A new NBC Sky World News channel will go live this summer across global TV networks, as well as on the Peacock streaming service which will not be available in South Africa.
The channel will mark Comcast’s first effort to unite its brands since its $30 billion acquisition of Sky in 2018.
Andy Lack, chairman of NBC News, told the FT that the service will target English-speaking audiences, and will draw on a 3,500-strong combined workforce and hire 100-200 dedicated staff. Ten new bureaus will open worldwide, extending the NBC-Sky reporting footprint by some 50 per cent.
The operation will be led by British TV executive Deborah Turness, who ran NBC News between 2013 and 2017 before being given responsibility for developing its international arm.
On launch, the television channel will reach an estimated 130 million households, and will seek to take on the likes of CNN and BBC in the global world news market. Since then MultiChoice and Sky News have been silent on the matter.
“We’ve longed for an international channel,” Lack said to the FT . “Going back to the Gulf war when CNN essentially came on to the scene, we knew then at NBC that if you weren’t in the 24-hour news business globally, you weren’t really in the news business. So when I first went to NBC in 1993 it was like, goddamn, how do we get one of those?” That opportunity seemingly finally arose following the acquistion of Sky.