Sky Sports News has become the first channel to go on-air from the new £233 million Sky Studios production facility in West London.
Previously known as Harlequin 1, the opening of Sky Studios is part of an increased investment in British content made by the broadcaster. Last month, it was announced that Sky plans to increase investment in British programmes by more than 50% to £600 million a year over the next three years.
“Opening Sky Studios is a significant step in Sky’s development, and this building stands testament to our commitment to home-grown, high quality British content,” said Jeremy Darroch, chief executive, Sky. “Not only is Sky Studios the most environmentally sustainable broadcasting facility in Europe, its cutting edge technology will also help us continue to create ground-breaking and innovative programming long into the future.”
The first programme to be broadcast, the 6am edition of Sky Sports News’ Good Morning Sportsfans, was presented by Mike Wedderburn, who also happened to be the first presenter to appear on Sky Sports News when it first went to air on the August 9, 1998.
Last autumn Sky Sports News moved from free-to-air to pay, at the same time receiving a significant increase in budget, adding additional OB trucks and high definition capability.
Sky Studios is home to eight naturally ventilated studios including five HD studios, 45 edit suites, 14 voice-over suites, four audio suites and on site post-production facilities.