Poll: Has the free weekend persuaded you to watch F1 on Sky more?

Sky have not long gone off the air, completing their weekend of free coverage. If you are a Virgin Media or Sky customer, I want to know if you are planning as a result to upgrade packages to watch F1.

To allow me to create an analysis, the poll is split into four sections.

Section 1 asks for how you watch.
Section 2 concerns Sky customers only.
Section 3 concerns Virgin Media customers only.
Section 4 asks what you thought of Sky’s German Grand Prix coverage.
Section 5 asks what you thought of Sky’s German Grand Prix coverage in comparison with BBC’s overall coverage.

Everyone can answer sections 1 and 4, only Sky and Virgin Media customers can answer sections 2 and 3 respectively.

Comment below saying what you put and also extra opinions. I shall publish the results here next week if there is enough of a consensus.


9 thoughts on “Poll: Has the free weekend persuaded you to watch F1 on Sky more?

  1. I’ve followed every F1 race since 1997, but this year it’s been hit and miss. I’ve never liked BSkyB, the way they operate – and nothing in the world can tempt me to take a subscription out with them – even if they have a dedicated F1 channel. I feel like I can’t be bothered with F1 anymore. Being unable to see it all live, I just feel…distant.

    Seen Bahrain and Canada live on Sky at a friend’s house, and to be honest, I can’t differentiate the two broadcasters very much. Sky seemingly have copied what the BBC did last year, but their presenter, if I remember correctly, didn’t feel at all comfortable in his position.

    I’ll stick with the BBC if I’ve got nothing better to do with my time.

    • With regards your first paragraph, there is nothing stopping you from watch Sky F1 from Virgin Media. Is it just that you don’t like BSkyB, or is it that their prices are too high for you? If it is the latter, then I can definitely see where you are coming from. I had BSkyB anyway before the deal was announced having switched from Virgin Media in 2007, but I feel for those that can’t afford it.

      As for the presentation, in reality there is not much Sky can do to move the on-site presentation forward. In 1997, ITV moved presentation forward with their on-site studio, in 2004 they moved out of the studio into the paddock and in 2009, BBC moved to the pit-lane. You cannot get much closer than that, and having a studio presentation on-site could be perceived as a step backwards. Admittedly, you can’t get much closer than how BBC advanced the coverage in 2009.

      • Thanks for your reply.

        Maybe I was a bit unclear – it’s generally a pricing issue, yeah. I look at it this way: 20 weekends of coverage for however much. I guarantee it’d be the only thing I watch on it anyway; I don’t really watch TV at all. I simply can’t justify the cost of forking out the cash for something I’d hardly use, if you think about it.

        I agree with you 100% RE presentation – it’d be a step backwards whatever you do. I guess I was just expecting something radical from Sky – but ultimately the coverage provided (bar the GP2+3 and other bits) is identical to what we had last year.

        The BBC/BSkyB deal still angers me, hope you appreciate that. Thought the disappointment of not being able to see live F1 on FTA TV would have subsided by now, but it hasn’t. I just wish that the BBC execs at the time had considered relinquishing the rights they had to another terrestrial broadcaster (Channel 4 was interested, right?) until the licence fee freeze was lifted or whatever. That way we’d all be still enjoying FTA F1 coverage without half of the live racing behind a friggin’ paywall!

        Sorry for the rant. It just grates me. I do enjoy your blog and find your posts/opinions to be very informative. Keep up the good work. RJ

      • Ah, okay, that’s fair enough. I suspect (nothing factual about this, just a suggestion that I’m throwing out here) that they will look at everything after the season to do with Sky F1, including pricing and maybe do some kind of offer like £5.00 per month for Sky Sports F1 to try and entice those that don’t want to have the entire Sky Sports package.

        To be fair, I was annoyed myself when the deal was announced, although I knew that I could watch it, I felt sorry for those that didn’t, like yourself. One thing I didn’t like either is how at the time Sky were portrayed as the ‘enemy’ here when they were far from it.

        Regarding Channel 4, not sure if you seen this post of mine from a few weeks back: https://f1broadcasting.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/the-direction-never-taken-formula-1-and-channel-4/

        And absolutely no worries about the rant, it’s what the comments section is here for! Glad you like the blog.

  2. I’m a RTL and 5 Live viewer for Sky live races but I do try and catch some of the buildup on Sky through dodgy streams. I can’t help but think it’s good but it’s too serious, it just doesn’t seem to have the relationship that the BBC have got with the teams and that shouldn’t be a problem with the on screen talent that Sky have got

  3. I already had Sky HD (so was able to watch Sky Sports F1 through this, I don’t sub to a sport package with Sky) and I have only watched the Sky coverage this year.

    The reason that I’ve only watched Sky is because I like consistency – I don’t want to flit back and forth, plus I have enjoyed Martin in the comm box for the fourteen or so seasons, so I’m sticking with that. I also enjoyed Crofty on 5Live, so that kind of made the decision there.

    I’m not a “highlights” fan, yeah some races can be a bit dull, but I can’t help but feel when there is a long ebbing and flowing battle going on (like Alonso-Button-Vettel this week) that, to have it cut short and to not be able to see the sector times on the live timing would remove from the enjoyment.

    I also find that Sky’s “technical” features are much better, the BBC had too many “cuddly” features, things like “Let’s go round India finding Eddie a shirt” (wow) and “three blokes on a bicycle made for three around Silverstone”. I found these to be a little soft. Yeah, the swooshy graphics can be a bit annoying on Sky, but things like the virtual car and the “Sky Pad” showing incidents frame by frame really help explain things to me: I’ve been watching F1 for almost 20 years and I’ve learnt a lot from these features.

    There have been a lot of comments about the presentation team: I have found, at times, that they don’t seem to gel, but, in recent races they seem a lot better. I gave them time to settle in. I find Jake to be a bit “soft” for my liking: when Hill and Herbert rounded on Horner yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel Jake would have waded in to stop it, as he seems scared of offending people.

    So, yeah, I’ve enjoyed Sky, despite not being a fan of the way the Murdoch empire operates, as we had Sky HD before, and I’m an F1 fan, there wasn’t really much of a decision for me.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, the most annoying thing about BBC F1? Eddie!

    • “The reason that I’ve only watched Sky is because I like consistency” – this line sums it up for me completely. The only time I have watched BBC live was for the latter stages at Silverstone, and that was because I couldn’t be bothered with logging into Sky Go.

      Brilliant post by the way. Not sure I agree completely with the Hill and Herbert bit as we had had Jordan and Coulthard ‘interrogate’ people before, but nevertheless all very well made points.

  4. We have such a basic tv package for financial reasons it would cost nearly £25 per month to upgrade to the point that we would get the F1 channel. It’s completely beyond our means so if it disappears off free-to-air TV we’ll just learn to live without it.

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