Without having to pay BSkyB a small fortune
Non-Brits would probably be perplexed to discover that a media organisation which regularly overpays bonuses and severance payments to its employees, thought it necessary to ditch some of the TV rights for Formula One motor racing coverage. To save money. But that’s exactly what the BBC has done. Leaving Brits unable to watch around half the races on free TV. The other races are only shown live by paid-for TV specialist, BSkyB. Now, finding a way out of this situation is tortuous but GoMo News has finally found the answer. It’s a service called Now TV.
In a nutshell, BSkyB has the TV rights to the races which the BBC cannot show all sewn up. You cannot even pay a rival cable TV company, Virgin Media, to watch them.
In theory, it is possible to pay BSkyB shedloads of money to watch those missing F1 races on an Android device, for example.
Except that BSkyB’s relevant mobile app, Sky Go, only runs on a very tiny handful of models if you have an Android based handset.
But this is where Now TV comes in. It is presently able to sell Brits a one day pass to watch Sky Sports channels for £9.99 a day.
We’ve checked and the dedicated Sky F1 (Formula One) channel is included in this package. We’ve even tried streaming Now TV’s feed to an Android based tablet and that works, too.*
The good news is that if you have a mobile device with a HDMI port – such as our loan Motorola RAZR, you can plug it into a full size TV set if you can find one.
So, £10 a day still doesn’t sound cheap. Especially since within the 24 hour period, you cannot watch F1 final qualifying and the actual race itself.
The obvious alternative is to visit a local public house and watch it there. We recently watched one F1 race in the Station pub in Stoneleigh, England.
But that’s not an option for races with a very early morning start time because the pubs aren’t open.
It’s obvious, (see log above), that Now TV is simply a part of the BskyB empire because it asked for our Sky ID when we tried to sign up for a day pass.
We expect the service to work really well over Wi-fi but will be testing to see how well it performs on a regular 3G connexion. Sounds like an argument in favour of 4G to us.
UPDATE: Now TV appears to only want to support those using the existing Sky app. That is limited to 17 devices. Here’s the list …
HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD & HTC Desire S
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung Galaxy S3 mini
Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE
Samsung Galaxy Express
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Google Nexus 4
Sony Xperia S
Sony Xperia Z