Some viewers have been wondering why they’ve been seeing Sky News on MSNBC recently. Here’s a look at why this partnership exists and what it means for news coverage.
Checkout this video:
The History of Sky News
MSNBC is an American news channel that is part of NBC News. The network provides live coverage of breaking news and top stories from around the world. MSNBC also airs shows with in-depth analysis and opinion from some of the most respected journalists in the industry. One of the most popular shows on MSNBC is “Morning Joe,” which features hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
In July 2017, MSNBC announced that it had entered into a partnership with Sky News, a 24-hour news channel based in the United Kingdom. Under the agreement, MSNBC would start airing Sky News programming on weekends. The move was seen as a way for MSNBC to expand its international coverage.
Sky News is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. Murdoch is also the owner of Fox News, which is a competitor to MSNBC in the United States.
The Purchase of Sky News by NBC
On January 19, 2018, Comcast officially announced its intention to purchase the majority of 21st Century Fox. This would included Fox News, Fox Business, and Fox Sports, among other things. The sale was completed on March 20th, 2019. As part of the deal, Comcast also acquired Sky News.
Sky News is a British 24-hour news channel that is owned by Comcast. It is operated as a joint venture between Comcast and NBCUniversal News Group. The channel provides rolling news coverage and house editorials from a right-of-center perspective.
MSNBC is an American 24-hour cable newschannel that is owned by NBCUniversal News Group, a division of NBCUniversal. The channel provides breaking news coverage and analysis from a left-leaning perspective.
The two channels have different target audiences and editorial perspectives. So why did Comcast purchase Sky News and put it on MSNBC?
The answer likely has to do with two things: first, to beef up MSNBC’s international presence; and second, to hedge against the possibility of an unforeseen future competitor arising in the UK market.
With regards to the first point, MSNBC lags behind its competitors when it comes to international reach. CNN International is available in over 200 countries and territories, while BBC World News reaches over 120 million households in 200 countries and territories. MSNBC International is only available in about 50 million households in 80 countries and territories. So by adding Sky News to its portfolio, MSNBC immediately doubles its international reach.
As for the second point, it’s possible that Comcast sees Sky News as a valuable insurance policy against a future competitor arising in the UK market. Right now, there are only two major players in the UK 24-hour news market: BBC News and Sky News. But if a third player were to enter the market (perhaps another major American news network), then having Sky News gives Comcast a leg up in terms of having an established presence in the UK market.
The Benefits of the Partnership
The partnership between Sky News and MSNBC has been beneficial for both parties. Sky News has been able to expand its reach to American audiences, while MSNBC has been able to provide its viewers with more international news coverage. The partnership has also allowed both networks to pool resources and expertise, and to create joint programming ventures such as the recent uninterrupted coverage of the 2016 presidential election.
The Future of Sky News
As of July 2019, Sky News is now being aired on MSNBC in the United States. It is being positioned as a more objective news source to compete with the likes of CNN and Fox News.
Some have speculated that this is part of a larger plan by Comcast, who owns NBC and MSNBC, to eventually purchase Sky News. Comcast has denied these rumors.
In any case, the addition of Sky News to MSNBC’s lineup is sure to give the channel a boost in ratings and legitimacy. Only time will tell if it can hold its own against the established news networks in America.