London 2012: Sky-Italia Formalizes Plans for Comprehensive Olympic Live Coverage

The broadcaster will dedicate more than 2,000 hours and 13 channels to the games, including the first-ever live Olympic 3D channel.

ROME – Sky Italia, the Italian subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s New Corp., announced Tuesday that it would offer subscribers live coverage of every event held at the upcoming Olympics in London, the first time such comprehensive Olympic coverage will be on tap in Italy.

The satellite broadcaster said it would dedicate 13 channels to Olympic coverage: 12 in high-definition and one in 3D, marking it the first time Olympic sports will broadcast live in 3D. Additionally, subscribers will be able to watch events on their mobile devices through the Sky Go service.

All told, coverage will total more than 2,000 hours of competition, around seven times more than the coverage made available from the free-to-air broadcast four years ago, which were aired by Italian state broadcaster RAI.

This time around, RAI will co-broadcast the events along with Sky-Italia. But Sky’s coverage will be more extensive, including exclusive coverage of qualifying rounds for boxing and women’s tennis; qualifying rounds through the quarterfinals of women’s volleyball and water polo; and the qualifying rounds through the semifinals of basketball and soccer.  

Sky said it has taken on an Olympic commentary team made up of around 60 Italian athletes who have won a combined 600 Olympic medals to work alongside Sky’s regular sports journalists.

The 2012 Olympics, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, run July 27-August 12.