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What's On? The Content, Part 1

The first three days - or actually four, in the end, thanks to the great Welsh weather! - of the Sky 3D channel were actually an anomaly when it comes to studying normal channel content, because they focussed for hour after hour on Sky’s big 3D launch event, The Ryder Cup. We’ll return to this coverage in depth later, but for now let’s move on to the first days of ‘normal’ 3D coverage.

The listings for Tuesday October 5th looked like this:

9am: Sky 3D Preview

From noon: World Matchplay Darts Final

6pm: 35mm 3D

6.30pm: Keane at Abbey Road

7pm: Bugs! (3D nature documentary)

8pm: Are You Smarter than a 10 Year Old?

9pm: Dance, Dance, Dance

10pm: Darts again

12.30am: Preview

1am: Channel goes off until 9am.

And for Thursday October 7th you get this:

9am: Sky 3D Preview

10am: 3D Shorts

11am: 35mm 3D Special

11.30am: Sky Sports 3D Preview

12.00: World Matchplay Darts Final

2.15pm: 3D Preview

6pm: 35mm 3D Special

6.30pm: Keane

7pm: Bugs!

8pm: Dance, Dance, Dance

9pm: Darts

Midnight: 3D Preview

1am: Channel goes off until 9am.

A number of points stand out even from this simple list of two days’ material. First, initially having 16 hours of 3D programming every day looks impressive for a brand new channel using a fresh technology. Look closer, though, and in reality many hours of the coverage on both days comprise Sky’s 3D showreel: a looped series of snippets from various things Sky has already shot in 3D, including rugby, football, tennis, nature documentaries, concerts, boxing matches and arts performances.

This is actually interesting to watch for about half an hour as an interesting snapshot of what things work well in 3D and what things don’t. But only the mentally disturbed would sit there watching the showreel for anywhere near the full amount of airtime it’s getting in these early days of the channel.

Look even closer, and you’ll see too that there’s an awful lot of repetition in the schedules. The darts coverage is repeated on each day; the 3D edition of 35mm is repeated ad nauseam; the same two shows - Dance Dance Dance and Bugs! - crop up seemingly every day; and dear old Keane hit us with 3D renditions of their catchy slices of angst pop with almost frightening regularity. It’s almost as if there are no other bands in the world where 3D is concerned!

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