Sky Sports News converts to pay

BSkyB to up investment in service

As News Corp. moves to become the sole owner of BSkyB, the satcaster has announced that its Sky Sports News web is to become a pay channel following more than a decade of free-to-air broadcasting.

It’s the paybox’s latest initiative to maintain and grow subscriber numbers.

“Sky Sports News has been a great success over the past 12 years, and we have big ambitions to make it even better,” said Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis. “As part of a subscription service, customers can look forward to expanded coverage and the launch of Europe’s first HD sports news service.”

The web will be available on BSkyB; cabler Virgin Media; and Talk Talk TV, owned by telco Talk Talk; plus online and mobile platforms.

In Blighty, BSkyB revolutionized sports TV viewership by maintaining a grip on exclusive coverage of Premier League soccer.

Of late, however, rival webs including ESPN have bought some of these games.

Sky Sports News was the U.K.’s first dedicated sports news web.

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