The UK’s Competition Appeals Tribunal is to judge on 29 October on whether REAL digital can be granted the same rights of access as BT Vision, Top Up TV and Virgin Media to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 sport channels.
Real Digital is a new digital satellite service for UK and Irish consumers due to launch in January 2011 If, as it expects, it is granted the same right of supply for Sky Sports 1 and 2, it claims that for the first time in history British and Irish consumers will have a choice of satellite TV providers that can deliver Sky Sports 1 and 2 at what the broadcaster promised to be low prices.
In addition to sports, REAL will be broadcasting a number of new pay TV services including some in HD and will offer satellite dish users all the standard 200+ free to air TV channels. REAL Digital also plans to launch a number of pay-TV channels to attract consumers to the new platform, and these will include documentary channels and a channel that offers classic movies. The company has developed a new technical standard to deliver the REAL Digital 7-Day EPG, which includes a secure encryption system. This encryption system will allow channels to be encrypted so pay-TV and PPV services can develop.
Pre-installed Sky or freesat customers will not need a new satellite dish as REAL Digital will be picked up on the same satellite dish. Customers will though need to purchase a REAL Digital HD set top box, which will retail from £159 for a single tuner without hard drive or around £270 for a REAL HD+ box with a hard drive. A REAL Smart Viewing Card will be included with all REAL boxes. Trade in offers will be available for those who wish to trade in their freesat or Sky STB.