back to article Sky flaunts F1 app with split-screen functions

Sky conveyed details of its Formula 1 coverage today, including news of an F1 app with four-way multiscreen functionality. The dedicated iPad app will accompany the launch of the Sky Sports F1 HD channel, set to roll out ahead of the season's opening race on 18 March, T3 reports. Of course, that all depends on submitting the …


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  1. IHateWearingATie


    I thought that the beeb decided to renegotiate what was a six year deal 2 years in to cut costs. When they started to renegotiate they always knew that they would lose some of the broadcast rights. Much as I don't like the decision (closing down BBC3 would have been a far better decision), or sky's rampant sports rights aquisitions, it was the beeb's fault this time, not evil Bernie or sky.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Snatched?

      It's the poison dwarf's fault - he's forever squeezing the pips till they squeak!

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Snatched?


      Dont blame Sky for some muppet at the bbc's stupidity.

      There are many reasons to hate sky - no new ones need inventing.

  2. tath

    You don't need Sky Sports...

    ...just the HD pack which is a little bit more bearable at a tenner a month for F1 in high definition (yes I know before someone points it out).

  3. Simon Cresswell

    Academic for me..

    but a 4 way split screen on an iPad?

    Just too much information in one place - at least it's unlikely Sky will be able to litter it with their frightfully garish graphics during the race as that part of the feed is provided from the other Evil Empire (TM)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: You don't need Sky Sports...

      And of course the £20 a month under the £10 HD pack....

      And if you think the £10/Month sweetener will be there next season, and it's nothing more than a move to ease criticism, then you are a fool.

      Next year you will be paying £40/month for Sky + SkySports to watch F1.

      I told them where to stick their telly, I paid £100 for an installer to stick up a dualLNB pointing at RTL and will be watching the free RTL feed and listening on R5Live (if you listen on DAB, the sync between the two is pretty close).

      1. Nick Gisburne

        Or you can watch RTL online

        Just like to add to that: if you don't even want to fork out for a satellite dish you can watch RTL live online for qualifying and the race. Of course it's in German, but Radio 5 Live is broadcasting live commentary for every race, so use one tab for video, one for sound in your browser. I tested it last year and it worked fine, though obviously I switched back to TV once I knew it was all working. I'll have no other option in 2012 for half the races - RTL it is.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          spoilt for choice

          As a Swiss resident I still used to watch F1 on BBC. Luckily the multilingual nature of things here means my basic package has all sorts of channels in different languages, and F1 can be picked up on RAI (Italian), RTL (German), TF1 (French), and ORF (Austrian) channels.

          So no coverage problems here... and it will help me brush up my language skills :)

        2. JohnG

          Re: Or you can watch RTL online

          You can also receive RTL via satellite, if you can point a dish at the Astra satellites at 19.2 degrees East (instead of towards Astra2 at 28.2 degrees East, from where SKY and other UK satellite channels are broadcast). RTL is broadcast unencrypted in both digital and analogue transmissions.

    2. ravenviz

      Re: Academic for me..

      Do I get to chose which window to play Angry Birds in?

    3. Ed 11

      Re: You don't need Sky Sports...

      You do if your pay TV provider is Virgin. As a Virgin XXL customer (rough equivilant of being a Sky customer with all the packs except the Sky Sports and Sky Movies packs) I'd need to cough up a ludicrous amount of extra money per month to get all the Sky Sports channels when it would only be the F1 channel I was after. That, sadly, will not be happening. However Virgin also supply me with a fantastic 100MB internet pipe so I'm sure I'll stumble across a way to watch all the races that the BBC aren't showing live and in glorious sub par SD...

  4. Jeebus

    Why isn't there an option to opt-out of receiving this vile dross. Instead they will raise the price yet again for more things educated people hate.

    1. Bear Features

      nobody is raising the price of anything silly. :p

  5. Annihilator


    Sounds wonderful, however I suspect people will quickly discover the value of a director in live sports broadcasts...

    1. Simon Brown 1

      Re: Director

      Would that be the same F1 directors who routinely show us lap, after lap, after lap of the leader streaking away on his own while there are umpteen battles for position going on behind him that the viewers might acutally want to see?

      Multiple streams can only be an improvement TBH

      1. Shades

        Re: Re: Director

        Have you been watching F1 recently... I think most FOM TV directors actually gave up even showing Vettel after the first couple of laps.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Re: Re: Director

          Yep, Shades is right. Last year there was hardly any coverage of Vettel at all except for first few laps and pit-stops. After he streaked off into the distance most attention was paid to the other battles, all the way down to the midfield where there was lots of excellent racing going on even for 10th place. Not to mention all the Schumi-Petrov/Alguersuari and Hamilton-Massa crashes. In fact I have to say that last year was one of the most enjoyable F1 seasons I've ever watched in spite of the fact that the winner was known in advance of every race

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Dead to me

    F1 is dead to me. I regained interest with the Beebs excellent coverage but screw it, I'm not giving money to the dirty digger and neither do I want to see only half the races.

    1. King Jack

      Re: Dead to me


    2. Eponymous Cowherd

      Re: Dead to me


      Can't be arsed with half the races, and I refuse to pay several £hundred a year to the Dirty Digger for the privilege of seeing the others.

      Still fuming over the underhand way the BBC, FIA and BSkyB arranged this deal. It's also particularly galling that those that do watch on Sky still have to pay the sodding BBC (via the TV licence tax) for the races that are shown exclusively on Sky.

    3. Geoff Campbell

      Re: Dead to me

      Yup. I'll continue to watch what we get on the BBC, but I'm buggered if I'm paying >£30/month to Sky to watch the rest.

      And to add insult to injury, their app is only available on iOS, more poxy lock-in. Mind you, Sky and Apple kinda deserve one another....


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Dead to me

        Almost dead for me too. I've been saved by the kindness of my Sky subscribing brother who, being a total non-geek hadn't even heard of Sky Go and was quite happy for me to use his account details with it.

        I don't see why Sky can't offer a Sky Go F1 package to let us simply stream it rather than having to get a dish, a box and 1000s of other channels I'll never watch. I would pay a small amount for that.

    4. janimal

      Re: Dead to me

      Same here, even though my GF offered to pay for Sky just for F1 - they can F off.

      I thought they had said initially that as they are still taking the full broadcast team to each race that they would still show the races live online, but that seems to have changed now.

      I believe Channel 4 is also partly public funded by the TV licence? I don't see why the beeb couldn't have shared coverage with them, but apparently they weren't even approached?

  7. MJI Silver badge

    Reminds me

    I still need a TD88 and extra LNBs

    RTL next year

  8. Ian Ferguson

    F1 without Sky

    These innovative ways Sky will be broadcasting F1 sound great (honestly) but I don't subscribe to Sky TV and have no intention of doing so. Is there any chance we can pay for the iPad app or online streaming without having a Sky subscription?

    I would of course much rather the BBC had rights to all races but it's just immature to misunderstand the reasons why. This is sadly the way the cookie crumbles this year and I'll have to adapt my fan behaviour to match. (Not putting too much money in Murdoch's pocket though, that's an adaption step too far)

    1. dansus

      Re: F1 without Sky

      SkyGo web only subscription. £35pm.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F1 without Sky

      Miss understanding? theres no missunderstanding, BBC wanted to save money so they sold out UK fans who can now have the same service they had previously only now it will cost them £100s more. ON TOP of the TV licence we were already paying

      Instead, the beeb deciced to spend said savings on a crap talent contest brought in from America.

      So not only are they content with screwing us F1 fans but their sending (our) Millions to the states for a series of TV programs similar to the dying x factor. Theres not much to missunderstand i am afriaid.

      Oh lets not forget the blanket BBC censorship of the deal and the amazing timing of the anouncment. My bet is, come march theres going to be a lot of people who didnt know about this turn on BBC1 to watch the race to find another shite factor on instead.

  9. Rob

    Don't get it

    Why only an iPad app, I understand that iPads are very popular and have market shaer of the tablet market at the moment, but surely a big corporation like Sky could afford to dual develop on both iOS and Android. It's not like they don't understand how many people have Android and there want because the all the Android users in the Sky forum are giving them a slating for not have the streaming app on Android yet.

    It just seems good business sense when you have the resources to do it, that way you have the market share on Android for the smartphone market and the iOS share on the tablets.

    1. Rob

      And apparently.....

      .... I might learn how to type and speak one day </faceslap>

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't get it

      Isn't it the same reason as always.

      The execs that made the decision all owned iPads, so it was the logical choice in their closed little minds.. Who cares what reality is... From their boardroom 100% of tablet owners were iPad owners....

      1. Bob McBob

        Re: Re: Don't get it

        As a Sky insider I can confirm all the execs have iPads and therefore to them, no other device exists.

        Indeed Sky will always go for the Apple Apps first, due to the higher revenue stream that comes in from people being locked in, i mean ripped off vis the apple (cr)app store.

        Sky go is the same, though an android app is now in the pipeline, its very much an afterthought.

        In many respects Sky and Apple operate in similar ways.


    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Don't get it

      You've obviously not heard of the 80/20 rule then have you?

      For phones you may have a point for fondleslabs see 80/20 rule.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't get it


      >95% of iPad owners will pay for it in the appstore and be happy

      80% of Android owners won't have a supported OS version

      18% will download a torrent version*

      2% will actually pay for the app and get it to work

      Murdoch is kinda famous for liking money. Pretty much a no-brainer for him I'd say.

      * actually most of the 80% will download it as well then they'll complain to the internet that it's crap.

    5. Jedit

      Re: Don't get it

      It's only an iPad app because Apple users are more likely to fork out the £20 or more that Sky are going to charge for it. I imagine they'd also like to shut down the free live data feed app that was available last year, but hopefully that will be beyond them.

    6. Ed 11

      Re: Don't get it

      It's probably because it's not just a case of developing '1' Android app. If I'm not mistaken, the new Sky Go app only works on a select few Android handsets. If you own a swanky Nexus, SE or LG handset it's tough luck. With Apple, for all it's faults, you only need to write your software once to make it available to every iPad user. Making much more than a 'Hello World' application that runs on every possible Android device would be rather like pulling teeth.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Mondo the Magnificent

    The BBC sold out...

    They broke the mould.. F1 has been free to watch live for decades.

    Sharing the spectacle with the Murdoch empire is a blatant slap in the face for the UK TV Licence payers.

    I don't want to watch half the races live, I want to watch them all live! More importantly I don't want to buy a Sky+ box to watch them live either

    Sweetening things up with an iPad App will never remove the bitter taste this whole affair leaves from my mouth...

  12. Da Weezil

    2 people here ex F1 fans, me 40+ years and another 25 years...

    We're gone.. The toxic mixture of Gollumj and Rupie are too much to bother with, and I know a number of others who have already decided that this season marks their first NOT following the sport due to this carve up.

    Part of the spectacle is no use... all of those who tamely fall in line will only have themselves to blame when F1 finally goes "all pay"

    Id love to see all concerned take a bath on finance and audience but sadly the modern fanbase lacks enough backbone to stick it to Sky and Bernie... you reap what you sow people.. this year is pretty much a freebie if you have Sky HD, but the long game will see this become a premium offering costing lots of your hard earned - bend over Kiddies... Bernie is holding the lube for Unkie Rupert....

    1. Andrew Norton

      I stopped watching years ago,

      When they stopped having any passing, and it was the slowing down of things, I gave up. It turned into a race won on the qualifying, and on pitstops.

      I'll stick to BTCC now. Better, closer racing, lots of overtaking, and no Murdoch. What could be better?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I stopped watching years ago,

        @andrew norton

        Then you're not really qualified to comment, because F1 also changed years ago, to remedy those negative points.

        1. Andrew Norton

          Re: Re: I stopped watching years ago,

          I stopped watching, I still SEE it every now and then.

          Still a lot of procession stuff

      2. The First Dave Silver badge

        Re: I stopped watching years ago,

        Last season, and for many previous years, I watched both BTCC and F1 where possible. BTCC may appear to be closer racing, but that it because it is even more artificial than F1, what with success ballast, reversed grids, common engines, etc. and not to mention the lack of morals when it comes to passing - a little contact is inevitable in any race series, but BTCC has far more contact than WTC or DTM...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind all the negative BBC and Sky stuff here... you can bet your bottom dollar the people who have Sky Sports on Virgin won't be able to use this app, just like we won't get the HD feed. Disgusting.

  14. I Like Heckling

    I already had Sky+, as well as phone and internet with them... because it offered the best deal where I lived. I get close to the 20mbs, it's truly unlimited with no caps and I only call landlines on it (use the mobile for mobile calls). So upgrading to HD for the extra £10 and getting the box free and £100 in M&S vouchers was fine with me. It's effectively costing me £20 extra this year as I swapped the vouchers for cash with the folks.

    If it goes on a pay basis next year, I won't be buying it and I'll be out of contract by then and will dump the HD pack. I can realign the dish and get a freesat box instead and get the RTL feed and use 5live as others will be doing.

    I can then flog the HD box on ebay, they go for around £100 or so. :)

    Of course... when I tell sky I'm cancelling... chances are I'll get the F1 for free to stop me leaving.

    Not a fan of Sky at all, but I love the F1 and if there's a way to watch it that's not going to cost me loads of money I'll take it... if the price goes up, I'll look for an alternative way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      play them

      "Of course... when I tell sky I'm cancelling... chances are I'll get the F1 for free to stop me leaving."

      I do this on a regular occasion, each time the last incentive runs out to stay, I give them a quick call and tell them I am going....

      I currently pay £40 per month for every channel the HD package including the 3d content....

      you can sit there and moan about even that being £480 a year, nerly 4 times as much as the tv licence costs (which you have no choice in) but it works out at a little over £1.30 per day, so in comparison, less than a pint of beer, less than the price of a can of pop and bar of chocolate, less than the price of a litre of petrol, less than the price of a bus ticket to the town centre,

      for such a small price, I get to watch all the premiership football and assortment of other sports, movies and other assorted crap in HD, 3D with all the function of PVR... its not bad value for money really.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: play them

        Ahh, the old break it down into a daily cost trick so it doesn't sound so bad.. Xbox owners are always doing that for Xbox Live costs.

        The bottom line, it's still £500 a year ONTOP of your TV licence...

        That's my Ski Holiday.....

        Sky is 99% shite, I have no interest in premiership football, or any of the trashTV they show on Sky1, and I have no interest in the Sky Movies (Loveflim is MUCh cheaper and allows me to pick what I want to watch rather than what's broadcast).

        Getting my dual LNB setup fitted tomorrow, My F1 in 2012 is coming courtesy of RTL, and I will mute it and listen via R5Live.

        Murdoch can go fuck himself.

        1. Marty

          Re: Re: play them

          "Ahh, the old break it down into a daily cost trick so it doesn't sound so bad.."

          that's because on a daily basis, it isn't so bad !

          I agree that 99% of what is on sky is shite, and if I lived by myself i probably would opt for a service like love film or netflix (once they sort HD content out) over sky tv, but I happen to have a family and the sky+ box is easy enough for the slightly less than technical missus to work. The content is acceptable for both the missus and the teenager in the house, so i could even break the cost down to a per person sum of around 43p each....

          I seriously begrudge the 37p per day I have to pay for a TV licence over what I have to pay for Sky tv, because I dont have a choice in the subscription to the BBC

  15. MEI7

    F1 2011 game picture?

    Looks just like the screenshots of F1 2011.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F1 2011 game picture?

      I too was trying to decide that. F1 2011 does have some amazing graphics to raise questions like that.

  16. Jolyon Smith

    A view from Down Under

    I was an avid F1 follower in the UK - I even paid for some races on the F1 Digital channel that Sky ran for 1 season, which sounds like it offered the same - and possibly more - as this iPad app.

    That channel only lasted the one season due to lack of interest. It appears that the avid, rabid fans are only avid rabid fans if they can be so on the cheap.

    Now, admittedly we have things a little better (and worse, in some respects) down here in NZ.

    First of all, we aren't spoiled by choice. If you want F1 coverage Sky Sports is the only game in town. None of the free to air channels so much as acknowledge the sports existence down here. If it doesn't have a Ford or a Holden badge on the front then it doesn't exist as motorsport (The NZ entry in A1GP was the one exception to that rule, but even that never translated into interest in other single seat formulae).

    But even a Hobsons Choice of Sky here isn't too bad. The Sky Sports package here only costs $25 a month - about 12.50 of your UK pounds. That get 3 Sky Sport channels (+$10 / 5 quid per month for HD). There's no dedicated F1/motorsport channel tho.

    Some race weekends we get all Ptc & Qfy sessions plus the race itself, but most are limited to just Qfy and race. And again it's a bag of mixed blessings when it comes to the coverage itself. We get no pre-race build up or post-race analysis (beyond the driver press conference, time permitting).

    But with Coulthard and Brundle in the commentard box, that's almost a good thing. The show starts with the cars on the grid. A couple of minutes inane nattering from the Brundletard team then it's formation lap and GO!

    But if cost is the absolute measure by which things are to be considered, try comparing the cost of a Sky subscription to the cost of physically going to an F1 race these days (never mind the flights and accommodation you need on top of the track entry).

    Suddenly it won't look so bad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A view from Down Under

      "It appears that the avid, rabid fans are only avid rabid fans if they can be so on the cheap."

      Couldn't have said it better myself, and that's the problem with a lot of stuff these days, everyone wants it for free...

      Back in the day before sky tv was launched here in the UK, you had a choice of 4 channels, and two of which were self funding and two were all covered by the TV licence.

      along came sky, and invested a massive amount of money on launching satellites and supplying receivers with easy to use interfaces. it took a silly amount of time before sky TV started to become profitable, and If I remember right, the first channel to show a profit was Sky news. (even though it was FTA) did they put the billions of pounds in investments for the good of their own health? no.... they did it to make a profit.. to line there own pockets with... people should not get upset that they actually make a profit.

      as a man, I hate Murdoch as much as the next person for his ethics in the newspaper industry, but I cant help the fact that my choice of TV provider lines his pockets

  17. Wombling_Free

    Any vision for us Aussies?

    Those of us living in Murdochs-own-country "Murdochifailia" seem to be getting totally shafted.

    Ten took the BBC feed, anyone know if they are getting the Sky feed? My guess - nope.

    And Foxtel doesn't cover F1 down here for some reason - endless Merkin Fool-Ball, but no motorsport that even has an Aussie racing in it, with a more-than-zero (but not much) chance of winning. Two Aussies if you count backmarkers.

    And the Melbourne GP - $2,000/night for the cheapest bed-bug infested one-star hotel? No thanks!

  18. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    F1 on BBC

    All races will be shown on the BBC.

    Some will not be live, some will only be the highlights.

    You just have to WAIT a few hours.

    If you can't wait then I guess Murdoch has your balls in a vice. <LOL>

    I already have Sky+HD and I most probably won't be watching it on Sky F1 unless it's massively better than the BBC. I already see too many advertisements and have no intentions of watching more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F1 on BBC

      i dont mean to be rude but you have absolutely no idea what your talking about.

      50% of the races will be shown on the BBC this is only because the concorde agreement states that it MUST be free to view, being 50% apparently means its not pay per view and with this gross missuse of the agreement means they can get away with it. Whats the bet that agreement gets omitted the next time it changes hey!

      some will not be live? 50% wont be live, tell you what, pick a sport you like, anything at all, go watch it live in a pub with all your mates an a pub full of people but turn up 6 hours late an watch the bits of it they think you want to watch instead, doesnt quite have the same feeling does it?

      The very least they should have done is demand that the BBC shows the delayed coverage IN FULL!

      Its funny, the only people who make comments like that tend to finish off the sentence with "I already have Sky+HD" somewhere in it. Go figure...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem is...

    ...that we all know Sky will make it work.

    When Sky got the Premier League, everyone said that the smaller TV audiences would cause advertisers/etc to leave in droves.

    Same with cricket (second only to golf for being able to fall asleep, wake up and not really miss much)......

    The BBC needs to get their heads out of their collective arses. I don't watch anything on there now as there's only so much Strictly Come Celebrity Weakest Link On Ice you can take before going postal.

    F1 was about it - Top Gear is well past its "can this crap" date, news isn't unbiased, nor is any political coverage unbiased, there's way too many precious luvvies there who should get kicked out on their arse (hello Yentob!). Whole place needs a massive shakeup, get rid of the £1mill+ newsreaders etc.

    Oh and F1 without Brundle now wouldn't be watchable - Coulthard is OK, as was the guy who did the pits (he's gone to Sky too) but the main presenter is another one of these clueless fuckwits that the BBC have covering multiple sports. He was on cycling this weekend and he's just embarrassing to watch.

    I am probably going to be seduced by the dark side on this one...... :(

  20. blcollier


    Cheers for all those who mentioned RTL & RTL live streaming - I'll check that out on March 17th. R5Live + RTL might be a good compromise... The only other option is to hope that you can find a dodgy, low quality and pirated stream of the Sky channel that happens to be showing the race. I'm rather less inclined to try this option...

    What annoys me the most about the whole debacle is the BBC; as if they didn't shaft me enough with the TV tax. F1 was the only thing I would watch religiously and without fail; it was also one of the last few reasons why I *didn't* mind paying the "license" fee.

  21. Dom 1

    It don't add up

    The maths doesn't work.

    Sky have 10 Million subscribers. Let's assume that (very generously) 50% have Sky Sports. Seeing as all of those subscribers have purchased Sky Sports for the football, let's guesstimate how many will want to stop watching their favourite team, to watch F1. I doubt that Sky will get 50k viewers, let alone the millions they will need.

    Why will they need millions of viewers? Companies want to advertise to the biggest audience possible. With Auntie Beeb, F1 was regularly getting 8-10 million viewers. How are they going to feel when this drops to tens of thousands? If I had a company that was paying millions to put the name on the side of an F1 car, I'd be pretty peeved right now. Who knows what will happen when the advertisers start deserting?

    The Beeb only dumped F1 (in full, I know they will be broadcasting some of the races) because they wanted to keep Wimbledon - which according to a family member who works for Aunite, they are probably going to lose in 2014 to Sky anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It don't add up

      I might be wrong but i think when all this kicked off it was said that the teams (the only people who could have stopped it) were all essentially getting a bung from sky or Bernie or someone to agree to it. Im sure it was Bernie that said the teams would be better off, but your right, the viewing figures will tumble and from the next concorde agreement we'll all be screwed, say goodbye to the "free to view" rule (not that there is much of that one left anyway!)

      what really pisses me off is that the other free channels were willing to put a bid in to help the beeb out, but they {BBC) wouldnt agree to it because it would compete with other BBC programs.

      yes yes, ITV F1 wasnt good but given the choice of watching half the races in full, the other half late and in bits OR getting an ad every 15 min an seeing 95% of the race live, i know which would id go for.

  22. MJI Silver badge

    I am going to go Sky baiting

    For the fun of it,

    I have a decentish satellite box (Humax HDR)

    I am so tempted to go to a Sky stand and demand a conditional access module and card for F1 HD only.

    Since it has to switch out from Freesat mode that would work as well as RTL.

    Or shall I send a part list to all the teams asking for contributions?

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