01 October 2007

Sky reveals “Picnic”, pay-DTT offering proposal

Sky has unveiled its proposals for a pay-television service on DTT. Called Picnic, the service would offer three streams showing programming from Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky One, a children’s channel and a factual channel on a timesharing basis (similar to Top Up TV). This service would replace the broadcaster’s existing Freeview channels. Sky would provide set-top boxes, manufactured by Sagem initially, which were capable of receiving both MPEG-2 (the system currently used to broadcast channels) and MPEG-4 transmissions, with a view to launching a fourth stream – 24-hour Sky News – in the new format if it is approved by the regulator Ofcom. Sky have chosen today to make the announcement to steal away attention from Virgin Media, who launch their new flagship channel Virgin 1 on Freeview tonight.