Advanced Television

Sky, Telecom Italia in Olympics and IPTV accord

November 8, 2013

By Colin Mann

Winter_GamesTelecom Italia and Sky Italia have reached an agreement that will allow the telco’s mobile and broadband customers to access Sky’s dedicated Winter Olympics channels and watch them on smartphones and tablets over 3G and LTE networks. The two companies have also signed a letter of intent to study the feasibility of a next-generation IPTV platform.

The agreement initially cover Sky’s dedicated Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics channels which will be broadcast over TIM’s broadband and ultra-broadband networks, with the prospect of other major Sky-branded sporting events of national interest to follow.

TIM customers who purchase Sky’s ‘Ticket Big Events/Grandi eventi 2014’ package will be able to access some top sports events from their smartphone or tablet, live and on demand, starting with the Winter Olympics in February via the 3G and LTE (Long Term Evolution) mobile platform.

As a result of this agreement, Telecom Italia will be offering all of its mobile telephony clients a chance to access exclusive Sky sports content, extending the potential audience and offering major sports events access over new distribution channels.

As part of the partnership, the two companies have signed a Letter of Intent to examine the feasibility of a next-generation IPTV platform over which the entire Sky offer may be distributed. With such a major investment in developing its latest generation broadband network, this would allow Telecom Italia to offer its clients access to the richest pay-TV offer on the market, while allowing Sky to distribute all of its audiovisual content via a dedicated set-top box over fixed line and mobile ultra-broadband and broadband networks, without needing a satellite dish.

“We are particularly pleased with this major agreement,” says Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano. “It reflects our strategy of focusing more closely on leading-edge services and, in particular, consumer market entertainment. It allows us to offer our customers the finest choice of major, exclusive, top-quality events via our applications and network infrastructure. As a result of this partnership, Telecom Italia’s technological expertise and Sky’s content know-how come together to offer the prospect of implementing a new business approach to accessing audiovisual content ‘over-the-network’.”

Andrea Zappia, CEO of Sky Italia, said the broadcaster was “very pleased” with the agreement. “It marks the start of a significant partnership between two companies that are leaders in their respective fields. In a continuously evolving market, it will give even more widespread access to what is probably the best television offer available on the Italian market. It is a project that is consistent with Sky’s strategy, which has always been to distribute its channels over the best-performing platforms. Telecom Italia’s fibre optics expansion plan in Italy is a significant factor for making Sky content available in places where satellite signals are hard to receive, while ensuring that the quality remains high. Sky and Telecom Italia’s different areas of expertise may help create a next-generation IPTV platform to rival the world’s best.”

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