Are current Sky ‘HD Pack only’ customers with Sky Sports F1 set for a shock? [UPDATED]

There have been several rumours across social media websites in the past week concerning the status of Sky Sports F1. Specifically, the rumours state that those people that have had the HD Pack since before April 2013 and do not have the Sports Pack will be asked to upgrade to the Sports Pack in order to continue to view the channel.

The tweets that I have seen so far are:

F1Smasher ‏@F1Smasher
Following a conversation with Sky, it sounds like existing #SkyF1 viewers without Sky Sports Bundle should enjoy it while it lasts… #F1
7:59 PM – 28 May 13

Richard ‏@RTAY94
@kels430 I have Sky+ HD and it says I have to upgrade to the Sky Sports package. They hinted at this a while ago, didn’t think they’de do it
5:58 PM – 1 Jun 13

Back in March, it was confirmed that new customers from April 1st onwards would need both the Sports and HD Packs to view Sky Sports F1 in HD, whereas previously it was just the HD Pack required. Anyone who just had the HD Pack, however, would keep the channel. It appears that last statement is changing – with existing customers being asked to sign up to the Sports Pack or risk losing Sky Sports F1.

As of writing, I have not had this officially confirmed by Sky. Speaking to a Sky representative via their Live Chat, they say that those that have had the HD Pack since before April 2013 should get the channel without fail. I have, however, reached out to Sky via e-mail and will post any response I get here. Those that do choose to upgrade, it will mean an increase of £10.75 per month or £26.00 a month. on their bill. The increases are based on:

Currently for those HD Pack customers since before April 2013
– £21.50 – Entertainment Pack
– £10.25 – HD Pack
=> TOTAL = £31.75 per month
I assume that old users with the HD Pack were not automatically placed into the new Entertainment Extra+ pack, which instead would make a total of £31.50 per month

If Sky gets you to switch to a new contract
– £21.50 – Entertainment Pack (if you wish to watch in HD, you need the Entertainment Extra+ Pack instead)
– £21.00 – Sports Pack
=> TOTAL = £42.50 per month (or £57.75 per month with HD)

UPDATE on June 3rd – Sky have officially denied that there will be any package changes for current customers regarding Sky Sports F1. If anyone still does get a phone call from Sky though concerning the channel, leave a comment underneath on what was said.

56 thoughts on “Are current Sky ‘HD Pack only’ customers with Sky Sports F1 set for a shock? [UPDATED]

  1. Well, if true, that’s me off to BT fibre Internet and TV then. MotoGP and the price difference makes it a no brainer, unfortunately. Sorry F1.

  2. “Those that do choose to upgrade, it will mean an increase of £10.75 per month on their bill.”

    Sky’s pricing is as follows:

    “The Family Bundle”: £31.50 a month (cheapest “HD Pack” equivalent)

    “The Sports Bundle”: £57.75 a month

    That’s an increase of £26.75 a month or £315 a year.

      • It seems a little disingenuous to make that assumption but not state it in your blog post.

        Anyway, it’s still wrong – I suggest you visit Sky’s website (if you don’t trust my previous comment) and cost the Sports Bundle. It costs far more than £10.75 per month.

  3. If this is true, it is a truly stupid move from Sky. The viewing figures aren’t exactly great as it is, and by forcing everyone to have the Sky Sports pack they are not going to get anywhere near the number of viewers they do now.

  4. If this is true I will be jacking Sky all together. I upgraded in the December before the channel went live for the first time. Don’t get me wrong they put on a good show. Ted Kravitz and Martin Brundel are great presenters. I will probably go to Freesat+HD instead. I don’t mind paying for a new box. I think I could live with the BBC coverage. And use my old Sky boxes for the kids rooms even though the Record feature will be disabled. All the rest of the channels are poor any how.

  5. Sky are welcome to ‘upgrade’ me to the sports pack…..providing it is at no extra cost to me. Otherwise they can say goodbye.

  6. Hopefully this is a rumour started by some BT underling.

    Should this turn out to be true I will sight Sky for breach of contract and crucify them on every media outlet possible.

    • What does BT have to do with this?

      Intrigued as to how would you “crucify them on every media outlet possible.” There was widespread anger and hostility towards Sky when they acquired the F1 rights… questionable as to what it achieved.

      • BT are in a battle to the death with Sky for the holy trinity of landline, broadband and TV.

        Look at any corporate battle like this and they’re filled with deliberate propaganda aimed at undermining the competition.

        There is a huge difference between a few sports fans having to pay to watch a relatively niche sport and the public being convinced that any contract they have with a major supplier is worthless.

        The moaning of a few F1 fans would be nothing compared with the fallout from Sky gaining the image for being a fly-by-night, morally corrupt, contractually fraudulent company.

    • If it is true, I think it will depend on when your contract is scheduled to end. If it is not until early next year (ie – you only moved to the HD Pack in February), you may be safe – after all that’s why they did the PR blitz with @SkyF1Fan and the such like.

      If you only began your new contract last Summer however, I suspect you will not be as safe…

      • I started subscription feb 2012 and is 1 year year subscription I believe so resubscribed this feb so I should be covered for now hopefully

  7. if they are going to do this. wish they would hurry up and do it. a viewership crash would do wonders for the sponsors patience and hopefully they would give teams a kick up the backside and then the team owners would give Bernie a kick up the backside who would then sort out the mess it has caused.

    I did not watch any of the Monaco grand prix. properly the first time I not seen grand prix since 1990. did I miss it enough to pay 42 a month. No . After all, a years sky is an extra month mortgage payment for me.

  8. Had the HD channels in our Sky package from the off in order to get F1 and we haven’t heard anything about this – surely they need to inform their customers directly at some point? If I do hear anything before you I will let you know.

  9. We’ve had Sky HD since before Sky got F1 so it was good fortune that we could continue watching all the races live.

    I’ll keep it short but in a nutshell I phoned Sky today as I’m out of contract and wanted to know about what you’ve posted about Sky F1 & HD pack customers. Also they will generally give you a discount if you sign up for another year.

    They said we could keep the HD pack even though it was no longer available to new customers but wouldn’t say how long we will be able to watch Sky F1. They offered Sky Sports half price for 6 months and said that would definitely mean we continue to get the F1 channel. I rejected that straight off as the cost was stupid even with 6 months half price. They then offered a discount if I signed up for 12 months to Entertainment Plus but said we would lose Sky F1 immediately if I accepted.

    To summarise what I took from the conversation, we can continue to watch Sky F1 for now (out of contract & paying full price) but if I accept the discounted deal off Sky we will lose the F1 channel. So effectively we are now paying more per month just to continue watching F1 because otherwise I would have accepted the deal they offered me today.

    • Thats interesting Steve as i was checking our bill yesterday as we too are out of contract and have the hd pack still plus the movie pack we were thinking of dropping and i couldnt believe we are paying £52.25 for the above plus an extra £10.25 for an extra box and an extra £7.50 for broadband. A grand total of £70 per month!

      I dare say i could call them and get the sports pack and still pay the same but i really begrudge what sky are doing in forcing people to take SKy Sports now to watch F1.

      I’m very tempted to drop movies and sky broadband and just forget about f1 on sky and get netfilix and move to BT broadband and watch moto GP.
      So fed up with skys tactics and prices – and i haven’t missed a live f1 race since 1994 – but am prepared to watch BBC only or just ditch F1 altogether if the Beeb lose it completely.

  10. There are reports on the internet that sky are going to have up to 10% price increase in September.
    From what I have read it means they can increase the cost and up to that amount and you will not be able to cancel it for 12 months.

    they really are so an so to deal with.

  11. We had a phone call last week about this, we were told that unless we upgraded to sky sports we would loose the F1, we have had HD for a very long time well before F1 went to sky, however were still told we would loose it and would have to pay for sky sports to get F1, the only reason we have kept HD is for the F1 so we will if they do this ditch HD altoghther and sky can go hang.

    • Hi Joanne,

      Just to make it clear, was this an ‘out of the blue’ phone call from Sky, or did you make previous attempts (ie in the last month or so) to change package?

      Also, are you near to the end of your current contract do you know? Still trying to build a picture, although I can probably close to guarantee that there will be some upset people who watch Sky F1 via the HD pack within the next half year (before the 2014 season)!

      Thanks.

  12. I called Sky today to change to the new Entertainment Extra Plus package (previously old Entertainment and £10 HD subscriber). I said I appreciate I would lose F1, but he said it didn’t really affect me because from 1 Sep it is going Sports only, even for those on the old package

  13. I have been speaking on Sky Chat pretending to be on the old HD sub and they confirmed you do need Sports sub from 1 Sep. If I have been told right both times they will face a backlash for sneaking that change in

  14. Hi, I have had F1 with sky entertainment and the HD pack since the start. I upgraded to entertainment extra last night to take advantage of the £49 2TB box and having checked F1 it is now blocked. I was told that I wouldn’t loose any channels by upgrading so I was straight on the phone. Apparently they have just sent a signal to my box to re-instate the F1 channel at no extra cost. I’ll keep you posted

  15. Are we saying bye, bye to F1? It would not be supprising with Sky Sports F1′s never once hit 800,000 viewers for the Korean Grand Prix, where as BBC still managed to peaking with 2.86 million viewers. With making subscribers have to pay for the sports package to watch F1, I can only see Sky Sports F1 dropping even more viewers. Talk about making F1 an elitist sport.

  16. I joined SKY in November 2012 with entertainment plus, extra or whatever it’s called. In January 2013 I was offered HD for £2.50 per month for 12 months and as you’d expect maybe, I had their arm off for that!

    As of October 2013 I’ve not been approached about Sports and am still receiving F1 HD. I do not know what I will do yet when my HD year is up since the rejigged packages have weakened my bargaining power I guess. That’s a clever one from SKY isn’t it, the combo I’ve got can’t be altered without saying goodbye to it for good.

  17. Well i have the old HD package (£10.25/month extra) and continue to receive Sky F1 channel at the moment….I have been advised by Sky live chat that if i stick to my current packages I will continue to receive Sky F1 into the 2014 season and beyond….however…..If i change to their new entertainment package “Sky entertainment plus” (which is £5 a month cheaper than Sky HD and includes HD channels) then i will DEFINITELY lose Sky F1 and the only way to get it back will be with a Sports Subscription at £20+ / month. So basically the F1 fans who don’t take Sky Sports will have to stay as they are on the full price old HD package = No loss of revenue or numbers for Sky from this group of people.
    I have just spent 1.5 hours on live chat to Sky and am still going…..I would long to go to Virgin but it is not available in my area.
    Find it utterly disgraceful and I refuse to pay for Sky Sports when the only thing i would watch is the F1 channel. This is ridiculous and I will be seriously considering whether i continue with Sky….

  18. I have the HD pack, and was on phone migrating our phone & broadband from BT to Sky. I went to extreme lengths to explain to the bloke at Sky that I absolutely wanted no change to our TV package, and that teh only reason we had HD was F1. He understood, but did mention that F1 won’t be part of the HD pack for much longer. I got this and said ‘fair enough, but I’m not paying for football channels that I’ll never watch’. He agreed and said that there was no point in paying for something one didn’t use. So it looks like a change is coming…

    • Ron, they have screwed me over with the same. I was moving and they said “it would save me money” Long story short I am – told them to stick their overpriced TV, phone line and broadband!

  19. Hi I have only just discovered your blog via F1fanatic.
    It basically confirms everything I had speculated upon, it makes F1 unsustainable.

    I have written a few times on JA’ a and Joe Seward’s blogs and indeed my own scribbling place that the deals Bernie did with Sky will slowly kill F1. However I had not realised that the Sky viewing figures were so appalling.

    My premise is that Bernie has tied up tv and track deals for 7 years regardless. That ensures the income streams whether anyone attends or watches any race or not.
    Meanwhile sponsors are getting less and less value for money it terms of OTS. One could say that the audience is now more tightly defined and concentrated thus better targetted.

    Thats ok for some specialist products but for the big multinational brands with a broad target the effectiveness must be dwindling. (Hang on wasn’t Sky HD F1 supposed to be without ads? Or was that a dream? )

    This means that apart from the global recession severely curtailing advertising budgets,
    the advertisers are less likely to put money in a shrinking viewing platform.

    I have to confess that Joe Seward tells me that globally tv audiences are not shrinking. I have a great deal of respect for Joe, one of the few. But if they follow the pattern of the uk and Italy in becoming Sky only for live coverage for part of the season (and Bernie is stretching the wording of the original 100 year deal here) then a similar fall must eventually happen elsewhere too.
    The UK is the home of F1, there are more teams based here than anywhere, it is sad that in it’s home its audience is being strangled one might say extorted, but there is a choice, pay or not. I don’t.

    • I have made similar comments elsewhere on this blog, as have others. F1 could be Champ Car all over again.

      I’m often surprised by peoples obsession with the fact that there are adverts in pre and post race coverage. I often find these breaks a sweet release from some of the appalling content Sky serve up.

      Regarding sports coverage contracts, I still find it baffling that these don’t come under the purview of the competition commission as they’re tantamount to a monopoly with no regulator.

  20. I got duped, …. Recently I contacted sky about a tv picture quality issue. Once acceptable then they talked about my package. Mentioned entertainment hd+ and that it was 32 instead of what I was paying 37.25. I apparently would not lose any services or channels. Well I did, SKY Sports F1 went! I then could not have the change reverted. After negotiation with a nice chap in sheffield I’ve got sky sports with a rebate for the next 6 months but then I don’t know what’s going to happen,……load of ballcocks……..

  21. Sky changed my package when not authorised. Because of this when I lost f1 hd and they saidcouldn’t put me back on my origi nal package and if I wanted f1 hd back I had to subscribe to sky sports. They did a deal but I hate sky. They screw with their exsisting customers. Once the year deal is up will move to virgin.

  22. Still got F1 on HD pack. When I moved they offered me some upgrades to new packages at a discount. I asked if i would keep F1 and they said no, unless i got the sports subscription. They then told me that to keep the F1 channel they recommended not changing to any of the current packages. Actually found them to be quite helpful even if it does mean I am stuck on my current package for the foreseeable future.

  23. Horrible commentating by David croft is spoiling Martin bundles presentation we only have sky sports because you have brundle who is brilliant I had hoped the the days of brain dead screaming had stopped
    I will cancel my subscription if I have to listen to one more “screaming” start from David
    Please sack him!!!!!!

    • Off you go then… watch on BBC if you don’t like it! You’ll find that the majority think Croft and Brundle make a great commentary team (myself included), and they are certainly better than Edwards and Coulthard on the beeb. Sky have improved every aspect of F1 coverage. The only think I would change would be less Johnny Herbert and more Bruno Senna (but Bruno has racing commitments, so fair enough). I love Crofty’s race starts, “It’s lights out, and away we go!” Very reminiscent of Murray Walker “It’s Go, Go, Go!”

      • Do you work for Sky?

        Sky’s coverage is appalling. Croft knows 2 things about F1, jack and sh*t.

        Lazenby – Gurning generic sports reporter spoon fed everything into his ear.

        Brundle – Arrogant, dismissive and bitter about his mediocre career.

        Hill – Very watchable

        Herbert – Love him but he can’t string a coherent sentence together.

        Croft – Wannabie Walker, talks with complete certainty about subjects he knows nothing about.

        Kravitz – Means well but bungling buffoon.

        Pinkham – pointless eye candy (of a sort)

        General Production – Self indulgent, low quality, Sun Reader estate pub ‘Big Screen’ coverage, based on moronic football fans viewing habits.

        Never has a sport been less well presented to a fan base so misjudged by the production.

        The real crying shame is that the kids at Media City West Moss Side have started to copy this POS.

    • I’ve had SSF1 HD with the legacy HD package since the channel started, and I get SSF1 on Sky Go without the Sports package. Always have.

      I also now have the ability to download Sky Sports F1 content to my STB from Sky On Demand — which I initially didn’t (and was told would never be able to by Sky!) after they reclassified the channel as a full Sports package channel.

  24. FYI – It is now 2015 season – I am still on old Sky HD Pack and still able to watch Sky Sports F1 without needing the whole sports package.

  25. I upgradede to Sky Multi room but kept the legacy channels package on both boxes. I have not lost SkyF1HD and now have it on both boxes. I am having issues with the Red Button but only during races – quali is OK so I’m sure that is not linked. Quite frankly if they drop it I will move to Virgin – the overall deal is much better for me (no BT fibre option on my street). My advice would be to confirm that you will not lose any channels. Say “I want to be really clear, can you confirm that this new offer only adds channels and will not mean that I lose any existing channels”. If they confirm it then, if they subsequently remove SkySportsF1 – just ask them to pull the call recording, at that point they must provide the recording, if they still won’t give you the channel then they will be in breach of contract. Sounds like (reading above) they have the technical ability to put that single channel back on – so just insist that they give you it back.

  26. If this Does go ahead I WILL cancel my sky I have been a customer for 25 years my kids have grown up and left home so I keep sky for just certain programmes I like including f1

  27. I called up Sky regarding a problem with my box and at the end of the call was told that I could save £11 on my current package. I asked if anything would change and I was told no so I agreed. I found out yesterday when I tried to watch the British GP that I no longer had Sky Sports F1. So I’m pretty pissed off as I have lost that now and when I called to find out what happened i was told I’d have to subscribe to the full sports package to get it! I have been googling to find out how I lost it and found this article. Beware!

  28. Well I haven’t had a call from sky at all and the channel has now disappeared, after been a sky customer for over ten years and subscribing to the f1 channel since the day it was first introduced I think sky’s customer loyaltys clearly don’t lye with there existing customers.

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