×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

European Pay TV Giant Sky Launches Virtual Reality Production Unit

LONDON — European pay TV giant Sky has launched a virtual reality production unit, Sky VR Studio, as it steps up its commitment to VR programming.

The first pieces of fully immersive VR content to be produced by the unit will be released on Friday — two films shot during Formula One testing in Barcelona, which will put viewers in the pit lane, the team garages and out onto the track.

The two Formula One VR “experiences,” which were produced in conjunction with Formula One management and Williams Martini Racing, will be made available via the Facebook 360 Video platform. The full VR experience will also be available on the Oculus platform, and viewable on the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets. Later in the year, Sky will look to distribute content through a dedicated Sky VR app.

Over the coming year, Sky VR Studio will produce more than 20 films, across a range of Sky content — from major cultural events in news to some of the world’s biggest sporting events.

The Sky VR Studio team is led by executive producer Neil Graham, and includes VR director Richard Nockles, who directed the Formula One film, and is behind a wide range of VR projects for a number of global brands.

Sky has been building its expertise in VR for a number of years. In 2013, the company invested in Jaunt, a U.S.-based company pioneering cinematic virtual reality. Since then, Sky has been carrying out testing across a range of events.

Already, the Sky News team has produced “360” videos, taking viewers to the center of the migrant crisis with footage from the refugee landing beach in Lesbos, and the refugee camp in Calais. Sky Movies also trialed the technology at the recent premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” giving a 360-degree view from the red carpet.

In the coming months, Sky VR Studio will create exclusive VR content on Anthony Joshua’s challenge for the heavyweight boxing title, and Team Sky’s bid for the Tour de France crown, as well as various VR programming across news, arts and entertainment.

Gary Davey, managing director, content at Sky, commented: “The Sky VR Studio allows us to add a new dimension to storytelling, taking viewers to extraordinary places and offering a unique perspective on a whole host of events. The development of VR technology is moving at an incredible pace, and excitement is building about its potential. Our expertise across a wide range of video content, from original drama to live sport, gives us a unique ability to bring VR to life for customers. This is just the start, and we’re looking forward to creating more amazing VR content and exploring the possibilities with our tech and content partners.”

More Digital

  • Colin Kroll Dead Vine Obit

    HQ Trivia and Vine Co-Founder Colin Kroll Dies at 35

    Colin Kroll, co-founder of the Vine video app and the HQ Trivia game, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment early Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, Variety has confirmed. He was 35. New York Police Department officers responded at 12:18 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, to a call by Kroll’s girlfriend, who was concerned about [...]

  • Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA Signs Gaming Influencers Nick Eh 30, StoneMountain64

    CAA has signed two popular live-streaming battle royale gamers — Nicholas Amyoony, better known as Nick Eh 30, and David Steinberg, aka StoneMountain64 — for representation. CAA said it will work to create opportunities for Nick Eh 30 (above left) and StoneMountain64 (above right) in all areas, including TV, motion pictures, touring, digital distribution and [...]

  • Amazon Adds NBA League Pass to

    Amazon Adds NBA League Pass Live-Streaming Games to Prime Video Channels

    Amazon is bringing pro hoops action to Prime Video Channels: The ecommerce giant now offers NBA League Pass as part of its lineup of 150-plus subscription options for Prime members in the U.S. It’s the first U.S. live-sports subscription service on Prime Video Channels. Prime members can subscribe to NBA League Pass via Prime Video [...]

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

    International Piracy Ring Stole Over 25,000 Movie and TV Digital Files, U.S. Feds Say

    A five-member international hacking crime ring stole more than 25,000 files for Hollywood movies and TV shows and illegally offered hundreds of them for sale online, according to U.S. law enforcement officials. A federal grand jury in L.A. on Wednesday (Dec. 12) indicted five men, identified as residing in the U.K., India, Dubai and Malaysia, [...]

  • Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president

    Apple to Update iPhones in China to Avoid Sales Ban

    Apple is pushing out a software update to iPhones in China to address a recent court order obtained by Qualcomm that banned the sale of certain iPhone models in the country. The update will allow the company to continue selling its phones in China, company representatives told Reuters Friday morning. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court [...]

  • Kevin Reilly Variety Cover

    Kevin Reilly Named Content Chief for WarnerMedia Streaming Service

    Kevin Reilly — a veteran television exec who has led programming at NBC, FX, Fox, and most recently Turner Broadcasting — has been tapped to head content strategy for the still-nascent streaming service that WarnerMedia plans to launch next year. Reilly, who has led programming at Turner brands TNT and TBS since 2015, will serve [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content