Sky News will launch on the Saorview TV platform next Tuesday, the Comcast-owned broadcaster said, becoming the 12th TV channel to join the free service.
The 24-hour news channel, founded in 1989, will be available on Saorview 23 from November 30.
Saorview, owned and managed by RTÉ and operated by its transmission subsidiary 2rn, currently houses RTÉ One HD, RTÉ2 HD, Virgin Media One, TG4, Virgin Media Two, Virgin Media Three, RTÉjr, RTÉ One +1, RTÉ2 +1, RTÉ News and Oireachtas TV.
The digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform has existed since 2011, when it was launched before analogue television transmissions ceased in October 2012.
According to the most recent figures from research firm Nielsen, around 12% of households with a television set – or 199,000 households – use Irish DTT as the only traditional type of reception and do not pay for cable or television services. satellite.
Sky Ireland chief executive JD Buckley said Sky News regularly covers issues of importance to Irish viewers.
“We have production teams and correspondents based in Dublin and Belfast who contribute to the Sky News service every day, so we are delighted that our channel is broadcast for free in Ireland. “
When Sky – which previously had Rupert Murdoch’s former company, 21st Century Fox as its largest shareholder – was acquired by US telecommunications giant Comcast in 2018, Comcast agreed to guarantee funding for Sky News for 10 years and ” establish an editorial board to protect its independence.
The service’s programming, which employs more than 500 journalists worldwide and is run by John Ryley, includes the Kay Burley Breakfast, the business-themed Ian King Live and the Daily Climate Show, hosted by Anna Jones. Its longtime presenter and former political writer Adam Boulton recently announced that he would be leaving the channel at the end of the year.
“The launch of Sky News on Saorview will provide our audience with a new source of local and global news from a popular and well-recognized international news channel,” said Jim Higgins, Head of Brand and Corporate Compliance. Saorview business development.
Sky News will automatically appear on most Saorview approved set-top boxes and televisions. However, some users may have to re-scan their decoder or television to receive it.
The channel will air on Saorview in high resolution (SD) standard definition rather than high definition (HD), Sky said.
Tariffs on Saorview are set on the basis of used capacity as a percentage of the total cost base of the service, which means HD channels pay more to be transported than SD channels.
Over the past decade, broadcasters such as Virgin Media Television – which has chosen not to put HD versions of its channels on the service – have criticized Saorview’s transmission rates as being too high and suggested it had hampered its development.