Sky NZ boss explains HD realities

Sky TV New Zealand chief executive John Fellett has been forced to defend the proportion of major sports events the platform carries in high definition, saying it is not economic for platforms in smaller countries to beam their own HD feeds back for international events.

Responding to an email doing the rounds which has attacked Sky’s HD offering as sub-standard, Fellett said that while BSkyB with 7 million subscribers could afford to beam its own HD feeds for events such as the French Open tennis, Sky’s 760,000 would not allow it to do so.

Many international sports events may be shot in high definition, but often they will be handed off for international distribution in standard def. Individual broadcasters can then decide whether to upscale back to HD (nearing, but not as good-quality as native HD).

Fellett added that 75% of Sky’s produced sports events are shot in HD. Sky NZ offers 7 HD channels including 2 movie services. Over NZ$68 million has been invested to deliver HD so far, not including cash invested in HD set-tops.