The United Kingdom’s Sky News plans to reach a larger U.S. audience through TV news programming on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console.
Starting Tuesday, the British company will launch is 24/7 broadcast news channel (which reaches more than 100 million people) as a new channel on the Xbox Live service on the Xbox 360 in the U.S. and U.K. The move follows the launch of Sky News on Apple TV, Roku, and Livestation. The move is aimed at extending Sky News’ reach to younger news watchers who get most of their news from the Internet and web-connected devices such as the Microsoft video game console.
Beginning today, Xbox Live customers on Xbox 360 will see the Sky News icon on the TV section of their homepage, and with a single click, viewers will have access to a 24/7 live feed of Sky News. That includes breaking news as well as business, political, and entertainment coverage. In addition to the live channel feed, the Sky News app also offers access to a wide range of on demand stories through a constantly updating video on demand library.
Andrew Hawken, head of Sky News Digital, said in a statement, “Sky News is consistently exploring opportunities to expand our global reach. Making Sky News available on Xbox was an ideal way to achieve this. With a growing US footprint of a million users and a U.S. news team, we’re thrilled that our coverage will be showcased to millions of Xbox customers.”
Sky News on Xbox was developed in partnership with 1 Mainstream, a digital TV distribution platform for deploying HD video services across the most popular TV, game console, tablet, and streaming devices. Sky has worked with 1 Mainstream since 2013 and also invested in the Silicon Valley-based start-up.
“We’re pleased to extend our relationship with Sky to help them expand the footprint for Sky News and to deliver its world-class journalism to millions of people in the US,” said Rajeev Raman, CEO of 1 Mainstream, in a statement. “Together with Sky, we continue to bring innovative over-the-top (OTT) services to the growing audience of connected-TV users.”
This agreement builds on Sky’s growing international channels business that already reaches more than 100 million viewers across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The syndication and distribution of channels internationally is a growing part of Sky’s business as the company seeks to leverage the quality of its brands and content by making programming available to new audiences.
According to the Pew Research Center, 71 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 cite the Internet as a main news source. Only 55 percent cite TV as a main source.