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Introduction of F1 TV streaming service on hold

NEWS STORY
22/03/2018

The launch of F1's, all singing and dancing streaming service has been put on hold, with no date given as to when it will now go live.

The steaming service which would have allowed subscribers to choose the content they view and how and when they access it should have been available from this weekend as the 2018 season gets underway in Australia.

However, it has been decided to delay the launch of the service while further testing is carried out.

The news will come as no surprise to fans who have previously subscribed to the sport's official live timing app which even after several years is still unreliable and inconsistent. At the time the streaming service was confirmed, Pitpass warned that if it proved to be anywhere near as patchy as the timing app it would only frustrate fans and damage to the sport.

F1 TV was to be made available in four different languages (English, French, German and Spanish) and appear in nearly two dozen markets at launch including Germany, France, USA, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and much of Latin America. Access would initially have been available through desktop and the web, with mobile apps and TV apps being phased in on Amazon, Apple and Android, enabling users to watch on a range of different devices at no additional cost.

A less expensive, non-live subscription tier, F1 TV Access would provide live race timing data and radio commentary, as well as extended highlights of each session from the race weekend. It would also be underscored by unprecedented access to archive video content from the historic archive owned by Formula 1. F1 TV Access was to be available on a near-global basis at launch, to complement F1 TV Pro.

As previously reported, pricing for F1 TV Pro was to be offered on a monthly basis of USD$8-$12, while annual rates would be priced according to market.

Confirming the delay to the launch of the service, an F1 spokesman said: “We will do a stress test/beta test session during the Melbourne weekend with the aim to be fully operational as soon as possible.

"It's a normal process when you develop a new product," they added. "It won't be a public test, it will be an internal test. We will have people spread in various locations in the world, testing the system and functionalities."

Asked when F1 TV might go live, they admitted: “As soon as possible, but there is not a set deadline."

So, a day before the season kicks off, fans are told the much anticipated new service won't be happening any time yet, though there is still that new logo and theme tune. Like the timing app, F1 TV should have been tested to the point of exhaustion long, long before it was even announced, to confirm its delay at this late stage - and with no idea as to when it will be available - is extremely embarrassing for the sport.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 29/03/2018 23:46

"Hello People in the United States! F1 is only slightly more interesting to Americans than cricket and Liberty knows that as well as anyone. The reason NBC dropped F1 is money. And the reason ESPN doesn't give a damn about its 'coverage" (and isn't THAT a joke!) is money. At least they split the screen so we could watch the race while they were selling hot dogs but that probably won't last very long. Oh, and when LOCAL commercials are on we get nothing here in Colorado but them. As to getting someone who knows something about F1 and / or motor racing, good luck. No one with any self-esteem would seriously take money to work with and for the greedy vultures hovering over the dying corpse of F1."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 29/03/2018 3:22

"I use the live timing app all the time. It's the only way to hear an English commentary here in Japan (well, officially the only way). The audio is forever cutting out and rebuffering, which is painful but livable. If it was a picture that kept cutting out, it would be unbearable. Other sporting bodies have apps that work all the time. If the F1 live timing app cannot get the audio to work reliably (and it almost never has), how on Earth do they expect the video to be reliable?"

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3. Posted by copy_dude, 23/03/2018 21:24

"I can see the odd problem. As an expat, I used to watch a lot of foreign TV content using a VPN or one of those 'IP Hider' programs. However, subscriptions are not as cheap as they were and as an additional cost to the official streamer (pricing yet to be clarified) it may not be such an attractive option.

'Now TV' has just announced its 2018 rates which show a quite a hike since last year. The 'Day Pass' to Sky Sports has risen to 7.99 and there's no longer a GP weekend pass. The cheapest offer is a season pass (to Sky F1 only) for 150 - current 50% offer, normally 300 for nine months. Last year I used this a couple of times in Poland, I don't think it's restricted by country. Anyway, it's not small change for a lot of folks - especially now the GP weekend pass has been withdrawn.

Personally I rather doubt the F1 service will be as cheap as rumoured. It can hardly undercut broadcasters who have paid fortunes for rights. Without an affordable alternative to free-to-air, massive audience decline seems inevitable.
"

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4. Posted by Mocha, 22/03/2018 16:44

"If this delay causes it to be slightly less shitty than the timing app, then it will be worth the wait. Whether it's worth $8-$12 / month is a whole 'nother story..."

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 22/03/2018 14:28

"I thought all these guys were supposed to be hyper-brilliant "Entrepreneurs" (or ontroppanewers as they might have it), but of course they are none of them anything of the sort, just Corporate Fat Cats who clearly couldn't find their rear-ends with both hands. If ever proof that making lots of money isn't a always great indicator of intellect, ingenuity, acumen or simple basic nouse; these guys are it! Indeed we need look no further than today's Facebook "scandal" to see yet further confirmation.

Snidey digs aside (and unlike our esteemed Editor I DO do schadenfreude!) you have to wonder how these prople keep their jobs. I've worked in various spheres, including IT for 30 years, sometimes even earning a decent salary. If I had displayed the same levels of incompetence, and bluntly, dumbness, I'd have been fired, and if not I'd have resigned to get out from under the mess.....
Of course none of that will happen, and after throwing another few hundred million at the problem I'm sure it will all "turn around" eventually - cue even bigger bonuses fdor the Fat Cats."

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6. Posted by vins0n, 22/03/2018 13:40

"It's good. We're in the UK so all the beta testers will have ironed out all the bugs before it's launched here in 2046 (as part of the Sky package including mandatory Sky movies 3D and Sky Golf UHD plus) "

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7. Posted by Editor, 22/03/2018 10:55

"@ White Lightning

Shocked?

I'm only p***ed off that I didn't follow my instincts and place a bet on it happening."

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8. Posted by White Lightning, 22/03/2018 10:01

"I'm shocked! Shocked!

Well, not that shocked."

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9. Posted by Steve W, 22/03/2018 8:27

"It will be interesting to see what the viewership numbers (those watching but not at the actual race) are a year or two from now compared to now or even two years ago..."

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10. Posted by JamesB, 22/03/2018 6:21

"please tell me they are delaying all these new features leaked on twitter too.I mean showing tweets during a race?! do we need that https://twitter.com/InsideFOM/status/976409474666819584"

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