Sky Sports News goes pay-TV exclusive
Monday, August 23 2010, 10:09 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,

Sky Sports News has left Freeview and become exclusively available on pay-TV platforms, including the launch of its new Sky-exclusive high definition channel.

From today, Sky Sports News has been replaced on digital terrestrial television with Sky3 +1, which offers an hour timeshift of the already available Sky3 channel.

Sky Sports News will now only be available on Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV, along with Sky's online and mobile platforms.

Sky customers taking any Sports Pack or the News & Events Pack will be unaffected by the switch. All other Sky TV customers will receive Sky Sports News as a six-month bonus channel until February 23, 2011.

Under the changes, Sky Sports News HD has also launched exclusively on Sky channel 455. Available to all Sky+ HD customers, the channel offers sharper picture quality and HD highlights in a new widescreen format.

For the launch of Sky Sports News HD, a raft of new programmes has been commissioned, including First, Fast And Now running a daily sports news roundup every morning from 10am to 1pm.

The news broadcaster has also hired more reporters, presenters and production staff to provide deeper coverage of the big stories in sport.

Also today, Sky Sports News has launched a dedicated iPad application offering "breaking news, views and opinion from the world of sport".

The app also hosts live streaming of Sky Sports News Radio, a brand new service broadcasting rolling sports news coverage. The radio service is also available online from the Sky Sports website.

The launch of Sky Sports News HD is part of Sky's strategy to give its new and existing subscribers additional premium sports content in the face of strong competition from BT, which now offers Sky Sports 1 and 2 on its BT Vision service.