Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge says shipments of the satcaster’s Digital Key product are close to reaching one million units. Speaking at a press conference to promote Sky Italia’s forthcoming season of football, now largely in the high definition format, Mockridge said requests for the device that adds DTT channels to the Sky Italia EPG were currently running at around 25,000 per week.
The figures represent over one-fifth of the 4.7 million subscriber base.
The Digital Key was developed in house by Sky Italia in response to the encryption of channels from public broadcaster RAI and the commercial operator Mediaset at the launch of the ‘free-to-view’ platform Tivu Sat. It is given away free of charge to new subscribers, while existing customers can purchase the device for a €20 fee.
There was also praise for MySky, Sky Italia’s implementation of the NDS XTV personal video recorder, which Mockridge said was “equally popular”.
Mockridge confirmed that Sky Italia would commence 3D broadcasts in the next 12 months. Unlike other broadcasters, where sport has been the starting point, Sky Italia will get underway with 3D movies. Sport would follow once existing contracts for high definition had been completed before moving to 3D.
Mockridge refused to be drawn on a comparison between Sky and terrestrial rival Mediaset Premium: “I can only say that our product and our television is by far much better,” he said.
Sky’s new season of football will take advantage of the recently introduced €29 pricepoint that has begun to arrest the subscriber erosion suffered by Sky Italia over the last 12 months. In addition to Italian Serie A, coverage also includes the Champions’ League and Europa League.