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The real cost of F1 on Virgin Media

British Grand Prix 2011 - Hamilton & Massa

Last year the BBC decided to sell out and give half their F1 rights to Sky in a move that can only be described as a bloody outrage. Sky have also taken Martin Brundle, David Croft & Ted Kravitz, meaning that their coverage will be excellent – probably the best we’ve ever had.

I’ve looked into how much it will cost, and whether that cost is justified, to see all races live. The BBC will have 10, although their coverage will undoubtedly be inferior. (That said, it’s the race that matters, not the commentary team and pundits.)

There will be highlights of the Sky exclusive races on BBC, but I wouldn’t always consider these an acceptable alternative; I watched the Turkish GP highlights last year and it was almost impossible to follow the story of the race. (That’s an extreme example – the tyre degradation and DRS meant last year’s race had far more overtakes and pit stops that usual – but I still prefer to watch a race in its entirety.)

Virgin Media have now announced the only way to watch it on their platform (which I currently have,) is to add the Sky Sports package (which I do not,) so I’ve been able to do some mathematics and see how much it’ll cost per race.

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