySports1+2+3+4 package @ £22.50/month ... or £29.50/month if I want the HD version. So that will be a no then!

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Devil

Exactly. Nearly £30 a month for 10 races (or make that 9 when the Bahrain one gets cancelled again) - even die hard fans aren't that stupid. The only people who will be receiving the Sky F1 channel on Virgin Media will be football fans who then get it uselessly thrown in with their existing package. The reason I say uselessly is because they'll be too busy watching footie while the races are on.

Utterly pointless move by all concerned.

BBC commentary will exist for all races broadcast on Radio 5 Live, and the pictures are beamed legally into the UK from several free-to-air satellites. F1 fans are intelligent enough to realise there is no need to pay Sky to view F1 in HD this year.

PS. When will Murdoch just f' off and die?!

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Another 'die hard' fan here, who'll not be giving neither Sky or Virgin a single penny and will have to either watch the highlights or listen on Five live, sad times :'(

Gives me no more excuses for not doing the housework on Sunday's any more, boo.

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Facepalm

Sky Sports has nothing else I'm interested in

Which Sky Sports package are we talking about? http://shop.virginmedia.com/digital-tv/channels/sky-sports.html

Just Sky Sports 1 or the Sky Sports Collection?

I love F1, went to my first race in Germany last year, visited AutoSport show this weekend seeing Jake Humphries, DC, Paul Di Resta and others (whilst cheering on support for the BBC!)

As a full package Virgin customer I won't be paying to add Sky Sports. The main reason? There is NOTHING else on Sky Sports that I want to watch.

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Stop

No to getting Sky for the F1, yes to the streaming sites for the F1.

Oh, and that pic is an ingame shot, not a real pic, :)

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ACx

How it works

And Murdoch wonders why so many people resort to torrents, streaming and binaries, then bleaks like a baby when SOPA takes a hit in the US. I can only use foul language to describe this individual, so I wont.

Here is how it has worked for the last 20 or so years: Find some thing every one could use for free. Add things to it that no one asked for, then charge for it so less people have the opportunity to use it, and even less people get rich off the back of it.

Best bit, is that the well off sheep of the world just go along with it, ensuring the exclusion every one else because they are just fine mate. Just selfish and self serving.

I don't blame Sky or Murdoch when the people support him so profitable., and the BBC cowardly and spinelessly jump in to bed with him. F1 could have been on Channel 4. The BBC didn't float the idea first like they did when they wanted to save Radio 6. Oh no, behind closed doors, deal done.

The whole thing is a shameful stitch up.

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Bad Miscalculation by F1

"While World+Dog barked viciously at the new arrangement, die-hard fans of the sport will no doubt stump up the cash regardless, reluctantly piling their pounds into Murdoch's packed pockets."

Really? That's a bad miscalculation by F1. I and many others will not knowingly put a penny into Murdoch's pocket. F1 will go the same way as football and cricket in the UK: millions will stop watching it which, as already proven, will rip out young grassroots growth leaving an ageing audience with little relevance to sponsors.

It is the death-knell for F1.

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MJI
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Sports

Funny really but some children do not know that certain sports exist as they are never on FTA TV.

I wonder if they will ever discover say Cricket. If schools don't a sport could die.

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Anonymous Coward

No way I'm paying the Murdoch tax either

Been watching since the Mansell/Senna battles myself.

It annoyed me when it went over to ITV having to watch the ads, but there's no way I'm going to pay for some sky an then on top of that some sky sports subscription full of stuff I don't want to see that funds those overpaid football players for one.

I like the idea of the Satellite - in whatever language I suppose and could just have whatever English radio broadcast instead of the original language.

Wouldn't it be good if someone put up loads of advertising on how to watch without having to get suckered in to having to pay multiple subscriptions to these bunch - how about take the pi** completely and take an ad out in some of the large newspapers on how to, hmmmm :)

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JDX
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Freeview Addon?

Does anyone know if you can get this channel as a paid extra on compatible Freeview boxes? I was under the impression you can get Sky Sports on Freeview now, could anyone clarify?

I'm hoping the BBC's extended highlights (2hrs IIRC) will be adequate and am not going to get Sky, but a cheaper solution might just tempt me.

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FAIL

£20 a race

If you don't want the other Sky Sports channels, this works out at £20 a race. Bargain!

And if I take into account that I'd be happy to download the early races and miss the boring ones (Hungary & Bahrain,) there's only 5 that I'd lament missing, so the 'real' cost is £40 a race. Amazing!

http://onearmedfreddy.co.uk/blog/2012/01/16/f1-on-virgin-media/

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MJI
Silver badge

Remember the FTA & FTV broadcasters

France Germany Austria all have FTA F1 on satellite.

France has free HD F1 but you need a card.

Anyway if you have LNBs for 5W (Atlantic) 13E (Hotbird) 19.2E (Astra 1) and of course 28.2 (Astra 2) you can get FTA & FTV F1.

Most are on Astra 1, BBC HD is on Astra 2. HD is on Atlantic and Astra1 with long term cards

For FTV F1 (Free but cards) look at Fransat and TNTSat.

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Italy have free HD F1 by sat also. Cards are available for the cost of postage only to any address that has an Italian TV license, or anyone can buy and activate a receiver/CAM package at all good Italian electrical stores and major supermarkets (on-line sales available). Erecting the dish is exactly as difficult as erecting a Sky dish (and blokes in white vans with writing on the side are available to do it for you).

Free-to-view for life, perfectly legal thanks to that pub landlady, and if you don't understand Italian the Beeb will provide commentary over your radio or Freeview box.

If after getting all that information you still think paying Sky is an easier option then you deserve everything you get....

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JDX
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So are premiership football clubs.

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MotoGP

Whilst I will miss watching F1, I will get used to not watching it in the same way as I have with football and cricket. The chap who mentioned MotoGP has a point that I'd forgotten. I watched it a few times last year and was bitten by the bug, massively more entertaining in every way compared to F1: closer racing, more exciting spectacle, down to earth competitors and commentators, and a lack of the pompous, politically correct, up my own orifice BS that beleagures F1.

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Stop

Sky != Murdock

Sky was made 50/50 from BSB (British Satalite Broadcasting) and Sky, making BSkyB. At the time, BSB was made from ITV channel parent compaines, and Sky was 50/50 with News Corp. News Corp currently isn't 100% owned nor run by Murdock, and News Corp don't own 100% of Sky.

Granted, by buying sky stuff, you do buy into the Murdock empire, and in effect give him some money - but in the grand scheme of things, you are giving money to a british success story and giving money to jobs in the UK.

But, back to topic - great that they reached an agreement.

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