Sky News Australia

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Sky News Australia
Sky News Live logo.jpg
Sky News Australia logo
Launched 19 February 1996[1]
Owned by Australian News Channel Pty Ltd
(Sky plc 33%
Seven West Media 33%
Nine Entertainment Co. 33%)
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.4% (January 2015, OzTam[2])
Slogan Australia's News Channel[3]
Country Australia
Language English
Sister channel(s) Sky News Business Channel
Sky News Weather Channel
Sky News Election Channel
Foxtel Channel 601
Channel 291 (HD)
SKY Network Television (NZ) Channel 85
Foxtel Channel 601
Channel 291 (HD)
Optus Channel 601
Neighbourhood Cable Channel 21
Vodafone TV (NZ) Channel 85
Xbox 360 Channel 601
Australia Channel [2]

Sky News Australia (branded on air as Sky News Live, and until 18 January 2015 as Sky News National) is an Australian 24-hour cable and satellite news channel available in 2.5 million homes on Foxtel, Austar, Optus Television and Neighbourhood Cable subscription platforms. It is also available in New Zealand on Sky Television and Vodafone [1]

Sky News Australia launched at 5pm[4] on 19 February 1996, as the first Australian-produced television news channel. Sky News was added to Austar on 1 April 2000.[5] In 2004, Sky News began broadcasting Sky News Active, its on-demand interactive TV news service.[1] In 2008, Sky News launched the Sky News Business Channel, and on 20 January 2009, Sky News launched Australian Public Affairs Channel (A-PAC). It began widescreen broadcasting on 17 May 2009.[6] Sky News Australia began broadcasting in high definition on 1 December 2015.[7][8] A fourth spin-off channel, Sky News Election Channel, was launched on 1 May 2016.[9]


Australian News Channel Pty Ltd logo

Sky News Channel's parent company, Australian News Channel Pty Ltd (ANC), is owned equally by British Sky Broadcasting, Seven Media Group and Nine Entertainment Co., each with a 33% stake in the company. The carriage deal between Australian News Channel and Foxtel is due to expire in 2017, reported as either February[10] or December.[11]

In 2013, Sky News Australia was granted A$20 million in funding from its parent company to be used over three years.[12]

Until 2015, Sky News was responsible for producing New Zealand's Prime News - First at 5:30 from Sydney, hosted by Eric Young with filming taking place in Prime's Albany studios. It lost the contract to MediaWorks and subsequently ceased broadcasting a local New Zealand bulletin.[13]

On 26 February 2015 it was reported that News Corp Australia launched an A$25 million bid for full ownership of Australian News Channel.[14] In June 2015, it was reported that ANC's stakeholders had rejected a News Corp takeover offer of A$20 million, with the owners wanting a minimum of A$50 million.[15] Following a breakdown in a News Corp buyout, further reports suggested Nine Entertainment could sell its stake to a joint arrangement between Seven West Media and News Corp.[11]


Sky News programming consists of a mix of live news bulletins, live broadcasts from events (such as Parliament Question Time and selected press conferences), original commentary panel programs and simulcasts of international sister station Sky News UK. Sky News has broadcast every sitting of Question time from the House of Representatives since its launch in 1996.[16]

Sky News Australia increased its primetime programming offerings, particularly its political themed shows, significantly in 2013, ahead of the 2013 federal election, moving away from rolling news or formal news bulletins in primetime.[12] Sky News Australia rebranded on 19 January 2015 as "Sky News Live", dropping the "Sky News National" branding.[17]

On weekdays, throughout most of the day, rolling news coverage is presented from one of Sky News Australia's studios. From 4pm (AEST/AEDT), commentary programs begin, and continue through primetime until 11pm AEST/AEDT. Most of these programs are presesented by commentators discussing the news of the day, often with a panel of other commentators, and feature a news update at the beginning of the program (and sometimes further updates during the program). Rolling news continues from 11pm AEST/AEDT before coverage switches to an overnight simulcast of Sky News UK after midnight.

In 2007, Sky News aired local breakaway programming for New Zealand viewers in primetime, filmed at Prime NZ's Auckland studios. One of these programs, Prime News - First at 5:30, was also simulcast to Australian viewers.[18] The debut of Sky News NZ Evening News was watched by just 1,500 viewers and panned by critics.[19] As of 2015, no local New Zealand programs are produced or broadcast following the loss of a production contract with Prime NZ.[13]

Current programs[edit]

Notable presenters[edit]

Sky News Australia outside broadcast equipment.
Kieran Gilbert, reporting from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.


Program presenters[edit]



Former presenters and reporters[edit]


Sky News Sydney City studio in Martin Place
Sky News Melbourne bureau is within the Foxtel headquarters in Southbank, Victoria.

Sky News Australia has a bureau in every capital city in Australia, completing this with the opening of its Hobart studio in 2013.[12] In 2016, it will open a bureau in Cairns, making it the first non-capital city bureau.[31]

The base of Sky News Australia is in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park, where the majority of its news and programming is broadcast from. Its Melbourne studio was upgraded in 2014, allowing it to be used as a secondary broadcast studio.[32] Hinch Live became the first regular program to be broadcast from Melbourne.[33] Ahron Young is the Melbourne Bureau Chief.[34]

The third major bureau is in Parliament House, Canberra, opened in 2000.[16] Lyndal Curtis became Bureau Chief of in October 2015.[35] Additionally, Sky News has a small office in the Channel Seven building in Martin Place, which includes a small street-level single camera studio which looks onto Elizabeth Street, Sydney.[36]

Internationally, Sky News only foreign bureau is in Wellington, New Zealand, opened in 2015.[37][38]


Apart from its own resources, Sky News Australia uses the news resources of its parent companies Seven News, Nine News and Sky News UK, as well as sister network Fox News Channel. It signed a four-year partnership deal with CNN International commencing 1 January 2011, and additionally has agreememnts with CCTV China, ABC America, CBS, Reuters, APTN, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and TV3 New Zealand.[39] Sky News UK, ABC and CBS were founding international partners of Sky News Australia.[40]



The highest rating broadcast on Sky News Australia was an episode of Paul Murray Live on 26 June 2013 (following the 2013 Labor leadership spill), averaging 197,000 viewers across a special two-hour broadcast. The highest audience share Sky News Australia has achieved was during coverage of the 2009 Victorian bushfires.[41]

On 15 December 2014 during the Sydney Lindt cafe siege, coverage of the unfolding incident took 16 of the 20 most watched programs on the Foxtel platform. The 7pm (AEST) hour was the highest rated at 109,000 viewers.[42] Sky News achieved a day time share of 2.6% (behind ABC News 24's 3.8%) and a primetime share of 1.5% (behind ABC News 24's 2.5%).[43]

Sky News Live rated 56,000 viewers for early evening coverage of the 2015 Queensland state election, and 83,000 viewers for later coverage, beaten by ABC News 24's coverage which was watched by 195,000 viewers nationally.[44] For its coverage of the failed Liberal leadership spill on 9 February 2015 between 9am and 10am, Sky News Live was the second most watched subscription channel and the coverage was the third most watched program of the day with 69,000 viewers.[45]

Sky News Live reached a total audience of 700,000 viewers on 14 September 2015 (including simulcast on Sky News Business) during the 2015 Liberal leadership spill. It was the most watched subcription television channel for the evening and outrated all free-to-air television channels between 11pm and midnight AEST.[46] The highest rated hour of coverage was from 10pm, achieving 190,000 viewers, the second highest ratings since the 2013 Labor Party spill.[47][48]

A March 2016 article in The Guardian Australia reported Sky News averages 12,000 national viewers between 6pm and midnight, with a peak of 18,000 between 8pm and 10pm, although the report did not specify what days or dates this average refers to.[49]

During 2016 ferderal election, Sky News averaged 96,000 viewers, an increase of 46% from the 2013 election.[50]


During the 2016 federal election campaign, Liberal Party strategist Tony O'Leary reportedly told Sky News that Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull would boycott appearing on the network, while it employed previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott's former chief of staff Peta Credlin as a commentator. Turnbull also described its audience as "too small."[51]


List of accolades
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2007 2007 ASTRA Awards Most outstanding performance by a presenter David Speers Won
Most Creative Use of Technology Anytime, Anywhere Nominated
2008 Logie Awards of 2008 Most Outstanding News Coverage Federal Election Nominated
2008 ASTRA Awards Most outstanding performance by a presenter David Speers Won
Most outstanding performance by a broadcast journalist Kieran Gilbert Won
Mike Willesee Nominated
Most outstanding performance by a presenter Hellen Dalley Nominated
Channel of the year Sky News Australia Nominated
Favourite male personality James Bracey Nominated
David Speers Nominated
Favourite female personality Helen Dalley Nominated
Brooke Corte Nominated
Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage APEC 2007 Won
2009 2009 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist David Speers Won
Favourite male personality Kieran Gilbert Nominated
2010 Logie Awards of 2010 Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report Liberal Leadership Meltdown Nominated
2010 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist Kieran Gilbert Won
2011 Logie Awards of 2011 Most Outstanding News Coverage Election 2010 Nominated
2011 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist Ashleigh Gillon Won
Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter David Speers Won
Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage Election 2010 Won
2012 Logie Awards of 2012 Most Outstanding News Coverage Qantas Grounded Nominated
2012 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter David Speers Won
2013 Logie Awards of 2013 Most Outstanding News Coverage Rudd Vs Gillard Leadership Challenge Nominated
2013 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist Ahron Young Won
Favourite personality - male Paul Murray Nominated
Favourite Programme Australian Paul Murray Live Nominated
2014 Logie Awards of 2014 Most Outstanding News Coverage Leadership Spill Nominated
2014 ASTRA Awards Channel of the year Sky News National Nominated
Favourite personality - male Paul Murray Nominated
Favourite personality - female Laura Jayes Nominated
Favourite program: Australian Paul Murray Live Nominated
Most Outstanding News Program Election 2013 coverage Won
Paul Murray Live Nominated
Most Outstanding performance by a broadcast journalist Kieran Gilbert Nominated
Ahron Young Nominated
Daniel Bourchier Nominated
David Speers Won
2015 Logie Awards of 2015 Most Outstanding News Coverage What Is Metadata? Nominated
2015 ASTRA Awards[52] Channel of the year Sky News National Won
Most Outstanding Presenter – Male Paul Murray Won
Most Outstanding Presenter – Female Nina Stevens Nominated
Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist David Speers Won
Kieran Gilbert Nominated
Celina Edmonds Nominated
Ahron Young Nominated
Most Outstanding News Program Paul Murray Live Won
PM Agenda Nominated
Richo + Jones Nominated
2016 Logie Awards of 2016 Most Outstanding News Coverage[53] Liberal Leadership Crisis: Abbott V Turnbull Nominated
ASTRA Industry Awards Most Outstanding Innovation (use of technology)[54] LiveU SmartGRIP Nominated
Walkley Awards Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue[55] 2016 Election Coverage Pending


Former Sky News Australia logo

Sky News began broadcasting in widescreen, along with its sister channels on 17 May 2009. Sky News Australia only provides closed captioning between 4pm and 5pm (AEST/AEDT) each day.[56]

Sky News began broadcasting in high definition on 1 December 2015.[7]

Other services[edit]

Sky News Multiview[edit]

With the roll-out of Foxtel Digital, Sky News Australia launched the Sky News Active interactive news service based on the Sky News UK service with the same name. The service offered a choice of eight news screens, some with original content not seen on the main channel they vary depending on the days news or events and include the latest news, business, sport, showbiz and weather in text. Other features included interactive polling and the latest news headlines via text. On 15 November 2009 Sky News active re-launched with a new look as well as 5 additional local screens (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide[57]

Sky News Now[edit]

Sky News Now was a mobile service available on Vodafone, Telstra and 3. It offered a wide variety of news in both video and text.[58] As of 2015, the service was no longer available.

Sky News Alerts[edit]

Sky News Alerts is a SMS and MMS breaking news service available on all mobile phones inside Australia.[59] Breaking news alerts are sent to a subscriber via SMS or MMS at a cost per message.[60]


In November 2014, Sky News Australia was appointed as a provider for Qantas in-flight news bulletins replacing a longstanding contract with the Nine Network.[61]


Sky News offers various programs via podcast including First Business, Market Day, Showbiz, Agenda, Australian News Week, and Prime News New Zealand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c About Sky News
  2. ^
  3. ^ "SKY NEWS to Launch Live Captioning From October 1, 2010" (PDF). AI-Media. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sky News Australia first ever broadcast anniversary". Sky News Australia. YouTube. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "News on the Hour". Illawarra Mercury. Illawarra, Australia: Fairfax Media. 17 March 2000. p. 55. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
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  9. ^ "Sky News Election Channel: Foxtel and Sky's new destination for politics junkies". Mediaweek. 26 April 2016. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Davidson, Darren (26 February 2015). "$25m Sky bid not fair value: Gyngell". Business Spectator. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Thompson, Sarah (9 October 2016). "Nine to switch off Sky News sooner rather than later". Australian Financial Review. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016. (subscription required)
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  30. ^ a b Knox, David (27 November 2014). "Victorian Election: SKY News". TV Tonight. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
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  33. ^ "Derryn Hinch to host new Hinch Live talk current affairs show on Sky News". Herald Sun. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "Police take control at troubled Grocon site". The Age. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  35. ^ Knox, David (13 October 2015). "Former ABC journo joins SKY News". TV Tonight. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  36. ^ Sinclair, Lara (5 October 2009). "Sky to go local at News offices". The Australian. Retrieved 7 November 2015. 
  37. ^ "Sky News announces NZ's only 24 hour news channel Political Bureau". Throng. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  38. ^ "Uma Patel - ABC News". ABC News. Archived from the original on 26 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  39. ^ "Sky News Australia Partners With CNN International". 11 October 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  40. ^ "Sky News Australia first ever broadcast 1996". Sky News Australia. 20 February 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  41. ^ "Nine maroons Seven with Origin and leadership double". Sydney Morning Herald. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  42. ^ Knox, David. "Ratings: Monday 15 December 2014". TV Tonight. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  43. ^ Knox, David (17 December 2014). "Martin Place siege: ABC / SKY News". TV Tonight. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  44. ^ "SatTV". Mediaweek. Retrieved 20 April 2015. ...News24 metro 195k ... SkyNews late 83k early 56k. 
  45. ^ "Mon STV". Mediaweek. Retrieved 20 April 2015. Mon STV @SkyNewsAust #2 channel Leadership crisis 9-10am #3 program 69k 
  46. ^ Lallo, Michael (15 September 2015). "ABC and Sky News the big winners out of Liberal leadership spill". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 16 September 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  47. ^ Knox, David (15 September 2015). "Monday 14 September 2015". TV Tonight. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
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  49. ^ Meade, Amanda (25 March 2016). "Straight news or Fox News? Andrew Bolt's show sends Sky further right on the night". Guardian Australia. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  50. ^ Bodey, Michael (4 July 2016). "Election 2016: TV ratings for poll night sees ABC attract biggest TV audience". The Australian. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  51. ^ Coletta, Frank (6 July 2016). "". Daily Mail Australia. Retrieved 6 July 2016.  External link in |title= (help)
  52. ^ Byrnes, Holly (13 March 2015). "ASTRA Awards 2015: Wentworth, Sky News among winners". News Corp Australia. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  53. ^ "Full list of 2016 TV WEEK Logies nominees". TV Week. 3 April 2016. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  54. ^ "ASTRA Winners Announced To Honour TV Champions". B&T. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  55. ^ "Finalists announced for Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism". Mediaweek. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  56. ^ SKY NEWS Launches Live Captions - Ai-Media
  57. ^ Sinclair, Lara (5 October 2009). "Stock Quotes". The Australian. 
  58. ^ "Australia's first business news channel to launch early 2008". On Screen Asia. 5 November 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  59. ^ Sky News Alerts
  60. ^ "SMS Alerts Terms and Conditions". Sky News Live. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  61. ^ Qantas takes Sky News to the air in overhaul of its in-flight entertainment

External links[edit]