Sky 3D audience growing, new channel hinted

Sky is looking at the possibility of splitting its Sky 3D channel in two, creating a dedicated Sky Sports 3D channel in the process.

Both Simon Rexworthy, controller of acquisitions at Sky Movies, and Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies, separately confirmed the move to Pocket-lint at a recent behind-closed-doors event in London.

Although neither man would say when such a channel might be created, both hinted that Sky 3D could be split in the future.

The reasoning behind the possible decision - which is far from certain to happen - is to allow Sky to show the growing amount of 3D content to which it now has access.

Lewis, the man in charge of Sky Movies, told us that the move would also stop the constant debates he has with his counterpart in Sky Sports on what to show when, although he was keen to emphasise that the idea of a dedicated Sky Movies 3D was still a long way off.

Sky has heavily promoted the sports coverage on Sky 3D in the past year, forcing movies, documentaries and entertainment shows to get pushed to the side.

On the movies side, Sky plans to show around 30-40 3D movies this year, suggesting there still isn't enough content to justify a dedicated channel, but one that could work in connection with other entertainment shows, as more and more studios and production companies commit to the standard.

But if you are worried that an urge to fill more TV hours means a drop in quality, don't be. Lewis was keen to tell us that Sky wasn't going to be taking "crappy 3D content" just for the sake of it, before detailing a story about how - after three months of successful negotiation - Sky dropped a recent 3D movie because it made their quality testers sick. He wouldn't tell us which one.

That commitment to quality content is likely to be welcomed by the 250,000 and growing customers who have requested to have the Sky 3D channel turned on.

But one thing that both men acknowledge is that finding the 3D content isn't always easy.

That's down in part to Sky not being able to offer it via its on-demand service because of the size of the physical download, Rexworthy told us. Lewis added that to "push" a 3D movie to a customer's Sky box when they know that it is a small proportion of the overall audience, was hard to justify at the moment.

Perhaps Rexworthy's comment sums up Sky's 3D strategy best: "3D is all about bonus content at the moment."

First Look: Sky 3D review

7 days living with... Sky 3D



>