Telecom Italia and Sky sign big Sochi and IPTV broadcast partnership

Michelle Clancy | 09-11-2013

Satellite giant Sky and Telecom Italia have signed an agreement for Sky’s dedicated Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics channels to be broadcast over TIM’s broadband networks, with a potential Set-top-based distribution agreement in the offing.

TIM customers who purchase Sky’s Ticket Big Events/Grandi Eventi 2014 package will be able to access some top sports events from their smartphone or tablet, live and on demand, starting with the Winter Olympics in February.

As part of the partnership, the two companies have signed a Letter of Intent to examine the feasibility of a next-generation IPTV platform over which the entire Sky offer may be distributed. Sky would distribute all of its audiovisual content via a dedicated set-top box over fixed line and mobile ultra-broadband and broadband networks, without needing a satellite dish. Telecom Italia’s fibre optic expansion plan in Italy is a significant factor for making Sky content available also where satellite signals are hard to receive.

“We are particularly pleased with this major agreement,” said 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'.”

Andrea Zappia, CEO of Sky Italia, added: “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.”