Sky have joined up with Eurosport to take the Pan-European broadcaster’s London Olympic 2012 3D coverage and will make the content available for every Sky+HD subscriber in the UK, even those on the basic package.
Sky currently limit the Sky 3D channel to those who subscribe to the top movie and sports package (About 250,000 people have signed up to Sky 3D so far) but today’s announcement means 4 million homes will have access to the most ambitious 3D TV event so far. They will need a 3D ready TV set if they do not own one already and it is expected that the London Olympics could be the 'Avatar' moment for 3D television which was generally agreed at MIPTV to have stagnated. OBS also have a huge responsibility to produce the highest quality result as it will be the first time many people will have watched 3D in their home. Existing Sky+HD boxes are already 3D compatible and 3D televisions can now be purchased for less than £400.
The channel will broadcast exclusive 3D action every day during the Games. This will be a mix of around 8 hours of live coverage alongside 4 additional hours of the day’s main highlights and will provide the most comprehensive 3D coverage of the Games on British television.
Events to be covered include set-piece events such as the opening ceremony, closing ceremony and the men’s 100m final, alongside a wide range of other events that will be broadcast in 3D for the first time, such as gymnastics, swimming, basketball and canoeing. Sky will also make a wide range of 3D Olympic highlights available on Sky Anytime, Sky’s video on demand service.
Eurosport’s 3D action will complement the HD coverage on the Sky platform that will be made available across 48 new channels created specifically to showcase every second of the BBC’s coverage of the Games.
John Cassy, Director of Sky 3D, comments: “We know from our own extensive experience that sport in 3D is captivating and we expect the Olympics to be no different. It’s fitting that the London 2012 Games will be the first 3D Olympics and we’re delighted to partner with Eurosport to ensure Sky customers are able to become immersed in the action like never before. Whether you’re enjoying the Games in High Definition or 3D, viewers will never have felt so close to the action.”
Jean Thierry Augustin, Eurosport's Managing Director of Rights Acquisition, Distribution & Development said: "Eurosport has been innovating to provide fans with the best live sports experience for many years. We pride ourselves on giving a truly global view of the Olympic Games, letting supreme sporting performances drive our coverage. This opportunity to present the London 2012 Olympics in 3D to Sky customers will give British fans an unforgettable experience of their "home" Games and the international sporting heroes it will generate."
It was previously thought that UK viewers would not have access to the 3D coverage available in other countries as official Olympics broadcaster the BBC announced a very limited 3D output to avoid alienating its HD viewers. Today's news is very exciting for the entire 3D television industry. 3D Focus recently polled 706 readers asking "Do you think the 2012 Olympic 3D coverage will boost the 3D industry? 520 said Yes (74%) and 186 said No (26%).
What do you think? Will this be 3D TV's Avatar moment? Let us know below!
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