The Sky Sports News blues

Posted on August 23, 2010


By Tim Harris

SPORTS fans nationwide will mourn the loss of Sky Sports News; following its removal from the freeview television service.

Sky Sports News has been pulled from the freeview service

After eight years of popular sporting coverage for freeview watchers, Sky Sports News will now only be available by a paying subscription; a sobering reality for thousands on thousands of avid followers.

Since its initial launch in 1998, the channel has been such a roaring triumph, that victim to its own success, TV titans Sky feel a charge can now be justified for the sporting entertainment provided.

The need to apply this new subscription status to Sky Sports News could be refuted with anger, as Sky already collect profits in vast amounts from the many sponsors and advertisements associated with the channel.

But in the fluctuating economy that we now reside in, this sort of move should not be unexpected.  Just two months previous, The Times introduced a paying subscription to its online newspaper service.  It is far from foolish then, to speculate that other media organisations might also follow suit in the imminent future.

On Sunday afternoon I sat down and automatically entered 515 on my TV remote.  The message that greeted me read: ‘Incorrect channel selection’.

Soccer Saturday
Sky Sports News offers impeccable coverage of breaking sports stories, through morning, afternoon and evening updates.  However, the most fondly missed attribute will undoubtedly be Soccer Saturday, and the show’s immortalised presenter, Jeff Stelling.

Jeff Stelling - pundit and footballing icon

Stelling and his team of pundits, including football legends Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier and Chris Kamara, greet their followers every Saturday with humorous but fully informative coverage of the English football leagues.

Soccer Saturday’s comical, enjoyable, and fundamentally original outlook will be sorely missed by football followers in their numbers.

However, those loyal to Jeff Stelling need not fret.  The punditry legend can still be found on freeview – presenting Countdown alongside Rachel Riley.

In the words of Chris Kamara: “It’s unbelievable Jeff.”