Sky News Regional launches - but what impact will it have on rural communities?

As local news services across regional Australia continue to disappear, one of the country’s biggest Pay TV channels just relaunched for millions of people.

 

Sky News Regional officially began though Southern Cross Austereo at midnight, after 3 years under the WIN Network name that ended after they returned to affiliation with Channel 9.

 

While the programming remains relatively the same as what’s seen via Foxtel, there are a few notable exceptions - including FOX Sports News replacing several news bulletins & Sky News Breakfast being shown on weekdays instead of First Edition.

 

Reaction from the public has, however, been mixed.

 

Some say it’s important to have an ‘alternative’ to networks like the ABC, which is perceived as ‘left-wing’ by many conservatives, while others say Sky’s presence will lead to radicalisation of people, due to their so-called “after-dark” right-wing hosts.

 

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who’s been calling for a Royal Commission into Murdoch Media, told the ABC in late June that he’s not a fan.

 

"The danger is not just now...it's what it will become by the next Federal Election, and the one after that."

 

The channel’s relaunch comes weeks after Nine axed its 3 local news bulletins in Victoria, NSW & Queensland, and WIN TV merged 12 of their bulletins.

 

Sky News Regional can be viewed on Channel 56 - but for viewers in South Australia, Griffith, Northern NSW & the Gold Coast, it can continue to be seen on Channel 53.

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