Sky News to begin Irish news service


British broadcaster Sky News is to launch a new Irish service in 2004, it announced today.

The thirty-minute slot at 9pm every weekday evening will feature Irish news,weather and sport.

A review of the week's major events will also be produced on Saturday andSunday.

Sky's Dublin correspondent will present news from a purpose-built studio inSky Ireland's new offices, five minutes from the Dáil.

Another presenter will be based in the firm's London studios.

The team will be backed up by Sky News' Belfast journalists, who will producedaily stories from across Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Nick Pollard, head of Sky News, said: "Since it began broadcasting in 1989,Sky News has always played an important role with Irish viewers.

"The launch of the service is a natural progression which we hope willenhance this relationship and increase Sky News' relevance to the viewer."

In Ireland Sky News is currently available to more than 870,000 households viacable and Sky digital.