Sky News is coming to NBC News Now.
The NBC News streaming service will simulcast Sky News Today with Wilfred Frost on weekday mornings at 5 a.m. EST, an expansion into the early morning hours.
The program is the first time that a Sky News program will be simulcast on the streaming service, and will be the first NBC News Now show to originate from outside the U.S. (it will be based out of Sky News’ London headquarters).
Sky News — while not a part of the NBC News Group — is also owned by Comcast, which controls the Sky media empire in the U.K. and Europe. David Rhodes, the former president of CBS News, is executive chairman of Sky News Group.
Janelle Rodriguez, executive VP of NBC News, notes that on occasion the networks have taken some Sky News feeds during the overnight hours, but the regular cadence on NBC News Now is a different sort of agreement.
“Wilfred Frost had been at CNBC for many years, so he’s someone who’s already familiar to many folks in the audience. As me and David Rhodes were talking over time, I just thought, you know what, it would be incredible if we could offer Wilfred’s programming,” Rodriguez says. “Most people who are going to be watching news at 5 in the morning are serious news people, right? They want the news, they are not looking for soft entertainment, and to be able to provide the scope of our international reach and our international focus with someone like Wilfred who our audience already has some familiarity with, it just was to me a no brainer that it would be a great partnership.”
NBC News Now launched in 2019, but it continues to grow month by month and quarter to quarter, Rodriguez says. NBC News says that Wednesday night’s coverage of the third Republican primary debate was its “largest primetime audience ever” and “highest peak audience on record,” though specific viewership numbers were not disclosed.
“The North Star for us, first and foremost, is premium journalism,” Rodriguez says. “So, for us, NBC News Now isn’t something to the side, it’s something that’s a central focus of what we do, but it’s also connected to everything we do, and we want to create that seamless audience experience that if you are watching NBC News Now, you are watching NBC News, and there’s no disconnect between the level and the quality that you would have viewers have come to expect over literally decades.”
And while the addition of Wilfred Frost’s Sky News hour is a first step, Rodriguez says that the company plans to continue adding programming to the streaming news offering over time.