BSkyB Expects 50,000 to 200,000 3DTV Subscribers by Mid-2011

LONDON: British Sky Broadcasting is looking to have anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 3D subscribers within a year, according to the U.K.’s Media Week. BSkyB launched the service over its HD infrastructure Oct. 1. The wide projection reflects the uncertainty surrounding the adoption of 3DTV, the publication said. Sky’s 3D line-up so far includes sporting events and movies.

BSkyB was the first multichannel TV provider in Europe to successfully transmit live 3DTV across its systems in 2009. The satellite operator did a limited launch of 3DTV service earlier this year, eventually distributing the format to around 1500 pubs across the United Kingdom in anticipation of the World Cup. BSkyB’s 3D launch was set for Oct. 1 when rival TV provider Virgin Media suddenly went live with 3D on Sept. 28.

BSkyB’s 3D service is available for free to HD customers who subscribe to its “to TV package.” BSkyB’s most recent quarterly report says it had 2.9 million HD subscribers at the end of June. A 3DTV set is necessary for viewing the content. 3DTV set sales numbers for the United Kingdom have not yet been revealed.
-- Deborah D. McAdams