Over one thousand pubs have already signed up to screen Sky 3D, which will go live on Saturday April 3 with the Barclays Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Sky confirmed today that a further five Premier League games will be shown in the 3D format before the end of the season on May 9, together with the Coca-Cola Football League Play-Off Finals from Wembley Stadium at the end of May.
“It’s fitting that one of the biggest games of the season will be the launch pad for our pioneering Sky 3D service,” said Brian Lenz, Sky’s director of product design and TV product development. “With 3D, seeing really is believing, so it’s great news that over a thousand pubs across country will be able to show the magic of 3D to their customers.”
In between live events, Sky 3D will run a showcase of 3D content covering a wide range of programming. It will be shown at selected points during the day.
In excess of one thousand pubs and clubs in the UK and Ireland have already signed up to screen the 3D service with the broadcaster anticipating that many more will agree to participate in the coming weeks. Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic have all committed to supply product into the UK market.
Earlier this week a statement from LG was misinterpreted as a contract to supply Sky with 15,000 3D televisions. The broadcaster will not be involved in the direct supply of sets to consumers or the retail trade, but will serve as an agent to ensure the content is correctly displayed. “Sky is not buying and selling the TVs specifically, but we are working with the suppliers to get the TVs available to the pubs,” Lenz told Broadband TV News. “We’re working through a distribution partner, so if somebody needs to get upgraded to Sky HD, Sky will come along and do that upgrade, then an AV guy comes along and installs the new TV. We’re doing a little bit of training and getting them to understand some optimal things about the set-up. But it really is just like buying a new TV or getting an upgrade to Sky.”
Sky Sports this week began its first on-screen promotion for the new 3D channel as part of its preview of events to be shown during April.
Sky says there will be no initial charge for the 3D service that will be be introduced at no extra cost for customers who subscribe to Sky’s top channels and HD pack.