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Thanks for ruining a perfectly good race

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

Motorsports: FIA Formula One World Championship 2013, F1 test Jerez, Mercedes GP Launch, Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes GP) *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI +++

Comments (1)

IT'S been a very long time since I heard anyone call Formula One boring.

Don't get me wrong, I remember the days well when, at the start of a race, I'd wonder how many laps I'd see before I'd fall asleep for half an hour and wake up to find absolutely nothing of any interest had happened. Whatsoever.

The current excitement of watching an F1 race might have been engineered by doctoring the rules to suit the viewing public, but there's no denying that it's now one of the best spectacles in the world of sport.

It's also been much more interesting, in a totally non-synthetic way, since the British drivers and teams have been leading the way and enthralling us with their cat and mouse racing and endless mixed fortunes.

Messrs Button and Hamilton and, to a lesser extent Paul DiResta and co, along with British teams such as Red Bull, Mclaren, Lotus and (ahem) Caterham, have given us heroes to support, brand names to aspire to and respect and, for many people, 21st century role models.

So why, I wonder, have the powers-that-be effectively stopped a huge chunk of the nation watching it and supporting this multi-million spectacle?

Last year the bulk of the live races were snatched from the struggling BBC by the comparatively wealthy Sky TV empire and that was a bitter blow but, a lucky few of us Sky subscribers - myself included - managed to cling on to the season's coverage by snapping up a deal combing Sky's F1 channel with an HD subscription.

It was great. My wife and I were buying a new TV in time for season opener anyway, so it made sense to upgrade to HD and to get all the live races as part of the package was the icing on the cake.

This year, however, Sky have forgotten all the years I've spent with them as a loyal customer and got greedy.

This year they insist I must upgrade my package to watch F1 all season. This year I've got to subscribe to their sports package. Something they've been pestering me to do for years.

I've always been able to fend off their tiring sales pitch with a simple 'I don't watch sport, thank you'. But this time they've got me over a barrel. It turns out I do watch sport. Damn.

So I now face a bill of around £13 per month to watch the live races. On average it's about £6.50 per race, which is hideous if you compare it to the value a football fan gets out of their ESPN subscription.

Our local pub has a Sky Sports subscription and part of me is now tempted to up sticks every other Sunday and watch the race from there.

But there's always going to be the problem of some horrid little child that's bored of its colouring in spoiling a key moment of commentary with a tantrum, I can't pause it when the wife needs a wee, and any money we save would be spent on drinks during the race. So it's pointless.

What I'm going to do instead, I think, is find a way of watching live races on the internet. I'll then hook it up to my swanky new TV - the one we bought to watch HD F1 races on - and cheat the system.

So sod you Sky. I won't pay through the nose to watch an event that's been engineered and dressed up to be addictive and unmissable. It's just a con.

If I'm going to watch the demise of Lewis Hamilton in his new Mercedes, or Jensen Button having what could be another off season, I don't want to pay for it.

I'm desperately looking forward to the start of the season next month - whatever happens but you can bet safe money that I won't be watching it on Sky.

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  • Paulk75  |  March 02 2013, 12:15PM

    Before you kick off it might be worth you checking the details first.. If you ALREADY have HD and NO SPORTS you will be able to continue watching the F1 at no extra cost. The change you have written about is for new customers only.