South Africa’s first independent 24-hour news programme, eNews, intends to launch on the Sky digital satellite platform in the UK imminently, although an exact date is yet to be decided.

The channel will also be changing its name to eNCA as the competition steps up with rival SABC, who are preparing to launch their own 24-hour news channel. It will run on Multichoice’s DStv, which is the same platform that eNews currently uses, and will consist of six hours of new material per day which will run on a four hour loop. The service will be available throughout Southern Africa in September.

The UK audience can currently view the eNews channel on the Sky pay TV platform, where it has replaced the Africa Channel +1, but the service will be available officially on the Sky EPG once the rebranding is complete and the test phase finalised.

Once the service is launched it will be available to over 10 million viewers in the UK. The service will be modified to take into account the needs of viewers overseas as well as back in SA, but Patrick Conroy, group head of news at, says customers need not worry that the rebranding of eNews will affect the service. “Due to our expansion we will have to rebrand our service to make it relevant to viewers abroad and here at home,” Conroy told Channel24. “It will be more of a brand tweak than an overhaul, viewers need not be concerned. It will still be the same news service with the same content … the only difference will be our appearance.”

The news channel will also be launching its own website by the end of 2012 complete with rolling headlines, comparable to CNN and Sky.

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