For many of us, we can’t remember a time before the 24 hour news cycle. Indeed, once upon a time, the news was something you either got from a daily newspaper or found out about through scheduled blasts on television or the radio. Nevertheless, there’s no doubting that the 24 news cycle has brought us all closer to the major events of the day.
Amongst the channels competing for viewers on this non-stop schedule are the BBC, Al Jazeera and, of course, Sky. It’s the latter channel we’re interested in today though, and in this guide we’re going to take a look at the history of the channel, the awards it’s received and how you can access it! If you want to discuss, joining Sky, the contact details are available here https://www.telecomshelp.com/contact-numbers/sky/
Sky News – A History
On the 8th of June, 1988, Rupert Murdoch took to the stage of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to announce that his Sky Television service would launch a new television news service in the UK called Sky News. It would be the first 24 hour rolling news station in the UK, and lay out the blueprint for countless news programmes to follow.
It began broadcasting at 6PM on the 5th of February 1989 with the slogan ‘We’re there when you need us’ emphasising the 24 hour nature of Sky News. Visually, the studio replicated the ‘live’ feel of the recently redesigned BBC studio which placed the newsreader within the context of a working newsroom, lending a sense of urgency.
In these early days, the channel operated on a £40m budget with £10m share of overheads, which led the chief executive of BSkyB to consider closing it, even suggesting it to Murdoch himself. Murdoch, however, was proud of the power and prestige the channel gave him and Sky, and demanded it be kept.
By March 1992, Sky News’ parent company finally begun to turn a profit and Sky News itself had firmly established itself as one of the best news sources in the UK. Indeed, no company would even challenge it until 1997 when the BBC launched a 24 hour news service, which Sky attempted to challenge in court.
The legal challenge failed, but that didn’t stop Sky from prospering. 2000 saw Sky launch Sky News Active, a 24 hour interactive service providing headlines on demand, whilst 2005 saw a major deal for Sky to supply news bulletins to Channel 5, taking over from ITN in January 2005. Later that year, Sky News moved to new studios in Isleworth, London and underwent a major on-screen revamp.
They also moved away from 24 hour rolling news to dedicated segments, which proved dramatically unpopular with viewers, who moved en-masse to BBC News. In response, Sky shook things up again, with rolling news once again taking the fore.
In 2016, Sky moved once again to Studio 21 in West London, known as Sky Central. The studio is currently used for their morning broadcasts, but will soon be home to their entire news operation.
What Programmes do Sky News Air?
Rolling news aside, Sky News has several live news talk shows and analysis, here’s just a sample:
- Sunrise: Breakfast news broadcast directly from their Sky Central studio, with news and analysis.
- All Out Politics with Adam Boulton: Daily politics discussion from their Westminster studio.
- Sky News with Kay Burley: News and debate with Sky’s leading anchor.
- Ian King Live: All the biggest business news and interviews from Sky’s Westminster studios, starring Ian King.
- Sky News Tonight: A roundup of the day’s news and events from the Westminster studio.
- Sky News at 10: The classic News at 10 format, the Sky way, hard hitting analysis and compelling talk.
- Sportsline: Sky Sports content without the package, Sportsline distils all the biggest stories in sport down for your viewing enjoyment.
How can I Access Sky News?
Unlike some Sky channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky News is available to everybody in the UK. Whether you’re on Freeview, Sky, BT, Virgin or anything else, you’ll be able to find Sky News on your EPG in the news section, alongside the likes of BBC News 24. In that sense, it’s quite like Sky Living, which appears on Freeview.
Sky News is also available online, with live-streaming options or simply the opportunity to read the news as you would any other online news source. Catch up news services can be found on Sky On Demand, via Sky+ and Sky Q.
What Awards has Sky News Won?
Sky News has been the recipient of a number of awards, including a BAFTA for their coverage of the September 11th attacks and the 2003 Soham Murders. Their 2005 coverage of the 7/7 bombings won an International Emmy for Breaking News and in 2007 they were named “Best News Channel” at the Digital Channel Awards.
Further awards have come from the British Academy who awarded the channel for their coverage of the Ebola crisis and from the Royal Television Society, who named Sky News the News Channel of the Year in 2016 – the 10th time the channel received the award.