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ITV Secure Rights To Show F1 Via The Internet

ITV Secure Rights To Show F1 Via The Internet

ITV, the UK broadcaster of Formula One, has announced that they have signed a contract with Formula One Management (Ecclestone’s company) to show live streaming of Formula One on their website. ITV currently intend showing action from both Friday practices, qualifying and the race through their site – a landmark deal that fans have been crying out for. Footage of the races will also be available to fans for up to 30 days after the race, allowing people to re-watch parts, or even watch the entire race at a time they choose.

Fans have been wanting to view grands prix online for a while now, and with very fast broadband connections the technology has been around for at least a couple of years of not longer. It has taken FOM a very long time to catch onto what we want, and FOM spent a great deal of time trying to get videos taken down from popular video-sharing sites like YouTube. While that will likely continue, at least there will now be an official way to view Formula One content online.

Unless you’re on a Mac, that is. Currently, ITV’s player is not compatible with those computers designed in California, so us Apple users may have to dust off that old PC we stashed away in the dark corner of the airing cupboard.

With UK Formula 1 audiences reaching their highest levels in many years, it gives us great pleasure to fuel this resurgence further with the introduction of online rights to complement ITV’s broadcast coverage. FOM Statement.

Remaining with the Apple-moan for just a moment longer (can you tell I use a MacBook!?), it is worth saying that when the BBC launched their popular iPlayer last year, it too was initially incompatible, but I believe it since has been opened up to Mac users. Hopefully ITV are working on allowing everyone with a half decent computer and Internet connection to view.

Advert breaks and James Allen were not mentioned in the announcement post on the ITV F1 website, but we can only hope…

Oliver White

7 comments

  • Well , that’s at least a step in the right direction but the idea of DRM totally turns me off downloading any of the “official” content , especially if it’s going to be so restrictive I can only watch it for only the next thirty days.I’m not sure why you’d want to watch a race again within 30 days especially when races happen every other Sunday afternoon .I’d much rather have it to watch in the off season at a time of my choosing.

    Don’t count on ITV making the service work on something not called Windows Media Player though.They haven’t done it for their Champions League coverage , neither did they do it for the RWC either.As much as I despise the massively overpriced Mac I do think it’s rather unfair indeed.

    I think James Allen will be still with ITV , looking at their relaunched site , he’s still featured as a team member – and there’s nothing to suggest he won’t be in the box either.One hopes that last season it was a case of North One (ITV F1 producers) being blown completely away , when having covered a comparatively niche sport in F1 they found themselves looking at possibly a new British sporting hero.Look forward to finding out indeed on Sunday…

  • Hi francois,

    Having the footage available for the off-season would be very handy (for me at least anyway) but I’m pleased ITV are going to keep it up for 30 days. I completely missed the European Grand Prix last year due to being on holiday and could only read about it. I would have loved to have been able to see the whole thing when I got back.

    Don’t count on ITV making the service work on something not called Windows Media Player

    Bah! Thankfully Mac users can dual-boot into Windows if they have a copy and either Parallels or OS X (10.5). I’m sure some bright spark will find a clever way around it though.

    Regarding James Allen: He’s still with ITV, my reference to him at the end was a hope that maybe he wouldn’t be featured in the stream. Admittedly a very large hope, but there none-the-less.

  • You won’t find a bigger critic of ITV F1 than me (indeed you should see the email that I sent to their production team after Italy last year) but creidt where it is due. Any increase in the number of hours of live F1 is a good thing and embracing the Internet is clearly a positive step too.

  • I was going to get cable just so I could watch the races this year but don’t want to pay $50 a month just for one channel. The only problem with it being on the web is that its only in the UK. I only wish that SpeedTV would do something like this.

  • ITV doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing. And that is a very good thing ;-). I watched Practice 1 today, on my Mac, from the United States! The player is Flash, so it’ll work on a Mac. Flash on the Mac still sucks, so my MacBook fan was running loudly, but it worked fine.

    Also, ITV’s security to keep us non-Brits out is fairly useless. They clearly didn’t design it well, but I think they will after seeing the bandwidth charge for sending Practice out to anyone in the world who wanted to watch. That said, the quality was fairly good.

  • I always miss the races at the weekend because of family stuff so any opportunity to watch sport online live or otherwise is great news for me.

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