03 August 2000

British news provider Independent Television News has teamed with cable giant NTL to launch The ITN News Channel, a 24-hour rolling news service in direct competition with BBC News 24 and Sky News. The newcomer broadcasts across cable, satellite, digital radio and internet platforms.

Sky, which pioneered UK round-the-clock newscasting, launched its service exactly ten years ago. It took the BBC eight years to follow suit although its service is not available to non-digital UK viewers other than in the small hours of the morning.

Many in the industry question whether there is room for a third player in the UK market, citing low viewing figures for the existing channels. ITN disagrees: "Both Sky and News 24 have tried to extend viewing with extra programming but people don't watch news channels for a long time and we hope to capture that part of the market which is just interested in news," says chief executive officer Stewart Purvis.

Launched on Tuesday, ITN News Channel transmits 15-minute rotating bulletins, with flagship evening news programmes at 20.00, 21.00 and 22.00 BST alongside interactive functions.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)