Sky and DirecTV flesh out 3D programming plans

Two of the world’s largest pay TV operators, BSkyB in the UK and DirecTV in the US, have given programming details for their 3D TV services as their plans for 3D take shape.

Sky has announced a launch date and programming line-up for its service and DirecTV another content partnership for its n3D channel.

In the UK, BSkyB will launch Sky 3D on October 1. Programming will include a Bollywood-meets-ballet dance spectacular and a slew of movies and sports events.

Sky has movie output deals with most of the majors and said it has reached agreements with Disney, Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount and DreamWorks to transmit 3D films. Two of the first 3D movies on the channel will be Bolt and Monsters vs. Aliens and in the run up to Christmas, other titles will include Alice in Wonderland, Coraline and Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince.

Sporting events include live coverage of the Ryder Cup and Premier League football, which fans can already watch in 3D in pubs.

Sky recently outlined what is was looking for from producers for its 3D channel at an event at Bafta in London, but thus far its main announcement outside of sport and movies has been feature doc Flying Monsters 3D, which will be fronted by David Attenborough and produced by Atlantic Productions. A spokesman said there will be more entertainment content, but that will be announced later in the year.

DirecTV, meanwhile, has inked a deal with AETN, which will broadcast the fifth season of History channel series Universe on the pay TV operator’s n3D channel. The series, The Universe’s 7 Wonders of the Solar System explores the planets and stars of the solar system.

The show, which is History’s first 3D production, will also air in 2D on DirecTV’s The 101 Network.

DirecTV has just launched a trio of 3D channels. Its 3D linear channel, n3D is a joint venture with Panasonic and launched at the start of the month. The pay TV operator also has a 3D movie channel and carries the ESPN 3D service.