Gas crisis fuels Sky News

Event spurs 300% increase in viewing share

LONDON — The dramatic fuel crisis in the U.K. has led to a more than 300% increase in viewing share for BSkyB’s Sky News, making it stand out among its 24-hour news competitors as the most popular channel for breaking stories.

As gas stations all over the nation run dry because of blockades by fuel tax protesters, consumers are turning to Sky’s round-the-clock coverage and region-by-region reports.

Some 2.5 million people tuned into the service Sept. 12, giving it an average 2.98% share of the audience in multichannel homes and a peak of 6.54% during the afternoon. On a typical day Sky receives a 0.8% share.

Public-service channel BBC News 24 registered a 1.32% share on the same day, with the recently launched ITN News Channel on 0.19%.

Sky News Active, the channel’s digital interactive service, is offering dedicated coverage of the crisis, while Web site www.sky.com/news, which features a ‘”Hunt the Pump” page indicating the petrol outlets still in service around the U.K., recorded as many hits in one day as it usually receives in two weeks.

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