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LONDON — U.K. satcaster BSkyB is raising its own bar on London 2012 Olympics coverage in a pact with Eurosport, the pan-European broadcaster, to offer 3D action to viewers.
The pay TV satellite broadcaster will add more than 100 hours of 3D sporting endeavor to its Olympics mix, showcasing the footage on its dedicated channel Sky 3D, the U.K.’s first and only dedicated 3D TV channel.
Sky said it would open up Sky 3D to all HD subscribers for the duration of the Games, allowing a potential 4 million homes the chance to watch in 3D.
Consumers will be required to buy a 3D TV and then connect it to a 3D-ready Sky+HD box.
Sky’s pact comes just days after the satcaster struck a deal with the BBC to offer its subscribers 48 new BBC-branded channels of Olympics coverage — 24 channels in standard definition and 24 in HD.
The Eurosport 3D action will run alongside those channels.
The 3D channel promises to broadcast exclusive 3D action every day during the Games via a mix of about eight hours of live coverage and four hours of the day’s main highlights.
Events to be covered include the Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony and the men’s 100m final.
Said Sky 3D director John Cassy: “We know from our own extensive experience that sport in 3D is captivating, and we expect the Olympics to be no different. It’s fitting that the London 2012 Games will be the first 3D Olympics, and we’re delighted to partner with Eurosport to ensure Sky customers are able to become immersed in the action like never before.”
Given the ticketing issues that have plagued this year’s Games, with millions of applicants left without them, Cassy’s promise might hit home with potential subscribers.
Said Jean Thierry Augustin, managing director of rights acquisition, distribution and development at Eurosport: “This opportunity to present the London 2012 Olympics in 3D to Sky customers will give British fans an unforgettable experience of their ‘home’ Games and the international sporting heroes it will generate.”
Eurosport is an official broadcaster across Europe of the London 2012 Olympic Games and will devote its entire channel to daily coverage from the event.
The pact comes a day after the departure of BSkyB chairman James Murdoch, who quit his role at the News Corp.-owned broadcaster, ending growing speculation in the British media surrounding his tenure there.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake in BSkyB.
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