Can it really be four months since details first emerged that the BBC and Sky are to share the F1 broadcasting rights? It feels a heck of a lot longer, given the almost daily tirade of criticism that has filled many a forum and Twitter feed.
No MP intervention or public petition is likely to steer this six-year deal off course, so it means either you accept that only half the races next season will be live on the BBC, or, you cough up and have a satellite dish tacked on to the side of your building.
“But it costs too much!” I hear you cry, and I can see your point.
With job security at an all time low, increasing your monthly outgoings to watch fast cars go round in circles – live – isn’t going to be met with much approval.
But there is a way to get the minimum required to be able to tune into Sky’s F1 coverage next year, and at a much lower price than is currently being advertised.
Interested? Well follow me, as I turn all Martin Lewis and show you how to save a bob or two…
The basic package
For the purposes of this article, I will concentrate solely on the television side of things. You can of course sign up to Sky’s broadband and telephony services and cut your bills further, but neither has a glowing reputation, so do so at your peril.
The cheapest package combination in which to be able to view Sky’s dedicated F1 channel – Sky Sports F1 HD – is as follows:
- Sky Entertainment (£20)
- Sky HD Pack (£10.25)
This is the bare basics needed to view Sky Sports F1 HD, and includes the necessary Sky+ receiver box (worth £199, apparently), free installation, and £100 Marks & Spencers vouchers – which you can either flog on eBay or unscrupulously tuck into someone’s birthday card etc.
Cost so far…
The monthly cost for this package comes in at £30.25, or to put it another way: £363 for an entire year. Which seems an awful lot.
Savvy online shoppers will already be aware of the various cashback websites that inhabit the Internet.These cashback sites essentially allow a user to receive a referral fee for each and every transaction they make with one of their listed retailers – at no extra cost to the user.
Normally the amount dished out would end up in the website’s coffers; that’s how advertising works online.
Topcashback are one of the most popular cashback sites in the UK. They’re free to use (unlike Quidco), and, coincidentally, they list Sky as one of the many retailers for whom they are offering a rather generous referral fee!
Following these simple steps you can knock £100 off the annual price of an annual subscription to Sky.
- If you haven’t already, register with Topcashback.
- Once signed up, search for Sky on Topcashback and then click-through to their website using the Get Cashback Now button.
- Now on the Sky website, click Buy Sky on the top navigation bar and select the Sky Entertainment and HD Pack if they are not already selected.
- Complete the transaction as normal.
- Wait for someone from Sky to come round and install your dish and receiver.
- Wait for your £100 referral fee to appear in your Topcashback account.
And the grand total is…
The basic package required to view the Sky Sports F1 HD channel was £30.25 per month and £363 in total over the course of the first year.
By going through Topcashback, you can deduct £100 from that annual amount, slashing it down to £263, or £21.92 per month, which seems slightly more reasonable.
A couple of things…
It can take a few weeks for the referral fee to filter through from Sky to Topcashback, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t withdraw it for a month or so. This is standard practice.
It may also be a good idea to clear all your browser’s cookies before following the steps above, so that you can ensure that everything is being tracked correctly.
Also, remember that this is a one-off cashback that you will be receiving. I suggest that when your contract comes close to expiring that you give Sky a quick ring and ask to speak to their retentions department. They have a good reputation for offering decent deals in order to retain custom.
If you have any questions regarding this, holler at me in the comments below.