The new channel will launch in early 2022 and aims to reach every household in the UK.
TalkTV will show an hourly news bulletin, plus sports, entertainment, current affairs, debate, opinion and factual programmes. Former Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan will host a new show on the channel, which will also be shown on Murdoch’s FOX Nation in the USA and down under on Sky News Australia.
For most of the day, talkTV will be using presenters and journalists from other News UK services, including talkRADIO, talkSPORT, Virgin Radio, Times Radio, The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times.
News UK had previously planned to launch a new TV channel in the UK this year. Widely seen as a potential competitor to GB News, both channels aimed to attract a right of centre audience. But plans were scaled down in the spring. In its place, News UK launched a limited video-on-demand offering.
Following a torrid few weeks for GB News, News UK believes the time is now right for its own channel.
News UK confirmed it intends to stream or broadcast the channel on “all platforms”. As a result, “everyone in the UK will be able to access the channel, live or on-demand, either on their television or on any personal device.”
Rupert Murdoch’s News UK follows in the footsteps of European media companies, notably Germany’s Axel Springer, who have extended from press into television channels. Axel Springer launched news channel Bild TV last month, a spin-off from the popular tabloid. For Murdoch, it marks a return to British TV news after selling Sky to Comcast.
Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive of News UK, said:
“We are committed to providing choice for television and streaming viewers and bringing the best of our journalism to the screen. Taking advantage of modern technology, we can produce high quality shows at low cost.”
Scott Taunton, CEO of News UK Broadcasting, said:
“talkTV will provide a rich mix of entertaining and informative shows that no other service provides.
“News UK’s brands already engage millions of people through print, digital and audio and we are using those brands to create video programming. We have some of media’s biggest names on our radio stations and in our newspapers, as well as some of the most articulate thought-leaders who reflect many different viewpoints. Some of the most talented people in news, sports and entertainment journalism will be taking part as contributors or creating original content for talkTV.”
Ahead of the launch, News UK has invested in new TV studios at its HQ in London Bridge. The studios are currently used by talkRADIO for its news bulletins.
The recent launch of talkRADIO TV prepares the ground for the new channel. TalkRADIO TV soft-launched online this summer and is expected to morph into talkTV. It is available online and on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Apple TV, Rakuten TV, YouTube and Amazon Fire TV.