Foxtel adds Business Channel

Foxtel and Austar have announced a new Business Channel to operate from early 2008.

Sky News Business will include 16 hours of locally-produced content each day combined with programming from FOX Business Network in the US, the BSkyB Business News and Reuters Television.

It will operate from Sky’s Sydney studio with a bureau also in Melbourne.

The channel will be free on basic platforms.

Press Release:

Australian News Channel, the owner and operator of SKY NEWS, FOXTEL and AUSTAR today announced the launch of Australia’s first dedicated 24-hour-a-day television business news channel – SKY NEWS BUSINESS CHANNEL.

The BUSINESS CHANNEL will deliver breaking business news, commentary and analysis around the clock from Australia and internationally.

Airing from early 2008 the BUSINESS CHANNEL will be produced from a new dedicated business news studio at the SKY NEWS digital centre in Sydney. It will also have a bureau in the Sydney CBD and in Melbourne.

The BUSINESS CHANNEL will deliver a minimum of 16 hours a day of Australian-made programming, ranging from coverage of the ASX and international markets to consumer finance issues and personal investment.

The channel will feature a live on-screen ASX ticker and plans are underway to add an interactive multi-screen business application similar to that already offered by SKY NEWS.

ANC CEO, Angelos Frangopoulos, said: “The BUSINESS CHANNEL is a major advance for business journalism in Australia. It will be made in Australia, by Australians, for Australians, while maintaining a focus on our region and the world. Our new channel will build on our existing stable of business programming which we have been constantly developing and expanding to deliver consumers fresh, relevant, understandable news about the business that matters to them. We will cover business in all its forms from the professional markets to personal finance.”

FOXTEL CEO, Kim Williams AM, said: “FOXTEL is very excited about delivering this new service to our subscribers, who now have access to eight dedicated news channels including three dedicated business channels. SKY NEWS BUSINESS CHANNEL’s emphasis will be on providing quality news and information that really matters to Australians.”

AUSTAR CEO, John Porter, said:” SKY NEWS BUSINESS CHANNEL promises to do for local business news what SKY NEWS has done for political coverage in Australia. With a focus on relevant regional business news alongside plans to broadcast regularly from locations within AUSTAR markets, SKY NEWS BUSINESS CHANNEL will hold particular relevance for the day to day lives of AUSTAR subscribers.”

The BUSINESS CHANNEL, in addition to its majority of original Australian programming, will draw upon relevant programming from the FOX Business Network in the US, the BSkyB Business News service in the UK, and Reuters Television.

The BUSINESS CHANNEL will also continue to build upon the strong collaboration commenced 18 months ago with The Australian newspaper’s extensive and experienced Business journalism team.

Details of the launch date will be revealed soon.

SKY NEWS’ existing business coverage includes:

SKY NEWS Sunday Business – anchored by Hellen Dalley with news and interviews with business news makers and business leaders on the key issues and events affecting the Australian and international markets.

SKY NEWS Saturday Business – providing full coverage of overnight markets, including a cross to New York and the FOX Business Network at 6.45am AEST. Plus updates in the 7am, 8am and 9am SKY NEWS bulletins.

First Business – the latest business and finance news from across the region and the world. Every weekday at 6:00am to 11.30am.

Trading Day – 12.45pm Monday to Friday.

SKY Business Report – A comprehensive half hour wrap-up of the day in business and finance on the Sky Business Report at 8:30pm and 12:30am.

Market Day – A complete wrap and analysis of the day’s action on the Australian, NZ and regional stock markets every weekday at 4.45pm. Updated every weekday afternoon.

Business Night – latest business and finance news as European markets trade and Wall Street opens up: 6.45 – 1215am

SKY NEWS Business Active – includes a business screen on the Sky News Digital 8 split screen interactive news service, including on-screen text stories, and audio/ video.

Sky News Business programs are available online and can be downloaded to audio iPod via the Sky News website – www.skynews.com.au

Sky News Business programming is also available on the Hutchison, Telstra and Vodafone 3G Networks.

SKY NEWS Overview

· SKY NEWS operates the most advanced digital news platform in Australia, and is the only TV news provider delivering interactive news (SKY NEWS Active).

· SKY NEWS has been positioned to deliver its news services to any digital medium – cable, satellite, mobile phones, mobile TV, broadband, as well as providing downloads to iPod or MP3 players.

· The SKY NEWS television service is viewed in more than 2.5 million Australian and NZ homes. It is provided to all Austar, Foxtel, Optus Television and many other subscription TV homes across Australia, as well Sky NZ. SKY NEWS is also widely distributed to business premises, government offices, hotels, airports, pubs and clubs and other commercial outlets Australia-wide.

· SKY NEWS is owned and operated by Australian News Channel Pty Ltd (ANC) – one third owned by each of the Seven Network, Nine Network and BSkyB.

· As well SKY NEWS in Australia, ANC produces the SKY NEWS New Zealand subscription television service, and news services for Prime Television NZ and Vodafone NZ.

· SKY NEWS Now digital news services are available on Telstra, Hutchison’s 3 and the Vodafone 3G networks.

· ANC is also planning for SKY NEWS’ expansion into evolving mobile television services. SKY NEWS has been participating in the Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) mobile television trials in Australia. SKY NEWS will offer video podcasting services to complement its existing audio podcasting services.

· During 2006, SKY NEWS established a new Sydney news bureau based at the NSW State Parliament and CBD to complement its existing bureaus in Parliament House Canberra, in Melbourne, and in Auckland New Zealand.

· The future is about personalising news services for individual consumers 24 hours a day – and SKY NEWS aims to be the leader.

· In 2006, SKY NEWS relaunched its groundbreaking SKY NEWS Active digital television service. This interactive service features 8 channels including 24-hour news, Business, Sport, Show Business, and Weather. Special features include the Parliamentary Channel, and dedicated digital channels which are created in response to individual news events. Viewers can select the news they want at the touch of a button on their remote control.

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