Sky pulls sports news channel from Freeview

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The Independent Online

Sky is to cease screening its 24-hour sports news channel for free and make it available only to pay-TV subscribers.

The boradcaster, which was last week approached by News Corporation about a takeover, said Sky Sports News would be removed from Freeview in an attempt to boost subscriber revenues.

Sky Sports News, which is to be supplemented with a high-definition channel, will be available only to those who subscribe to Sky, Virgin Media or TalkTalk after eight years of being free to watch.

One insider said: "We have significant ambitions for the channel and it has now reached a stage where it warrants pay status. The quality is high enough."

The channel will be replaced on Freeview with Sky3 +1, a time-shifted version of its existing Sky3 channel.

The company pointed out that it was not preparing to remove its Sky News channel from the Freeview platform.