eNews takes to the skies

2012-08-08 09:07

South Africa’s growing 24-hour TV news service, the eNews Channel, may be facing a challenge when the SABC launches its round-the-clock news in September, but eNews has announced that it has its eye on the international market – not just the local one.

The channel has confirmed the rumours that its South African news offering has been picked up by the UK’s SKY digital satellite news operation.

Currently finishing off its test phase in the UK, eNews says it expects to be broadcasting on SKY within a month and will now be available to 10 million homes in Britain.

Group Head of News Patrick Conroy says in a statement that the channel is especially eyeing the South Africa expat community.

eNews could not confirm any further details at this stage, but it’s believed that it will launch internationally with several hours of news a day on SKY.

SABC this week said it intended launching with six hours of South African news a day on DStv, hoping to rapidly increase that to 24 hour coverage.

In order to spread its wings, eNews Channel says it will be rebranding and tweaking its image – most likely to set itself apart from international brands already using “e” in their name.

The channel also confirmed that its internet-based news service is on track and its news website will be launched in December this year after an extensive development period.

E.tv has overtaken SABC’s prime time English news in viewership and its news wing has recently started to broadcast Afrikaans news as well as African news.

While eNews is expanding its bureaus on the continent and overseas, SABC intends using its news-gathering infrastructure to move into the satellite arena and start to fight for a share of the growing African news market.

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