Fans have slammed Formula 1’s recently introduced OTT service they experienced constant buffering and loops of same video throughout FOM’s broadcast on Friday and Saturday.
F1 TV Pro is an OTT service which provides fans with the Formula 1 world feed, onboard cameras on every car, race replays, archives, ‘unedited’ team radio, and many other features. The service was launched in selected territories, most notably the United States, Germany, France, Mexico and Belgium. In most of these territories the service sells for around $8-12/month, with the exception of Mexico, which sells for $169/month.
The Spanish Grand Prix is the first race with the introduction of F1 TV and F1 TV Pro. The video service was intended to be launched during the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March, however delays forced Liberty Media into delaying its public launch.
Despite the much delayed launch, premium-paying Formula 1 fans endured many problems, and some were unable to follow the coverage of Formula 1’s practice sessions and qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
There were a range of problems that occurred during its live broadcast. Many fans reported as long as 15 minutes of 5 minutes of “initialising” during qualifying, and then showing an image of what was being presented on the world feed, before going back to buffering for a long period.
During Free Practice 3, a Formula 1 fan from the United States reported that the “loop” continued, and hence was unable to watch any of the Saturday coverage of Formula 1 in Barcelona.
“I was intending to watch FP3 and qualify.” said a subscriber from the United States.
“It was caught in a loop. I basically had 20-30 seconds of video that kept repeating itself. It would buffer and go back to the start of the loop.
“I couldn’t switch between any of the drivers. It was just a black screen.
“I can understand minor glitches when you are starting things for the first time. But they surely had to be aware of the depth and breadth of their audience!”
Fans in the United States pay either $11.99/month or $89.99/year under the promotional pricing for the month of May.
— CarGirlDebbie (@dma_cma) May 12, 2018
Good job @F1 F1 TV Pro…..!!! 👏👏👏👏
Buffering non stop, no images ….
Can’t see the free practices, qualif … and eventually the Race in Spain … are you planning to offer a decent service for an annual subscription of 170.99 euros/year in France 👹#f1tvpro #bufferring pic.twitter.com/3wAcbjlsMx
— Nikolai Scuadra (@ScuadraN) May 12, 2018
Elsewhere, F1 TV Pro was also tested in the F1 Hub offices in the United States, and can confirm the exact same problems occurred from FP1 all the way to qualifying.
At the time of writing this article, Formula 1 has not issued an official statement detailing any problems with its OTT service, or possible timelines for a fix.