BBC turned down Sky's offer of help to broadcast Olympics in 3D

BSkyB tried unsuccessfully to get the BBC to broadcast more of the Olympics in 3D and so instead worked with Eurosport to deliver 100 hours of coverage, according to Mike Darcey, chief operating officer at Sky.

Mike Darcey: chief operating officer at Sky
Mike Darcey: chief operating officer at Sky

Speaking at the RTS Digital World Conference this morning (28 September), Darcey said the BBC partnership, which allowed Virgin Media, Sky and Freesat customers to watch 24 additional channels of Olympic content, came about because Sky approached the BBC.

Darcey said: "[Sky] had to get over, for a company that associates itself with sport, we had to come to terms with the fact the biggest sporting event was happening and we were not going to be a part of that. We had to put that aside and think as a platform."

Sky executives pointed out to the BBC that Sky could deliver 24 standard channels, as well as 24 channels in high-definition, and suggested Freesat and Virgin Media would probably be able to as well.

However, the BBC was not interested in providing so much coverage of the Games in 3D and so Sky spoke to Eurosport instead. Darcey said: "Eurosport was much more open to 3D. So we worked with them to put around 100 hours on the platform."

In the end, the BBC broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies, the 100m final and highlights packages in 3D as part of its "summer of 3D" trial.

Darcey said that in Sky homes, the 24 BBC Olympic channels attracted around 15% of viewing, increasing to around 25% during peak times such as at the weekends.

Cindy Rose, Virgin Media's executive director of entertainment, said the partnership between Virgin, Sky and Freesat represented an "unprecedented partnership and innovation".

Rose said: "At Virgin, we want to provide the best possible content discovery platform for our customers, to enable them to enjoy not only mainstream events, but find those more specialist."

Relatively small sports such as artistic gymnastic or synchronised swimming were really popular searches, Rose said.

Topics

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising
Shares0
Share

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published

More