Sky Planning Exclusive Pub 3DTV Deal

Pubs are to be first in line to get exclusive access to 3DTV next year. Sky has revealed that the cutting edge technology, which allows viewers to watch 3D screens wearing special glasses, will be offered to loyal Sky pub subscribers before it is released to the domestic market. Selected sporting events are set to be filmed live in 3D by Sky next year for special pub screenings.

Speaking exclusively to The Publican last week, Sky Business’s managing director Iain Holden confirmed that 3D would go to pubs first and that they would enjoy a period of exclusivity ahead of other subscribers, although given the experimental nature of the technology he was unable to give an exact launch date.

While existing Sky HD boxes in pubs will not need upgrading for 3D, it is likely there will be an additional charge for the service, and for the screens pubs will need to show it. However, this will probably be kept low given that Sky and screen manufacturers will want to showcase the service to eventually drive domestic sales. The glasses, which could be given away by pubs when customers make a purchase or even branded for particular outlets or promotions, cost a few pence per pair.

In a statement, Sky said: “We are still working through our research and development activity and have much to learn about live production but should we be able to realise our ambition of broadcasting live sport in 3D, our initial service roll out will be to pubs and clubs.

“Our most loyal commercial customers will be able to offer this experience to their customers exclusively while we work on developing services for our residential customers which will launch at a later date.

“As our experimentation in live production is still at an early stage we’re not yet able to provide a detailed timeframe but should we be able to offer live sports in 3D we expect services to launch next year.”

The original Sky TV service was showcased in pubs before the domestic satellite TV market took off in the 1990s.

By Caroline Nodder, The Publican