F1TV Access: Like F1 Itself, F1TV Access Is A Disappointment!

F!TV Access: Subscribe To Watch

After last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, my F1TV Pro subscription expired, as I canceled the renewal due to Formula One being too boring, with Mercedes dominating the sport. Ironically, due to the higher temperatures, Mercedes suffered from excessive tire wear at Silverstone, weekend 2, allowing Max Verstappen to claim his first win of 2020, due to his Red Bull being kinder on the Pirelli tires, which, in my opinion, counts as a technical issue for Mercedes, if the tires lasted as long on the Mercedes as they did on the Red Bull, Verstappen would have been a very distant third place.

As I mentioned in a previous blog about F1TV Pro, I intended to subscribe to F1TV Access, after my F1TV Pro subscription expired, at a reduced cost of $2.99/month, as I never watch live. Which I did today, and the first annoyance is I see the above message, telling me to subscribe to watch the full Spanish Grand Prix qualifying replay, with only the 10-minute highlights being available to watch without paying 3 times more for the F1TV Pro service, the same goes for the practice sessions and the support races replays.

To be clear, I am not claiming that Formula 1 has misrepresented its service. I just expected more, given that the on-demand blurb (see below) is the same for both F1TV Pro and F1TV Access. I got full replays of all sessions and all series on F1TV Pro, so I made the assumption that F1TV Access would have the same replay capability as F1TV Pro, just without the live streaming capability. However, I do feel that Liberty/Formula One could have done a better job of differentiating between the packages, making it clear that only full F1 race replays were available, while all other sessions and series were highlights only.

F1TV Packagers

You’d think that Liberty Media would be doing more to bring in fresh viewers with F1’s viewership dwindling, year on year, because of the snorefest of Mercedes dominance, and more and more countries coverage going to pay-TV services, no longer being broadcast on free-to-air channels.

Update [Aug, 16 2020, 16:25]: It is now Sunday, Spanish GP race day, and the full replay is not available. After some Googling, I find out that I cannot watch the full replay until Tuesday, two days later. So to cut a long story short, I’m done with F1, they got $2.99 out of me, and that’s all they are getting, F1TV Pro is simply not worth $80/year to me. It’s my own fault, I failed to see the “global coverage plan” link just under the packages, that would have told me that replays are not available for 48 hours.

If I have to wait 2 days to watch the damn race, which will be pointless as I am highly likely to have seen the race result in my general internet usage in the two days since the race took place, I might as well download a torrent of the race, or just get up early to watch it live on one of the many illegal live streams.

Update [Aug, 16 2020, 16:53]: Un-fucking-believable! As I cannot watch the full race replay, I tried to watch the “race in 30” highlights, and it plays for 2 minutes and 22 seconds and then stops playing. I have reloaded the page three times and it stops at the same point, 2 minutes and 22 seconds each time. This is not a buffering issue, either the site or stream is broken, or F1TV are taking the piss.

It seems like it was not a race worth watching anyway, Hamilton won by 24 seconds, Verstappen second after Bottas messed up his start to drop back to fourth, before recovering to third place. Also, Lewis, Max, and Valtteri lapped the entire damn field, this is the equivalent of a motorsport massacre. I think 2020 will be the last year I watch F1, after 31 years of watching, the sport has run its course in my mind.

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