Sky Sports News today becomes first channel to go on air from new west London production facility previously known as Harlequin 1
Sky Studios, Sky’s state-of-the-art production facility formerly known as Harlequin 1, begins broadcasting today, with Sky Sports News the first channel to be transmitted live from the new building.
The opening of Sky Studios is part of Sky’s growing commitment to home-grown British content. Last month, the company announced that it would increase investment in British programmes by more than 50% to £600 million a year over the next three years.
This morning at 6am Sky Sports News’ ‘Good Morning Sports Fans’ became the first programme to be broadcast from the new facility. The show was anchored by Mike Wedderburn, who also happened to be the first presenter to appear on Sky Sports News when it first went to air on the 9th August 1998. Wedderburn and co-presenter Kirsty Gallacher presented the show from a new studio that has been built specifically to cater for the needs of the Sky Sports News production team and enable them to continue delivering the most comprehensive sports news service to viewers.
The new studio is the most significant element of the recent programme of investment in Sky Sports News that has included increased funding for more live trucks for outside broadcasts enabling reporters to react live on air to the latest breaking sports news wherever they are, the capability to broadcast in high definition, and further investment in on-screen talent.
The most sustainable broadcasting facility in Europe, Sky Studios is home to eight naturally ventilated studios including five HD studios, 45 edit suites, 14 voice-over suites, four audio suites and on site post-production facilities.
Arranged over five levels, with each floor the size of a football pitch, Sky Studios has been designed so that original content can be filmed, edited and transmitted within a single facility. The building is divided horizontally into three zones – ‘make’, ‘shape’ and ‘share’ – housing content production, platform control and transmission services for all of Sky’s sport and news content. Building work began in 2006, and Sky has invested approximately £233 million in the facility.
Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, Sky, comments: “Opening Sky Studios is a significant step in Sky’s development, and this building stands testament to our commitment to home-grown, high quality British content. Not only is Sky Studios the most environmentally sustainable broadcasting facility in Europe, its cutting edge technology will also help us continue to create ground-breaking and innovative programming long into the future.”
Providing office space for 1,370 permanent and production staff, Sky Studios was designed and built with maximum energy-efficiency in mind. The facility will include an integrated wind turbine, to provide energy to power lighting throughout the building. Additionally, an on-site Combined Cooling & Heating Power plant supply at least 20% of the energy needed for the building’s electricity and heating systems.
In recognition of its innovations in renewable energy and energy efficiency, Sky Studios triumphed in the ‘Sustainable Project of the Year’ category at the 2010 Sustainability Awards and has also received nominations for The Guardian Sustainability Awards 2011, Building Awards 2011 and 2011 Sustainable Energy Europe Awards.