Since 2019, Formula 1 has been exclusively live in the UK on Sky Sports in a 5-year deal with F1. As a result, all of the live action is only available on the Sky Sports F1 channel. There are extended highlights available free to air on Channel 4, but this is usually a few hours later. But don’t worry there are plenty of ways to watch Sky Sports F1 live so read on…
You might hear talk of being able to watch F1 using the recently launched F1 app with prices starting from £10/month. However, as a result of the exclusive contract signed by F1 and Sky for the UK the live content will not be available for UK viewers, so you can count that out, sorry.
Is it all bad news? Definitely not. Sky broadcast Formula 1 on their dedicated F1 channel, usually along with the supporting races like Formula 2 and Formula 3 during the race weekend. This means that you can really ‘get in’ with the whole race weekend. You can watch all of the practice and qualifying sessions, along with a number of excellent documentaries.
The Sky coverage is supported by an excellent and credible set of presenters too. These include David Croft as main commentator alongside Martin Brundle, Rachel Brookes, Karun Chandhok, Damon Hill, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta. It’s an A-star line-up.
As you’d expect, Sky broadcast their F1 channel to their own customers via Sky TV and Now TV, but crucially also to Virgin, BT and Talk Talk customers too.
There’s actually a few ways you can do it – depending on how much you want to spend and what sort of features you’re looking for.
Your options are; Sky TV, via BT TV, via Now TV and via Virgin Media. We’ll take you through each of them now.
…probably the most obvious one so let’s start with that! A package with Sky means buying their base ‘Entertainment’ TV package then choosing the number of Sky Sports channels you want on top. By going to Sky direct, you’ll get their Sky Q set top box, a remote control, and the ability to pause and rewind live TV as well as record all the programmes. You can also choose to take out their ‘Ultra HD’ option which upgrades the quality of a number of their channels into amazing 4K – the highest available picture quality. It really is the full monte way to do it, but no surprise it’s the highest cost, though they do run tempting offers every now and then.
You can just buy the Sky Sports F1 channel, however this is usually only a few pounds less than the whole Sports package. As a result, you might as well get all of the Sky Sports channels. Click here to order now
If you’ve never had a pay monthly TV subscription and want to try it out, this is a great way to do it. If you haven’t heard of Now TV, you can find more details in our article here. You can buy day, week or monthly passes for things like Sky Sports, so you can watch F1 (and all the other Sky Sports channels) on your tablet, phone or big TV using either a Chromecast or Now TV stick. If you take Now TV Broadband at the same time, you’ll get special discounts on Now TV passes, including Sport.
Just bear in mind you won’t be able to record from Now TV or get the Ultra HD channels from Sky. It can work out expensive over a season if you end up buying a lot of day or weekly passes rather than taking the monthly option.
If you’d like to get a special price on your Now TV Sports Pass by taking Now Broadband, click here order. Once you’ve entered your broadband details, you can then a Sports Pass for a discounted price to your order. You can use it immediately to watch the F1 on your phone, laptop or stream to your TV.
If you’re just looking for quick access to a particular race or part of the season, you can order a Now TV Sports pass here.
With BT’s new TV packages launched earlier this year you can now add Sky channels using Now TV passes. In order to get this, you’ll need a decent (fibre) broadband, as the subscription channels are sent to the BT TV box over the internet. But it does work brilliantly and this means it’s now a viable alternative to Sky for sports fans. It also includes the option of adding and removing some package each month, which gives you some flexibility. HD is available, but not Ultra HD.
Adding the Sky Sports channels onto BT TV is an ideal choice if you’re looking for an alternative to Sky TV, and want some flexibility around your TV package. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our full video guide to BT TV below and click here to order BT TV now.
If you’re in a Virgin-cabled area, this is a great alternative to getting Sky TV. By adding the Sky Sports channels to your Virgin TV bundle, you can watch all of them in glorious HD as well as pause/rewind and record live TV. Because you’re not buying from Sky, you won’t have access to Sky Ultra HD content though.
Virgin will usually work out as the most expensive package, but don’t forget that their broadband is usually the fastest available (assuming you can get it in your area). Click here to order Virgin TV and broadband.
Well, the great news is that all the main providers offer instant access via their App. So once you’ve signed up, the provider will send you the login detail you need to use to access the channels live.
Just remember that if you’re buying Sky Sports via BT TV, they’ll send you login details to watch using the Now App – you don’t access via the BT TV or Sky Sports App.
To help guide you, we’ve done a handy little table summarising the options and latest prices for watching Formula 1 on Sky Sports;
|Typical monthly cost including HD||Pause/rewind live TV||Record programmes||Add Ultra HD channels (extra cost)|
|£43 for Sky Sports channels (includes Sky Entertainment TV package)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|£49 a month alongside Now Broadband or £33.99 for a Sky Sports Pass only||No||No||No|
|£65 for Virgin TV Bigger Bundle +Sky Sports and broadband bundle||Yes||Yes||No|
|£68.99 for Big Sport TV including Sky Sports (with fibre broadband)||Yes||Yes||No|
Prices do vary during the year, so SwitchTV.co.uk’s unique package finder will allow you to find a package for the programmes you want to watch at the right price.
Click here and enter ‘Formula 1’ or ‘Sky Sports F1’ and then we’ll find the latest packages available for you!