Sky 3D Used Drink to Lure Fans

6:00 AM PST 10/11/2011 by Carolyn Giardina
AP Photo/Akira Suemori

It's time to raise a pint. Sky 3D, the U.K. satellite broadcaster, marks its first year of operations this month. While in the U.S., ESPN 3D, 3net and n3D are jockeying for 3D viewers, in Britain, Sky 3D got out of the gate early by catering to sports fans before introducing other types of programming. Even before it launched in British homes Oct. 1, 2010, with a broadcast of golf's Ryder Cup, Sky estimates that more than 1.5 million viewers were exposed to 3D TV at their neighborhood pubs, where Sky aggressively promoted itself with events like the first English Premier League soccer match broadcast live in 3D. "The best way to sell 3D to home viewers was to first get them to watch it outside the home," says Sky 3D director John Cassy. The strategy is catching on: In Santa Monica, set manufacturer Vizio is providing South bar with 3D TV displays so it can host regular 3D sports nights set to begin Oct. 13.

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