BSkyB adds 24-hour news in July

News Corp. owned DirecTV frontrunner for carrier

LONDON — The U.S. is about to get another Rupert Murdoch-backed news source.

Fresh from its ratings success covering the Iraq war, U.K. satcaster BSkyB plans to launch its round-the-clock U.K. news service Sky News Stateside in July.

Talks are underway with platform providers but it is most likely the channel will secure carriage on DirecTV, which Murdoch’s News Corp. acquired last month for £4.1 billion ($6.8 billion). New Corp. owns 35.4% of BSkyB.

Initially, Sky News will broadcast its British news service just as U.S.-based Fox News does on BSkyB. Sky News is available across Europe via satellite.

“Sky News is in discussion with various parties in the U.S. about distribution deals,” a BSkyB spokeswoman said.

Sky News’ viewing share climbed to 29.3% between April 17 and May 15 compared with 18.6% between Feb. 17 and March 16. BBC News 24’s share slipped from 68.2% to 62.7% over the same period according to U.K. ratings company BARB.

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