Sky Italia has signed a letter of intent with Telecom Italia to investigate whtehr the pair could create a next-generation IPTV platform over which the entire Sky programming line-up could be distributed.
Sky has initially struck an agreement with Telecom Italia whereby Telecom Italia Media customers will be able to view Sky’s dedicated Winter Olympics channels and view them on smartpjhones and tablets over 3G and LTE networks.
Sky said the agreement may be extended to other major sports events in the future.
The pair have also agreed to examine the feasibility of using Telecom Italia’s investment in a next-generation broadband network to allow it to offer a full pay TV line-up and enable Sky to extend the reach of its services, allowing users to access its services via a dedicated set-top box without the need for a satellite dish.
“We are particularly pleased with this major agreement,” says Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano. “It reflects our strategy of focusing more closely on leading-edge services and, in particular, consumer market entertainment. It allows us to offer our customers the finest choice of major, exclusive, top-quality events via our applications and network infrastructure. As a result of this partnership, Telecom Italia’s technological expertise and Sky’s content know-how come together to offer the prospect of implementing a new business approach to accessing audiovisual content ‘over-the-network’.”
“We are very pleased with this agreement,” says Andrea Zappia, CEO of Sky Italia. “It marks the start of a significant partnership between two companies that are leaders in their respective fields. In a continuously-evolving market, it should give an even broader access to what is probably the best television offer available on the Italian market. It is a project that is consistent with Sky’s strategy, which has always been to work to distribute its channels over the best-performing platforms. Telecom Italia’s fibre optics expansion plan in Italy is a significant factor for making Sky content available also where satellite signals are hard to receive, all the while ensuring that the quality remains high. Sky and Telecom Italia’s different areas of expertise may help creating a next-generation IPTV platform to rival the world’s best.”
Telecom Italia Media customers who purchase Sky’s Grandi eventi 2014 package will in the meantime be able to access some top sports events from their smartphone or tablet, live and on demand, starting with the Winter Olympics in February via the 3G and LTE.