Sky Sports News Finds Temporary Home With Visions

Sky Sports News has followed the other channels in the broadcaster’s sporting portfolio and gone both high definition and subscription-only. The new HD version of the service is available to more than 13 million subscribers to Sky, Virgin Media, and TalkTalk TV Home.

Among the reasons for making Sky Sports News HD a pay channel was to fund “future growth and development,” which includes “increased depth and breadth of editorial coverage.”

As part of the subscription package, viewers with iPads can receive breaking news, opinions, and punditry on sport. This app also carries Sky Sports News Radio, a new rolling-news service also available at www.skysports.com.

Sky Sports News was the first channel of its kind in the UK when launched in 1998. The HD incarnation offers widescreen with improved graphics, information bars, video in side panels offering additional information on a main story, a new presentation and reporting team, more live reports, and availability through mobile, Web, and PC platforms.

The service is transmitted from a studio created in a master-control area of Sky’s present broadcasting centre. The broadcaster will eventually move into new facilities within the Harlequin 1 complex, which is currently being built.

Sky Sports News HD currently has a temporary gallery installed by NEP Visions. The OB company provided some of the equipment, including Evertz EQX routers, VIP-X routing and display system, and Calrec Audio Omega audio desk, with Sky supplying most of the video equipment. Cameras are fibre-based LDK 8000s.

Rob Newton, Visions’ director of engineering, describes the system as a cross between a flyaway and a traditional installation.

Commenting on the launch of Sky Sports News HD, Executive Editor Andy Cairns says, “I’m delighted that through a combination of our move to HD, broader editorial coverage and innovation on the TV, computer, iPad and mobile, we will once again raise the bar in broadcast sports news journalism.”