Sky News Expands Reach with Terrestrial in Ireland

Sky News has expanded its reach in the Republic of Ireland, by joining the Saorview terrestrial platform today (30th November 2021), increasing the number of TV channels on the platform to 12. Saorview is Ireland’s equivalent of the UK’s terrestrial TV platform Freeview, using land based transmitters to broadcast two multiplexes both using the DVB-T2 broadcast standard. Sky News is broadcast on multiplex 2, and can be found on channel number 23.

Unlike Freeview, however, all Saorview transmitters carry both multiplexes, with no distinction made between main and relay transmitters. However, compared to even the UK Freeview relay service, Saorview carries significantly fewer channels. Another difference is that a satellite based service Saorsat is used to reach rural locations, which unlike the UK based Freesat, is aimed squarely at plugging coverage gaps in the terrestrial service. Saorsat carries even fewer channels, with the three Virgin branded services being notable absentees. Sky News is also unavailable on Saorsat.

Sky News broadcasts a single service for the UK and Ireland, meaning that the Republic or Ireland doesn’t get a specific Irish only service from Sky News. However, separate feeds are provided to allow for advertising targeted to Ireland. The addition of the service to Saorview provides a near universal reach for the channel. However, thanks to its absence from Saorsat, and the 2% of population not covered by Saorview, Sky News is yet to become available to all viewers.

Sky to Launch Brexit Free News Service

At 5pm today, Sky News is to launch a part time Brexit free version of the channel. Sky News Brexit-Free will be a available on Sky channel 523, from 5pm to 10pm, Monday to Friday, utilising capacity normally reserved for pay-per-view events.

The channel will also be available on the Sky News Youtube Channel, for non Sky TV customers.

Sky News Brexit-Free is being launched in response to a survey which found that around a third or people are avoiding the news, with Brexit being a significant reason.