Comcast has unveiled plans to launch a new international news channel combining its Sky and NBC brands.
NBC Sky World News will aim to compete with US rival CNN and the BBC’s pre-eminence in the international TV news space.
The English-speaking news channel is set to launch in the summer and will bring together Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Sky, which it acquired 18 months ago for £40 billion.
According to Variety, the newsroom will operate out of Sky’s Osterley campus in west London, but Comcast will add ten new international locations in “under-reported” countries.
NBC News chairman Andy Lack told the Financial Times that their service would use the existing 3,500-strong combined workforce from Sky and NBC while adding between 100-200 dedicated staff to work on the service over time.
The new channel will be added to existing platforms, reaching around 130 million households at launch. It will bring to fruition a long-term ambition of Comcast’s to have an international news service.
Lack told the FT: “Going back to the Gulf war when CNN essentially came on to the scene, we knew then at NBC that if you weren’t in the 24-hour news business globally, you weren’t really in the news business.”
The operation will be led by former NBC News boss Deborah Turness. Turness has headed up NBC’s international news arm since 2017 when she stepped up from her role as president as NBC News. Prior to this, she was editor of ITV News for almost a decade – the first female editor of a UK news network.
The service is also set to be made available online, including through NBCUniversal’s upcoming OTT platform Peacock.