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.