Satellite broadcaster BSkyB has reported strong second quarter results and confirmed that it will launch Sky 3D, Europe's first dedicated 3D TV channel, this April.
As part of the final preparations for the launch, and to preview the service, Sky will become the first TV company anywhere to broadcast a live 3D TV sports event to a public audience. The English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United on Sunday 31st January will be filmed in 3D and broadcast over the Sky platform to selected pubs around the UK and Ireland, with their customers becoming the first audiences anywhere in the world to experience live Premier League in 3D.
The company made “good progress” on both legs of growth – adding more customers and selling more products, with 172,000 net additions takes the total customer base to 9.7 million. Sky+HD went past the two million household threshold, with net additions more than double the prior year at 482,000. Total revenue was up by 10 per cent to £2.9 billion, with BSkyB absorbing the cost of strong demand to deliver four per cent growth in operating profit to £401 million.[1
Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB Chief Executive, said that while the economic outlook remained uncertain, the company was “well positioned with high-quality products offering customers great value for money,” and intended to build on its success by bringing HD box technology to even more customers. “From today, we will start selling HD-enabled boxes as standard and customers will receive the box for free when they subscribe to our HD pack of channels. These are important steps which will allow us to grow more efficiently and further accelerate the pace of innovation for customers,” he said.
To support the 3D broadcast, nine pubs â€“ located in London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin – have been kitted out specially with some of the first '3D Ready' TV sets to reach the UK and Ireland. As 3D TVs become more widely available, Sky will roll out its 3D channel to hundreds of pubs from April, allowing football fans across the country the opportunity to experience a live Premier League match in 3D each week. Gerry O'Sullivan, Sky's Director of Strategic Product Development, said the company was confident there would be demand for sport, movies, concerts and drama in 3D.