Motorsports is as much entertainment as it is a sport and in 2015, it’s big business. V8 Supercars and Formula 1 have both signed multi-million dollar deals to shift broadcasting of their sports to payTV provider Foxtel. In the case of the V8s, fans of the sport really have next to no free-to-air coverage of the sport this year and across the multi-year deal that runs through 2020. This controversial move will for the first time force fans of the sport to choose from paying to follow the sport or pay to watch it.
It’s a risky move for the sport as history hasn’t been kind to sports that went down this path. Remember the mid 90s when basketball was the fastest growing sport in the country? It sold rights to pay TV and viewership declined to the point where they can’t fill stadiums.
Motorsport is loud and fast, ultracompetitive and internationally exciting, so it’s possible V8SC can break the mold and make the pay transition. Technology has moved on since the mid-90s and fortunately getting Foxtel is only a credit card away, with the days of waiting for satellite dish installers long behind us.
Foxtel Play is a live and on-demand platform for subscribers who wish to consume IPTV content via apps. The platform support is pretty good with consoles (PS3, PS4, Xbox360), tablets, phones, even LG TVs and of course PC and Macs are included. Let’s hope we see an Xbox One app soon, with Microsoft opening the platform and the announcement of the Xbox One car now permanently in the championship with returning driver Marcus Ambrose. Also their Windows app is not a modern metro app, but rather a very clunky Silverlight-based app that doesn’t even support snapping.
While Formula 1 isn’t going exclusively pay, the free-to-air offering will be half of what it has been so big fans of the sport will need to step up if they want to follow the top category chase across the globe.
You may have read about Foxtel dropping their price recently and that’s true, the base price is now $25pm, but to get anything sport, you’ll need to add a sports pack which gives you FoxSports and ESPN and for that you’ll pay an additional $25pm. Foxtel Play allows up to 3 devices to access the account, which can be restrictive, but if you can deregister a device an add another one.
Fortunately Foxtel have moved on from locking you into 2 year subscriptions, you can pay per month on Foxtel Play and if you want to try it out, you can sign up and get a 2 week free trial. If you don’t want it, just be sure to cancel before the 14 days are up and your card won’t be charged.
More information at Foxtel Play