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F1 TV Streaming Service Goes Live

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Renault R29 Rear Wing

Photo: MorganaF1

Fans have been clamoring for it for years, and now it’s here: Formula One’s first official live streaming service, which will allow spectators from around the world to watch their favorite motorsport without having to tune into a commercial-riddled cable channel.

As part of a launch offer, those willing to sign up to F1 TV Pro will get 10% off their annual subscription, which for Americans means it will cost $89.99 instead of $99.99. The monthly cost remains the same: $11.99.

$100 is significantly less than the $144 it would cost to pay the monthly fee 12 times, though of course the season only lasts nine months, and the current one only has seven months to go, which means that if you don’t intend to watch races in the off-season, you’re actually better off going for the monthly payment plan.

F1 TV is split into two tiers: the aforementioned F1 TV Pro and F1 TV Access, the latter costing just $2.99 a month or $26.99 a year before the launch discount. The following are the features for F1 TV Access:

  • Full replays and highlights from every F1 session
  • Races from F1’s historic archive
  • Documentaries from F1’s archive
  • Access to exclusive live timing data
  • Driver track map
  • Tire usage history
  • Access to selected team radio

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In addition to all of the above, subscribers to F1 TV Pro will also get the following:

  • Access to F1 races live or on-demand
  • Access to all F1 onboard cameras
  • Access to full “unedited” team radio
  • Live leaderboards

Though the features are exciting, the platform is still clearly a work in progress, as many of the archive races are missing and the UI could use a lot of work and additional features, such as a no-spoiler mode, manual selection of quality settings (at the moment the adaptive resolution goes up to 1080p and 25 FPS with an 8 MB bitrate), and the ability to pause and resume a live race.

There’s also no word of the access to live support races that had previously been believed to be part of the package.

Nonetheless, it’s nice to see Liberty Media making steps in the right direction. For 2018 it may continue to be a better experience to watch F1 on ESPN if you have TV, but once the kinks are worked out, F1 TV Pro may quickly become the go-to platform for watching the sport.

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