Sky News Australia
Sky News Australia (branded on air as Sky News Live, and until 18 January 2015 as Sky News National) is an Australian 24-hour cable and satellite news channel available on the Foxtel and Optus Television subscription platforms. It is also available in New Zealand on Sky Television and Vodafone.
|Sky News Australia|
Sky News Australia logo
|Launched||19 February 1996|
|Owned by||Australian News Channel|
(News Corp Australia)
|Picture format||576i (SDTV 16:9)|
|Audience share||2.0% (August 2019, OzTam)|
|Slogan||Australia's News Channel|
Sky News Weather Channel
Sky News Extra
|WIN Television (as Sky News on WIN)||Channel 83|
Channel 53 (Northern NSW)
Channel 291 (HD)
|Sky (NZ)||Channel 085|
Channel 291 (HD)
|Neighbourhood Cable||Channel 21|
|Vodafone TV (NZ)||Channel 400|
|Foxtel Now||Channel 600/103|
Sky News Australia launched at 5pm on 19 February 1996, as the first Australian-produced television news channel. The channel aired its 50,000th unique newscast on 23 April 1996 at 11am. Sky News was added to Austar on 1 April 2000. In 2004, Sky News began broadcasting Sky News Active, its on-demand interactive TV news service. In 2008, Sky News launched the Sky News Business Channel, and on 20 January 2009, Sky News launched Australian Public Affairs Channel (A-PAC). It began widescreen broadcasting on 17 May 2009. Sky News Australia began broadcasting in high definition on 1 December 2015. A fourth spin-off channel, Sky News Election Channel, was launched on 1 May 2016. In July 2017, Sky News became provider of Fox Sports News with a mix of presenters and reporters from both organisations combining for 20 hours of live content per day on channel 500. While sports updates on Sky News programs are introduced as "Fox Sports News Updates."
In May 2018, Sky News Live moved to channel 600 and added a simulcast on channel 103, while its multiview service closed and moved some of its overflow channels to an online portal. The flagship British Sky News channel also launched on Foxtel as Sky News UK and A-PAC rebranded as Sky News Extra.
Sky News Channel's parent company, Australian News Channel (ANC), was owned equally by British Sky Broadcasting (now Sky Limited; which is now a division of Comcast), Seven Media Group and Nine Entertainment Co., each with a 33% stake in the company from its founding until December 2016, when it was acquired by News Corp Australia. The carriage deal between Australian News Channel and Foxtel is due to expire in 2017, reported as either February or December.
Until 2015, Sky News was responsible for producing New Zealand's Prime News - First at 5:30 from Sydney, hosted by Eric Young with filming taking place in Prime's Albany studios. It lost the contract to MediaWorks and subsequently ceased broadcasting a local New Zealand bulletin.
Sky News programming consists of a mix of live news bulletins, live broadcasts from events (such as Parliament Question Time and selected press conferences), original commentary panel programs and simulcasts of international sister station Sky News UK. Sky News has broadcast every sitting of Question time from the House of Representatives since its launch in 1996.
Sky News Australia increased its primetime programming offerings, particularly its political themed shows, significantly in 2013, ahead of the 2013 federal election, canceling almost entirely the slot's rolling news block News Night. It would then regain most of its runtime in 2014. Sky News Australia rebranded on 19 January 2015 as "Sky News Live", dropping the "Sky News National" branding.
On weekdays, throughout most of the day, rolling news coverage is presented from one of Sky News Australia's studios. From 4pm (AEST/AEDT), commentary programs begin, and continue through primetime until 11pm AEST/AEDT. Most of these programs are presesented by commentators discussing the news of the day, often with a panel of other commentators, and feature a news update at the beginning of the program (and sometimes further updates during the program). Rolling news continues from 11pm AEST/AEDT before coverage switches to an overnight simulcast of Sky News UK at 1am AEST/AEDT.
In 2007, Sky News aired local breakaway programming for New Zealand viewers in primetime, filmed at Prime NZ's Auckland studios. One of these programs, Prime News - First at 5:30, was also simulcast to Australian viewers. The debut of Sky News NZ Evening News was watched by just 1,500 viewers and panned by critics. As of 2015, no local New Zealand programs are produced or broadcast following the loss of a production contract with Prime NZ. However the channel debuted New Zealand Agenda on 16 June 2018, hosted by New Zealand bureau chief James O'Doherty from Wellington, New Zealand, focusing on NZ politics.
- Agenda (AM • New Zealand)
- First Edition
- Headline News with Jaynie Seal (Only on Sky News on WIN & Sky News Weather)
- Jones & Credlin
- Kenny on Sunday
- Kenny on Media
- Live Now with Ashleigh Gillon
- NewsDay with Tom Connell
- Paul Murray Live
- Richo & Jones
- Sunday Edition and Saturday Edition
- The Bolt Report
- The Friday Show
- The Front Page
- The Kenny Report
- Weekend Live
Presenters and reporters
- Andrew Bolt — The Bolt Report
- Tom Connell — NewsDay
- Peta Credlin — Credlin, Jones & Credlin
- Rowan Dean — Outsiders
- Ticky Fullerton — Business Weekend
- Kieran Gilbert — AM Agenda
- Ashleigh Gillon — Live Now
- Peter Gleeson — The Front Page
- Gary Hardgrave — Hardgrave
- Derryn Hinch — Hinch
- Laura Jayes — First Edition
- Alan Jones — Jones & Credlin, Richo & Jones
- Chris Kenny — Kenny on Sunday, The Kenny Report, Kenny on Media
- Sharri Markson — Sharri
- James Morrow — Outsiders
- Paul Murray — Paul Murray Live
- Annelise Nielsen — AM Agenda
- Rita Panahi — The Friday Show, Outsiders
- Janine Perrett
- Graham Richardson — Richo & Jones
- Leo Shanahan — Business Weekend
- Peter Stefanovic — First Edition
- David Speers — Speers, Speers on Sunday
- Charlotte Mortlock, Danica De Giorgio, Stela Todorovic, Kristy Coulcher and Caroline Marcus - Sydney
- Andrea Crothers, Gabriella Power and Patrick Murrell - Melbourne
- Trudy McIntosh - Canberra
- Brendan Smith and Anna Rawlings - Brisbane
- Emily Burley - Adelaide
- Emily Evans - Perth
- Matt Cunningham - Darwin
- Julia Bradley - Gold Coast
- Jackson Williams - Wellington, NZ.
- Chris Kohler - Business
Former presenters and reporters
- Samantha Armytage (now with Sunrise on the Seven Network)
- Dan Bourchier (now with ABC News and 666 ABC Canberra)
- Ross Cameron (sacked)
- Helen Dalley
- Georgie Gardner (now with Today on the Nine Network)
- Amy Greenbank (now with ABC News)
- Stan Grant (now with ABC News)
- Leigh Hatcher
- Patricia Karvelas (now with ABC News)
- Kristina Keneally (now a Senator for New South Wales)
- David Koch (now with Sunrise on the Seven Network)
- Mark Latham (fired, now in the NSW State Upper House)
- Prue Lewarne
- Samantha Maiden (resigned whilst suspended)
- John Mangos
- Sharon McKenzie
- Melanie McLaughlin (now with Seven News)
- Jim Middleton (now a Senior Advisor for Sentor Tim Storer)
- Kelly Nestor
- Juanita Phillips (now with ABC News)
- Cameron Price (now with Seven News)
- Chris Roe
- Celina Edmonds
- Vanessa Grimm
- Nina Stevens (now with Seven News)
- Amber Sherlock (now with Nine News)
- Greg Thomson (resigned whilst suspended)
- Karen Tso (now with CNBC)
- Peter van Onselen (now with 10 News First)* Terry Willesee
- Michael Willesee, Jr.
- Ahron Young
Sky News Australia has a bureau in every capital city in Australia, completing this with the opening of its Hobart studio in 2013. In 2016, it opened a bureau in Cairns, making it the first non-capital city bureau. In 2017, a Gold Coast bureau was opened marking the third non-capital city studio after Cairns and Geelong.
The base of Sky News Australia is in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park, where the majority of its news and programming is broadcast from. Its Melbourne studio was upgraded in 2014, allowing it to be used as a secondary broadcast studio. Hinch Live became the first regular program to be broadcast from Melbourne. Ahron Young is the Melbourne Bureau Chief.
The third major bureau is in Parliament House, Canberra, opened in 2000. Lyndal Curtis became Bureau Chief of in October 2015. Additionally, Sky News has a small office in the Channel Seven building in Martin Place, which includes a small street-level single camera studio which looks onto Elizabeth Street, Sydney.
Apart from its own resources, Sky News Australia uses the news resources of its former parent companies Seven News, Nine News and Sky News UK, as well as sister network Fox News Channel. It signed a four-year partnership deal with CNN International commencing 1 January 2011, and additionally has agreememnts with CCTV China, ABC America, CBS, Reuters, APTN, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and TV3 New Zealand. Sky News UK, ABC and CBS were founding international partners of Sky News Australia.
The highest rating broadcast on Sky News Australia was an episode of Paul Murray Live on 26 June 2013 (following the 2013 Labor leadership spill), averaging 197,000 viewers across a special two-hour broadcast. The highest audience share Sky News Australia has achieved was during coverage of the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
On 15 December 2014 during the Sydney Lindt cafe siege, coverage of the unfolding incident took 16 of the 20 most watched programs on the Foxtel platform. The 7pm (AEST) hour was the highest rated at 109,000 viewers. Sky News achieved a day time share of 2.6% (behind ABC News 24's 3.8%) and a primetime share of 1.5% (behind ABC News 24's 2.5%).
Sky News Live rated 56,000 viewers for early evening coverage of the 2015 Queensland state election, and 83,000 viewers for later coverage, beaten by ABC News 24's coverage which was watched by 195,000 viewers nationally. For its coverage of the failed Liberal leadership spill on 9 February 2015 between 9am and 10am, Sky News Live was the second most watched subscription channel and the coverage was the third most watched program of the day with 69,000 viewers.
Sky News Live reached a total audience of 700,000 viewers on 14 September 2015 (including simulcast on Sky News Business) during the 2015 Liberal leadership spill. It was the most watched subscription television channel for the evening and outrated all free-to-air television channels between 11pm and midnight AEST. The highest rated hour of coverage was from 10pm, achieving 190,000 viewers, the second highest ratings since the 2013 Labor Party spill.
A March 2016 article in The Guardian Australia reported Sky News averages 12,000 national viewers between 6pm and midnight, with a peak of 18,000 between 8pm and 10pm, although the report did not specify what days or dates this average refers to.
During the 2016 federal election, Sky News averaged 96,000 viewers, an increase of 46% from the 2013 election.
In July 2018, Sky News claimed to have achieved its highest ratings on record, with viewership up 9% overall and its weeknight primetime (6pm-11pm) viewership 25% higher on the same period last year, according to OzTAM figures.
In August 2018, coverage of the Liberal Party of Australia leadership spill, 2018 saw Sky News gain its highest Tuesday primetime audience ever with a 4.2% audience share. Speers, Credlin and Jones & Co all had their highest-rated episodes on record.
Criticism and controversies
Sky News has been described as having a "split personality," running straight news bulletins and reporting during the day with professional and independent journalists and presenters, while moving towards "right-leaning punditry" in prime time. Drawing some comparison to Fox News, the network began moving towards panel-based programming from 2010, with many of its highest profile prime time commentators conservative. Hosts Andrew Bolt and Paul Murray have been compared to Fox News presenters Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity respectively. Academics note Sky News also featuring "centre-left" commentators and "respected independent journalists" as a key distinction to Fox News.
During the 2016 federal election campaign, Liberal Party strategist Tony O'Leary reportedly told Sky News that Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull would boycott appearing on the network, while it employed previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott's former chief of staff Peta Credlin as a commentator. Turnbull also described its audience as "too small."
In August 2018, Sky News was heavily criticised for providing a platform to Blair Cottrell, leader of the Neo-Nazi organisation United Patriots Front in a one-on-one discussion about immigration on The Adam Giles Show. Sky News presenters, including Laura Jayes and David Speers, were among those critical (both on-air and off-air) of his appearance on the program due to the fact that he has expressed admiration for Hitler and claimed to have manipulated women "using violence and terror." Sky News commentator and former Labor Party minister Craig Emerson resigned in protest after the interview was broadcast, stating that "My father fought Nazis in WWII and was interred in a German POW camp,” and that the decision to give Cottrell a platform on Sky News was “another step in a journey to normalising racism & bigotry in our country”. Activist groups called on advertisers to pull advertising campaigns off Sky News in the wake of the channel’s interview with Cottrell. During the fallout and criticism over the interview, Cottrell responded by tweeting about raping reporter Laura Jayes, saying via Twitter that "I might as well have raped @ljayes [Laura Jayes] on the air, not only would she have been happier with that but the reaction would’ve been the same." Jayes responded by stating that Cottrell is "not just a fascist. He’s down right dangerous".
In November 2018, Sky News terminated the contract of former Liberal Party MP and late-night presenter Ross Cameron for using racist language to describe Chinese people.
In the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, Sky News Australia was temporarily removed from Sky New Zealand's satellite platform, amid concerns over how the channel's coverage could potentially affect the investigation into the attack; Fox Sports News was added to the platform as a replacement. Sky News Australia was restored to Sky New Zealand on 21 March, six days after the attack.
|List of accolades|
|2007||2007 ASTRA Awards||Most outstanding performance by a presenter||David Speers||Won|
|Most Creative Use of Technology||Anytime, Anywhere||Nominated|
|2008||Logie Awards of 2008||Most Outstanding News Coverage||Federal Election||Nominated|
|2008 ASTRA Awards||Most outstanding performance by a presenter||David Speers||Won|
|Most outstanding performance by a broadcast journalist||Kieran Gilbert||Won|
|Most outstanding performance by a presenter||Hellen Dalley||Nominated|
|Channel of the year||Sky News Australia||Nominated|
|Favourite male personality||James Bracey||Nominated|
|Favourite female personality||Helen Dalley||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage||APEC 2007||Won|
|2009||2009 ASTRA Awards||Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist||David Speers||Won|
|Favourite male personality||Kieran Gilbert||Nominated|
|2010||Logie Awards of 2010||Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report||Liberal Leadership Meltdown||Nominated|
|2010 ASTRA Awards||Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist||Kieran Gilbert||Won|
|2011||Logie Awards of 2011||Most Outstanding News Coverage||Election 2010||Nominated|
|2011 ASTRA Awards||Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist||Ashleigh Gillon||Won|
|Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter||David Speers||Won|
|Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage||Election 2010||Won|
|2012||Logie Awards of 2012||Most Outstanding News Coverage||Qantas Grounded||Nominated|
|2012 ASTRA Awards||Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter||David Speers||Won|
|2013||Logie Awards of 2013||Most Outstanding News Coverage||Rudd Vs Gillard Leadership Challenge||Nominated|
|2013 ASTRA Awards||Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist||Ahron Young||Won|
|Favourite personality - male||Paul Murray||Nominated|
|Favourite Programme Australian||Paul Murray Live||Nominated|
|2014||Logie Awards of 2014||Most Outstanding News Coverage||Leadership Spill||Nominated|
|2014 ASTRA Awards||Channel of the year||Sky News National||Nominated|
|Favourite personality - male||Paul Murray||Nominated|
|Favourite personality - female||Laura Jayes||Nominated|
|Favourite program: Australian||Paul Murray Live||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding News Program||Election 2013 coverage||Won|
|Paul Murray Live||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding performance by a broadcast journalist||Kieran Gilbert||Nominated|
|2015||Logie Awards of 2015||Most Outstanding News Coverage||What Is Metadata?||Nominated|
|2015 ASTRA Awards||Channel of the year||Sky News National||Won|
|Most Outstanding Presenter – Male||Paul Murray||Won|
|Most Outstanding Presenter – Female||Nina Stevens||Nominated|
|Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist||David Speers||Won|
|Most Outstanding News Program||Paul Murray Live||Won|
|Richo + Jones||Nominated|
|2016||Logie Awards of 2016||Most Outstanding News Coverage||Liberal Leadership Crisis: Abbott V Turnbull||Nominated|
|ASTRA Industry Awards||Most Outstanding Innovation (use of technology)||LiveU SmartGRIP||Nominated|
|Walkley Awards||Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue||2016 Election coverage||Won|
|6th AACTA Awards||Subscription Television Award For Best Live Event Production||2016 Election Coverage||Nominated|
|Subscription Television Award For Best Male Presenter||David Speers||Nominated|
|2017||Logie Awards of 2017||Most Outstanding News Coverage||2016 Election coverage||Won|
Sky News Multiview
With the roll-out of Foxtel Digital, Sky News Australia launched the Sky News Active interactive news service based on the Sky News UK service with the same name. The service offered a choice of eight news screens, some with original content not seen on the main channel they vary depending on the days news or events and include the latest news, business, sport, showbiz and weather in text. Other features included interactive polling and the latest news headlines via text. On 15 November 2009 Sky News active re-launched with a new look as well as 5 additional local screens (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide
Sky News Now
Sky News Alerts
Sky News offers various programs via podcast including First Business, Market Day, Showbiz, Agenda, Australian News Week, and Prime News New Zealand.
Sky News on WIN
Sky News on WIN is a free-to-air 24-hour hybrid general and sports news channel that was launched on 2 September 2018. The channel features shared news programming from both WIN Television and Sky News Australia, while regional WIN News content will also be broadcast on Sky News Australia. A large part of the schedule, though, is a simulcast of Fox Sports News' programs, including Sports First, Sports Saturday, Sports Sunday and Extra Time. The channel is available on digital channel 83 across WIN's regional markets in Southern NSW & ACT, Griffith, Regional Victoria, Mildura, Regional Queensland, Tasmania, Mount Gambier/Riverland and Western Australia, and digital channel 53 in Northern NSW & Gold Coast.
In its first two weeks, the channel averaged 10,000 viewers in primetime and 4,000 viewers in daytime, with Richo the highest rated program at 24,000 viewers.
The specifically produced morning news program Headline News is also simulcast nationally on Sky News Weather and regionally on WIN's main channel.
- About Sky News
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- Sky News Alerts
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- Freed, Jamie (23 July 2014). "Qantas takes Sky News to the air in overhaul of its in-flight entertainment". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Cronin, Seanna (4 August 2018). "Foxtel to launch 24 hour news on WIN". Cairns Post. Cairns. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
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