F1 tests declared a huge success for Sky Sports F1 HD, Rai

As the result of an agreement with English Sky UK and FOM (Formula One Management), Sky 3D Italia aired live coverage of all four days of F1 tests held between February 28th to March 3rd and the hours of 15.00-17.30.

Cosetta Lagani, head of SKY 3D Italy, comments: “We have just faced the first world test in 3D as no one has ever seen broadcast footage of Formula 1 in the stereoscopic format on television.”

The event was carried by the two channels in simulcast: Sky 3D and Sky Sports Formula 1 HD. One team handled production for the commentary.

The recent growth in 3D TV sets has been rapid, not least because about 85% of new TVs provide embedded 3D functionality. Consequently, the consumer who buys a new generation TV already takes home compatible equipment for 3D stereoscopy. Official figures suggest that around 1,300,000 stereoscopic television sets are now present in homes.

Cosetta Lagani comments: “It is to be noted that the market situation described from September 2011, with approximately 200,000 3D TVs, to the current situation developed in little more than a year and is [clearly very] encouraging. We are right on [the crest of] the wave.”

On 17th March at 7am, Sky sent to air the race that opened the World Championship and achieved average viewership of 606,000 average – twice that recorded in 2009. That figure increases even further when we aggregate the ratings of 979,000 viewers collected from the screenings at 10.30, 14.00 and 17.30.

Rai1 should also be commended because, for the first stage of the race at 14.00, they attained average viewership of 4,846,000 with a growth of 71% when compared to the first event of last year.

It is now commonly accepted in the Italian broadcast community that such collaborative ventures can boost overall public interest in major sporting events and bring benefits for all concerned. Sky Italy, which had recently suffered a general decrease in its subscribers, declares a renewed interest from the audience which has been reflected in improved commercial and advertising revenues. In excess of 80% of subscribers to the Sports package are said to have seen the race, and 47% of them used more than one channel, enjoying the nine-screen interactivity.

In addition, on 25th March, 11,150,571 unique viewers watched the channels of Sky Italy. Between 9am and midday, during the exclusive live broadcast of Formula 1 Malaysia Second World GP, they achieved 753,186 average total viewers (share of 7.78% and 1,342,421 unique viewers) on Sky Sport F1 HD and all interactive channels, with a recorded average growth in audience of 25% when compared to the previous GP in Melbourne.

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