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Sky News scraps plan to launch in USA

Reported in today's Observer (August 2003)

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A former member Anglia (East) Look East
Sky News scraps plan to launch in America

Jessica Hodgson
Sunday August 17, 2003
The Observer

A plan to launch Sky News in America has been shelved after protests from its US sister station, Fox News, and concerns over an ideological 'clash'.
BSkyB

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chief executive Tony Ball told Sky News at a recent meeting that the plans would be abandoned.

Nick Pollard, head of Sky News, who is thought to have been a key backer, confirmed that the proposal had been dropped. He played down the significance of the launch.

'For the moment, it doesn't look like it's going to happen,' said Pollard. 'The plans were at a very early stage - nothing had been decided.'

Sky executives held talks with several cable and satellite distributors in the US in the wake of the war with Iraq. The channel won critical acclaim for its war coverage and saw its ratings rocket.

Fox News, which has been supportive of President George Bush's war on terror, is popular in the US as a result of its ultra-patriotic stance. Fox's boss, Roger Ailes, is understood to have told Rupert Murdoch that the launch of Sky could cannibalise Fox's success. But Sky sources also pointed to sensitivities about the way Sky News, which is politically neutral, would be regarded in the current political climate.

'This is a very sensitive area for Sky,' said one senior source. 'Fox is ideologically slanted and has been very successful in the US. Sky News is very, very successful, but within a British model.

'Murdoch has gone on record as describing Sky News as "BBC Lite", and it's clear he would like it to be harder-hitting. Everyone at Sky News is very opposed to the Foxification, but they don't want a pitched battle. Launching in the US would make that a possibility.'
CW
cwathen Founding member West Country (West) Spotlight
Or in other words, the Americans couldn't take real news instead of the almost propaganda like pap which Fox churns out.
CO
Corin
If Americans want real news, then they do not watch FOX NEWS, but tune to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or PBS for tv news and NPR for radio news.

It is not as it there are no alternatives -- US media is much more diverse than that in the UK.

And would it not be cheaper for Rupert, if they just replaced B$kyB news with FOX NEWS? Think of the all the money saved by sacking all those newsreaders and reporters.
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Adam London London
See Below, double post.
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Adam London London
Corin posted:

And would it not be cheaper for Rupert, if they just replaced B$kyB news with FOX NEWS? Think of the all the money saved by sacking all those newsreaders and reporters.


Sky makes money (most probably a very considerable amount) with it's news coverage. Use your common sense! Rupert Murdoch wouldn't keep Sky News running for no money Rolling Eyes .
LO
Londoner London London
Sky News isn't run to make a profit - it is run for the prestige that it brings to BSkyB.

TV news is rarely a profitable activity.
CO
Corin
Adam posted:
Sky makes money (most probably a very considerable amount) with it's news coverage.


In fact, I think you will find it does not make any money at all from its (there is no apostrophe in the possessive pronoun) "news coverage" but from the sale of commercial air time on that network.

Quote:
Rupert Murdoch wouldn't keep Sky News running for no money


Indeed - no doubt he has done his sums and worked out that he can earn more from higher rates on a UK sourced service than an US sourced service due to the fact that the English do not like watching American newsreaders.
CO
Corin
James Hatts posted:
TV news is rarely a profitable activity.


Very true, but does anybody have any figures for CNN?

Did it ever make much of a profit when owned by Turner?
MT
MrTomServo
Corin posted:
If Americans want real news, then they do not watch FOX NEWS, but tune to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or PBS for tv news and NPR for radio news.


And even NPR ("from NPR News in Washington, I'm Ann Taylor") is heavily liberal-slanted, so their coverage -- on things political at least -- isn't what I'd consider to be objective. I tend to stick with CBS News on the radio ("kay enn exx ten seventyyyyyyy ... news rayyyyydeeeeeeoooooooo ... It's six o'clock ... BONG! ... doo dee doo dodo!") ... they might be slightly more sensationalist than NPR, as most commercial news is, but they're usually pretty well on target when it comes to fairness and slant.

As for television news, I'm finding myself gravitating toward Newsworld International, which has a very BBC World-esque format, but uses a lot of footage from CBC, ITV News, and elsewhere. They tend to be very neutral, have almost zero "analysis", which is just the way I like it. It's a real case of "we report, you decide", and not "we decide, you concur."

P.S.: It's really a shame that Sky News has decided against launching here, though I can see why they wouldn't, as two News Corp.-owned channels just spells trouble. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait until BBC World comes along, and then I can finally jizz like a true anorak. Wink

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A former member Anglia (East) Look East
A bit of off-topic Sky News gossip - I was doing a shift last night and the sound guy played 'Chris Rogers' as the voiceover on one bulletin, instead of 'Chris Roberts'. Chris was not happy and fell into a mood for about 3 hours.

Quite amusing really. Serves him right. Moody egoist.
WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
Adam posted:
Rupert Murdoch wouldn't keep Sky News running for no money Rolling Eyes .



Yes he would! When Sky News was launched, Murdoch knew it would be a loss maker. It was launched because Sky needed a prestigious British 'face' on a service which contained mostly American imports.

Sky News took over 10 years to break even!
EM
EmleyMoor
fernando posted:
A bit of off-topic Sky News gossip - I was doing a shift last night and the sound guy played 'Chris Rogers' as the voiceover on one bulletin, instead of 'Chris Roberts'. Chris was not happy and fell into a mood for about 3 hours.

Quite amusing really. Serves him right. Moody egoist.


Tee hee...wish I'd seen that!
I don't think he is that good and often looks like he is smiling on the most serious of stories....and that hair....for goodness sake...get yourself to a decent hairdressers love...the swept back look went out with Wham!

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