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Sky 3D kick-off date finalised: Over a thousand pubs already signed up

Europe's first 3D channel, Sky 3D, will kick off with the Barclays Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea

Sky 3D, Europe's first 3D TV channel, could be on its way to your local pub, just in time for the top-of-the-table Barclays Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea. The broadcaster has announced the channel will launch on Saturday 3 April.

If the thought of Wayne Rooney and John Terry in pointypointyvision scares the living bejeezus out of you -- and it should -- at least another five Premier League games will be shown live in 3D before the end of the season (Sunday 9 May) alongside the Coca-Cola Football League play-off finals. These matches will almost certainly feature more palatable footballers.

Since 3D-ready TVs won't be available to consumers for a good few months yet, this launch will predominantly benefit a limited selection of boozers.

According to Sky, over 1,000 pubs and clubs across the country have already signed up for Sky 3D, with more expected to get their foot in the door before the the Red Devils face the Blues in April. If LG's original boasting is to be believed, Sky is aiming to get 15,000 commercial polarised LC 3D TVs into pubs around the country. That figure was later withdrawn by the red-faced TV manufacturer, since Sky cannot guarantee the amount of pubs that will sign up.

"It's fitting that one of the biggest games of the season will be the launch pad for our pioneering Sky 3D service," said Brian Lenz, Sky's director of product design and TV product development. He added, "With 3D, seeing really is believing, so it's great news that over a thousand pubs across country will be able to show the magic of 3D to their customers."

Beyond live football, Sky 3D will be a little light on content, merely showing previews of upcoming programming during selected hours of the day. The broadcaster promises Sky 3D will feature a wide selection of movies, sport, documentaries and entertainment programming by the end of the year.

Though many residential customers won't have a use for (or want) 3D just yet, if subscribers to Sky's HD package give the broadcaster a ring and tell them which 3D TV they have, Sky will activate the channel before 3 April for your household.

It's also enlightening to note that Sky's press release states, "the channel will initially be introduced at no extra cost" to premium HD subscribers, with 'initially' being the operative word. This opens up the possibility that Sky 3D could require additional costs down the line. Crafty three-dimensional beggars.