Sky News Australia
Sky News Australia logo
Logo used since 2019
Broadcast areaAustralia
New Zealand
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerNews Corp Australia
ParentAustralian News Channel
Sister channelsSky News Weather Channel
Sky News Extra
Launched19 February 1996; 28 years ago (1996-02-19)[1]
Freeview (Australia)Channel 56 (Regional Victoria, Queensland and southern NSW)
Channel 53 (Regional South Australia, northern NSW and Griffith, NSW)
Foxtel (Australia)Channel 691
Channel 600 (HD)
Sky Television (New Zealand)Channel 85
Streaming media
Australia ChannelWatch live outside Australia
Flash NewsWatch live within Australia
Foxtel GOWatch live within Australia

Sky News Australia is an Australian conservative news channel owned by News Corp Australia. Originally launched on 19 February 1996, it broadcasts rolling news coverage throughout the day, while its prime time lineup is dedicated to opinion-based programs featuring a line-up of conservative commentators.[2][3][4]

Sky News Australia is distributed on pay television in Australia and New Zealand, while a free-to-air version of the service, Sky News Regional (which features programming from Sky News Australia and Fox Sports News) is distributed on digital terrestrial television by Southern Cross Austereo and selected WIN Television stations. The channel also operates two spin-off services, Sky News Weather Channel, and public affairs service Sky News Extra (formerly A-PAC).

The channel was originally a joint venture between British broadcaster BSkyB (thus making it a spin-off of the Sky News channel in the United Kingdom), Seven Media Group, and Nine Entertainment Co., as Australian News Channel Pty Ltd. The company was acquired by News Corp Australia in 2016;[5] with the subsequent sale of Murdoch's remaining shares in Sky UK to Comcast,[6] Sky News Australia no longer has any direct ties to its UK counterpart, despite still using the Sky News brand.

Especially since the acquisition of the channel by News Corp Australia, Sky News Australia has faced scrutiny from the press over its increased focus on opinion programming. Comparisons were drawn to Rupert Murdoch's American news channel Fox News, and there have been accusations that the channel's opinion programming has promoted misinformation and conspiracy theories.[7][8]


Main article: Australian News Channel

Australian News Channel Pty Ltd logo

Sky News Channel's parent company, Australian News Channel (ANC), was owned equally by British Sky Broadcasting (now Sky Limited; which is now a division of Comcast), Seven Media Group and Nine Entertainment Co., each with a 33% stake in the company from its founding until December 2016, when it was acquired by News Corp Australia.[9]

Sky News Australia launched at 5 pm[10] on 19 February 1996, as the first Australian-produced television news channel. The channel aired its 50,000th unique newscast on 23 April 2003 at 11 am.[11] Sky News was added to Austar on 1 April 2000.[12]

In 2004, Sky News began broadcasting Sky News Active, its on-demand interactive TV news service.[1] In 2008, Sky News launched the Sky News Business Channel, and on 20 January 2009, Sky News launched Australian Public Affairs Channel (A-PAC). It began widescreen broadcasting on 17 May 2009.[13] Sky News Australia began broadcasting in high definition on 1 December 2015.[14][15] A fourth spin-off channel, Sky News Election Channel, was launched on 1 May 2016.[16]

2004's Sky News logo

In 2013, Sky News Australia was granted A$20 million in funding from its parent company to be used over three years.[17]

Logo as Sky News Live

In mid-2019, the channel began expanding its digital operations.[18] This included a content partnership with YouTube, Microsoft News, Facebook and Taboola.[19] That led to new, opinion-focused videos being uploaded more frequently and across News Corp platforms, after having previously not uploaded any videos from February 2017 to April 2019.[18]

Sky News Australia's online domain

In February 2018, Sky News Australia launched a digital-first brand and content platform called 2600. The online political newsletter is sent out daily with breaking news from Canberra.[20]

In November 2018, Sky News terminated the contract of former Liberal Party MP and late-night presenter Ross Cameron for using racist language to describe Chinese people.[21]


See also: List of programs broadcast by Sky News Australia

Sky News programming consists of a mix of live news bulletins, live broadcasts from events (such as Parliament Question Time and selected press conferences), original commentary panel programs and simulcasts of international sister station Sky News UK. Sky News has broadcast every sitting of Question Time from the House of Representatives since its launch in 1996.[22]

Sky News Australia increased its primetime programming offerings, particularly its political-themed shows, significantly in 2013, when it made more obvious its right-leaning ideology, ahead of the 2013 federal election, cancelling almost entirely the slot's rolling news block News Night.[17] It would then regain most of its runtime in 2014. Sky News Australia rebranded itself on 19 January 2015 as "Sky News Live", dropping the "Sky News National" branding.[23]

On weekdays, throughout most of the day, rolling news coverage is presented from one of Sky News Australia's studios. From 5 pm (AEST/AEDT), commentary programs begin, and continue through primetime until 11 pm AEST/AEDT. Most of these programs are presented by conservative commentators discussing the news of the day, often with a panel of other commentators, and feature a news update at the beginning of the program (and sometimes further updates during the program). Rolling news continues from 11 pm AEST/AEDT before coverage switches to an overnight simulcast of Sky News UK at 1 am AEST/AEDT.

In 2007, Sky News aired local breakaway programming for New Zealand viewers in primetime, filmed at Prime NZ's Auckland studios. One of these programs, Prime News – First at 5:30, was also simulcast to Australian viewers.[24] The debut of Sky News NZ Evening News was watched by just 1,500 viewers and panned by critics.[25] As of 2015, no local New Zealand programs are produced or broadcast following the loss of a production contract with Prime NZ.[26] However the channel debuted New Zealand Agenda on 16 June 2018, hosted by New Zealand bureau chief James O'Doherty from Wellington, New Zealand, focusing on NZ politics.[27]

Current programs



Presenters and reporters

Sky News Australia broadcast equipment
Kieran Gilbert, reporting from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

News presenters

Program presenters


Senior reporter

Former presenters and reporters


The Sky News Melbourne bureau is within the Foxtel headquarters in Southbank, Victoria.

Sky News Australia has a bureau in every capital city in Australia, completing this with the opening of its Hobart studio in 2013.[17] In 2016, it opened a bureau in Cairns, making it the first non-capital city bureau.[40] In 2017, a Gold Coast bureau was opened marking the third non-capital city studio after Cairns and Geelong.[41]

The base of Sky News Australia is in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park, from which the majority of its news and programming is broadcast. Its Melbourne studio was upgraded in 2014, allowing it to be used as a secondary broadcast studio.[42] Hinch Live became the first regular program to be broadcast from Melbourne.[43]

The third major bureau is in Parliament House, Canberra, opened in 2000.[22] Lyndal Curtis became Bureau Chief of in October 2015.[44] Additionally, Sky News has a small office in the Channel Seven building in Martin Place, which includes a small street-level single camera studio which looks onto Elizabeth Street, Sydney.[45]

Internationally, Sky News's only foreign bureau is in Wellington, New Zealand, opened in 2015.[46][47]


Apart from its own resources, at launch Sky News Australia used the news resources of its former parent companies Seven News, Nine News and Sky News UK, as well as sister networks Sky News UK and Fox News Channel. ABC America and CBS were founding international partners of Sky News Australia.[48]

In 2010 it had agreements with CCTV China, ABC America, CBS, Reuters, APTN, Bloomberg, Dow Jones and Newshub, when it signed a four-year partnership deal with CNN International, commencing on 1 January 2011.[49]


In 2017, Denis Muller, a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne's Centre for Advancing Journalism, described the channel as having a "split personality," running straight news bulletins and reporting during the day with professional and independent journalists and presenters, while moving towards "right-leaning punditry" in prime time.[4]

In February 2021, Muller, commenting on former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's statement that Sky News was following a pattern laid down by Fox News, described the nighttime programming of Sky News as including "the unconstrained peddling of extreme right-wing propaganda, lies, disinformation, crude distortion of fact and baseless assertions."[7]

Political alignment and views

Sky News Australia is considered by commentators to have a conservative, right-wing bias. Much of its coverage is frequently critical of Australia's main progressive political parties, Labor and the Greens, while being supportive of right-wing parties such as the Liberal-National Coalition and One Nation.[2][3] Presenter Paul Murray has stated that "Sky News at night is a Liberal echo chamber".[50] Drawing a strong comparison to Fox News, the network began moving towards panel-based programming from 2010, with most of its highest profile prime time commentators being conservative.[51][52] Hosts Andrew Bolt and Paul Murray have been compared to Fox News presenters Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity respectively.[4]

As many of the channel's primetime contributors are conservatives - many with clear career links to the Liberal Party - the Australian Labor Party and its figureheads Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Western Australian premier Mark McGowan are frequently critiqued whilst the policies of the Liberal Party and its coalition partner the Nationals are often endorsed and promoted. During the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in the year 2020, some Sky News commentators referred to Andrews as a 'dictator'[53] and a 'chairman',[54] drawing a comparison to socialist and communist regimes when criticising Andrews' frequent use of pandemic lockdowns and public health orders.

Sky News Australia has been a frequent critic of US President Joe Biden ever since he took office on 20 January 2021. Some commentators such as Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones have frequently spread unfounded claims about Biden's mental health, claiming it was declining, that Biden is unfit to be the President and suggesting he was suffering from dementia.[55][56]

Misinformation and conspiracy theories

On 13 December 2020, Rowan Dean promoted the Great Reset conspiracy theory on Sky News Australia, claiming that "This Great Reset is as serious and dangerous a threat to our prosperity – to your prosperity and your freedom – as we have faced in decades".[8]

As of February 2021, American far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones uses segments from Sky News Australia to back up his claims.[57]

In July 2021, Alan Jones and Craig Kelly falsely claimed that United Kingdom data proved that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 would increase the likelihood of death due to COVID-19. The claim originated in The Daily Exposé, a British website known for promoting COVID-19 and anti-vaccine misinformation.[58] The Daily Exposé's claim was debunked by the BBC, Full Fact and Reuters.[59][60][61] Sky News Australia subsequently removed the broadcast and issued a correction on its website.[58]

On 1 August 2021, YouTube barred Sky News Australia from uploading new content onto their channel for a week for breaking YouTube's rules on posting videos containing COVID-19 misinformation.[62] Upon the channel's return to the platform, Sky News Australia published a piece titled "Uncancelled: Sky News Australia Set Free" wherein Digital Editor Jack Houghton claimed the channel's temporary banning was the result of Silicon Valley and left-wing media attempting to stifle free speech.[63]

A 2022 analysis by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a British think tank, found that Sky News Australia was a major source for climate change misinformation. Sky News Australia rejected the findings of the analysis, saying that they would "continue to encourage debate" on climate change.[64] In 2022, Sky News Australia promoted a now retracted journal article from the European Physical Journal that claimed to have found no evidence of climate change in two video segments. The two segments were viewed more than 500 000 times.[65][66][67]



The highest rating broadcast on Sky News Australia was an episode of Paul Murray Live on 26 June 2013 (following the 2013 Labor leadership spill), averaging 197,000 viewers across a special two-hour broadcast. The highest audience share Sky News Australia has achieved was during coverage of the 2009 Victorian bushfires.[68]

On 15 December 2014 during the Sydney Lindt café siege, coverage of the unfolding incident took 16 of the 20 most watched programs on the Foxtel platform. The 7 pm (AEST) hour was the highest rated at 109,000 viewers.[69] Sky News achieved a day time share of 2.6% (behind ABC News 24's 3.8%) and a primetime share of 1.5% (behind ABC News 24's 2.5%).[70]

Sky News Live rated 56,000 viewers for early evening coverage of the 2015 Queensland state election, and 83,000 viewers for later coverage, beaten by ABC News 24's coverage which was watched by 195,000 viewers nationally.[71] For its coverage of the failed Liberal leadership spill on 9 February 2015 between 9 am and 10 am, Sky News Live was the second most watched subscription channel and the coverage was the third most watched program of the day with 69,000 viewers.[72]

Sky News Live reached a total audience of 700,000 viewers on 14 September 2015 (including simulcast on Sky News Business) during the 2015 Liberal leadership spill. It was the most watched subscription television channel for the evening and outrated all free-to-air television channels between 11 pm and midnight AEST.[73] The highest rated hour of coverage was from 10pm, achieving 190,000 viewers, the second highest ratings since the 2013 Labor Party spill.[74][75]

A March 2016 article in The Guardian Australia reported Sky News averages 12,000 national viewers between 6 pm and midnight, with a peak of 18,000 between 8 pm and 10 pm, although the report did not specify what days or dates this average refers to.[76]

During the 2016 federal election, Sky News averaged 96,000 viewers, an increase of 46% from the 2013 election.[77]

In July 2018, Sky News claimed to have achieved its highest ratings on record, with viewership up 9% overall and its weeknight primetime (6pm–11pm) viewership 25% higher on the same period last year, according to OzTAM figures.[78][79]

In August 2018, coverage of the Liberal Party of Australia leadership spill, 2018 saw Sky News gain its highest Tuesday primetime audience ever with a 4.2% audience share. Speers, Credlin and Jones & Co all had their highest-rated episodes on record.[80]


In August 2018, Sky News was heavily criticised for providing a platform to Blair Cottrell, leader of the far-right, Neo-Nazi organisation United Patriots Front in a one-to-one discussion about immigration on The Adam Giles Show. Sky News presenter Laura Jayes and ABC journalist David Speers were among those critical (both on-air and off-air) of his appearance on the programme due to the fact that he has expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and claimed to have manipulated women "using violence and terror."[81][82] Sky News commentator and former Labor Party minister Craig Emerson resigned in protest after the interview was broadcast, stating that "My father fought Nazis in WWII and was interred in a German POW camp", and that the decision to give Cottrell a platform on Sky News was "another step in a journey to normalising racism & bigotry in our country".[83] The activist group Sleeping Giants Oz called on advertisers to pull advertising campaigns off Sky News in the wake of the channel's interview with Cottrell.[84][85]

In the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, Sky News Australia was temporarily removed from Sky New Zealand's satellite platform, amid concerns over how the channel's coverage could potentially affect the investigation into the attack; Fox Sports News was added to the platform as a replacement.[86][87] Sky News Australia was restored to Sky New Zealand on 21 March, six days after the attack.[88]

Several high-profile figures have criticised Sky News, including former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who told a media inquiry in February 2021 that it was following the "template" of Fox News in becoming a "legitimising echo-chamber for this increasingly far-right, extremist worldview".[89] In December 2023, former Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, who was a frequent target of scorn from Sky News pundits during his premiership, referred to the channel's after dark coverage as "bullshit" and "the worst of American politics imported into ours".[90]


List of accolades
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2007 2007 ASTRA Awards Most outstanding performance by a presenter David Speers Won
Most Creative Use of Technology Anytime, Anywhere Nominated
2008 Logie Awards of 2008 Most Outstanding News Coverage Federal Election Nominated
2008 ASTRA Awards Most outstanding performance by a presenter David Speers Won
Most outstanding performance by a broadcast journalist Kieran Gilbert Won
Mike Willesee Nominated
Most outstanding performance by a presenter Hellen Dalley Nominated
Channel of the year Sky News Australia Nominated
Favourite male personality James Bracey Nominated
David Speers Nominated
Favourite female personality Helen Dalley Nominated
Brooke Corte Nominated
Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage APEC 2007 Won
2009 2009 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist David Speers Won
Favourite male personality Kieran Gilbert Nominated
2010 Logie Awards of 2010 Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report Liberal Leadership Meltdown Nominated
2010 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist Kieran Gilbert Won
2011 Logie Awards of 2011 Most Outstanding News Coverage Election 2010 Nominated
2011 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist Ashleigh Gillon Won
Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter David Speers Won
Most Outstanding News Program or Coverage Election 2010 Won
2012 Logie Awards of 2012 Most Outstanding News Coverage Qantas Grounded Nominated
2012 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Presenter David Speers Won
2013 Logie Awards of 2013 Most Outstanding News Coverage Rudd Vs Gillard Leadership Challenge Nominated
2013 ASTRA Awards Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist Ahron Young Won
Favourite personality – male Paul Murray Nominated
Favourite Programme Australian Paul Murray Live Nominated
2014 Logie Awards of 2014 Most Outstanding News Coverage Leadership Spill Nominated
2014 ASTRA Awards Channel of the year Sky News National Nominated
Favourite personality – male Paul Murray Nominated
Favourite personality – female Laura Jayes Nominated
Favourite program: Australian Paul Murray Live Nominated
Most Outstanding News Program Election 2013 coverage Won
Paul Murray Live Nominated
Most Outstanding performance by a broadcast journalist Kieran Gilbert Nominated
Ahron Young Nominated
Daniel Bourchier Nominated
David Speers Won
2015 Logie Awards of 2015 Most Outstanding News Coverage What Is Metadata? Nominated
2015 ASTRA Awards[91] Channel of the year Sky News National Won
Most Outstanding Presenter – Male Paul Murray Won
Most Outstanding Presenter – Female Nina Stevens Nominated
Most Outstanding Performance by a Broadcast Journalist David Speers Won
Kieran Gilbert Nominated
Celina Edmonds Nominated
Ahron Young Nominated
Most Outstanding News Program Paul Murray Live Won
PM Agenda Nominated
Richo + Jones Nominated
2016 Logie Awards of 2016 Most Outstanding News Coverage[92] Liberal Leadership Crisis: Abbott V Turnbull Nominated
ASTRA Industry Awards Most Outstanding Innovation (use of technology)[93] LiveU SmartGRIP Nominated
Walkley Awards Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue[94] 2016 Election coverage Won
6th AACTA Awards Subscription Television Award For Best Live Event Production[95] 2016 Election Coverage Nominated
Subscription Television Award For Best Male Presenter[95] David Speers Nominated
2017 Logie Awards of 2017 Most Outstanding News Coverage[96] 2016 Election coverage Won
2021 Kennedy Awards Journalist of the Year[97] Sharri Markson Nominated
Outstanding TV News Reporting[97] Kieran Gilbert and Andrew Clennell Nominated
Outstanding Nightly Current Affairs[97] Sharri Markson Won
Outstanding Long Form Current Affairs[97] Peta Credlin Won
2023 NT Media Awards NT Journalist of the Year[98] Matt Cunningham Won
Best News Coverage x 2[98] Matt Cunningham Won
Best Current Affairs or Feature[98] Matt Cunningham Won
Best Crime / Court Reporting[98] Matt Cunningham Won
Kennedy Awards The Paul Lockyer Award for Regional Broadcast Reporting[99] Matt Cunningham Won
Queensland Clarion Awards Broadcast Report[100] Jonathan Lea Won


Sky News began broadcasting in widescreen, along with its sister channels on 17 May 2009.[13] Sky News Australia only provides closed captioning between 4 pm and 5 pm (AEST/AEDT) each day.[101]

Sky News began broadcasting in high definition on 1 December 2015.[14]

Other services

Sky News Multiview

With the roll-out of Foxtel Digital, Sky News Australia launched the Sky News Active interactive news service based on the Sky News UK service with the same name. The service offered a choice of eight news screens, some with original content not seen on the main channel they vary depending on the days news or events and include the latest news, business, sport, showbiz and weather in text. Other features included interactive polling and the latest news headlines via text. On 15 November 2009 Sky News active re-launched with a new look as well as 5 additional local screens (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.[102]

Sky News Now (mobile service)

Sky News Now was a mobile service available on Vodafone, Telstra and 3. It offered a wide variety of news in both video and text.[103] As of 2015, the service was no longer available.

Sky News Alerts

Sky News Alerts is a SMS and MMS breaking news service available on all mobile phones inside Australia.[104] Breaking news alerts are sent to a subscriber via SMS or MMS at a cost per message.[105]


In November 2014, Sky News Australia was contracted to provide Qantas with in-flight news bulletins replacing a longstanding contract with the Nine Network.[106]

Radio and Podcasting

In Australia, since June 2023, Sky News partners with Nova Entertainment to offer an audio simulcast of its television channel via the free Nova Player app. Various programs podcasts including First Business, Market Day, Showbiz, Agenda, Australian News Week, Credlin and The Rita Panahi Show are also available on the app.[107] Previously, it was on IHeartRadio from March 2020 until June 2023, as part of a deal with ARN.[108]

Sky News Regional

Sky News Regional
Broadcast areaRegional QLD, Southern NSW & ACT, Regional VIC, Northern NSW & Gold Coast, Griffith and South East SA
Picture format576i SDTV
OwnerAustralian News Channel
(News Corp Australia)
Sister channelsSky News Australia
Sky News Weather Channel
Sky News Extra
Launched2 September 2018; 5 years ago (2018-09-02)
ReplacedAspire TV (in SCA areas)
Replaced by9Life (in most WIN areas)
Former namesSky News on WIN (2018-2021)
SCAChannel 56
WIN TelevisionChannel 53 (Gold Coast QLD)
(Northern NSW)
(Griffith NSW/Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area)
(Mount Gambier SA/Riverland)
Launch logo as Sky News on WIN

Sky News Regional (formerly Sky News on WIN) is a free-to-air version of Sky News Australia, which was launched on 2 September 2018. The channel features Sky News Australia and Fox Sports News programming, as well as the morning newscast Sky News Breakfast commissioned for this channel that also airs on Sky News Weather.[109][110] The channel was originally established as part of a partnership with WIN Television.[111][112] In 2021, WIN's contracts with both Network 10 and Sky News expired; with WIN returning to its previous Nine Network affiliation on 1 July 2021, and Sky News's contract expiring on 1 August 2021 (the allotments were, in turn, used for 9Life).[112] Sky News reached a new agreement with Southern Cross Austereo to distribute the channel on their now Network 10-affiliated stations, now known as Sky News Regional.[112][111]

In its first two weeks on the air, the channel averaged 10,000 viewers in primetime and 4,000 viewers in daytime, with Richo the highest rated program at 24,000 viewers.[113]

The channel is available on digital channel 56 across Southern Cross Austereo's regional markets in Regional QLD, Southern NSW & ACT and Regional VIC, and on WIN digital channel 53 in Northern NSW & Gold Coast, Griffith and South East SA.[114] It is not available in Broken Hill/Spencer Gulf, Tasmania, Mildura, Darwin, Remote & Central Australia and Regional WA. Mildura, Tasmania, and Regional Western Australia previously broadcast the channel as Sky News on WIN on the WIN network until August 2021 when it switched to 9Life's feed. The channel was previously on WIN digital channels 83 and 85, prior to the rebrand as Sky News Regional on 1 August 2021.

Sky News Now (TV channel)

Linear channel Sky News Now launched on the Samsung TV Plus platform in Australia on 23 March 2023.[115][116]

See also


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