Sky News is launching a channel entirely free of Brexit coverage to allow people to have a break while still staying abreast of the big issues outside the Westminster and Brussels bubbles.
The channel will air Monday to Friday, 5pm to 10pm, and is being marketed as an alternative to evening news programmes which are currently dominated by Brexit. The head of Sky News said that the broadcaster had listened to public opinion and was responding to a demand.
Data from YouGov and Reuters’ Digital News Report shows that as many as a third (32%) of Britons are actively avoiding the news and almost six in ten (58%) say that the news has a negative impact on their mood.
Similarly, a snap poll in March showed that more than two thirds (65%) of Brits agreed that they had ‘Brexit fatigue’. This was highest among those aged over 60 (75%) and lowest - although still a majority - among 18 to 24 year olds (53%).
In October, these figures increased to seven in ten Brits who are ‘Brexit fatigued’ (70%), a 5% increase from seven months prior. Fatigue increased amongst all age ranges but most significantly among the 25 to 39 age group which increased by 10% and the 40 to 59 age group which increased by 7%.
YouGov data shows that those who watch the Sky News channel are typically older, with almost half (48%) aged 60 and over, a third (37%) aged between 40 and 59 and 13% aged 25 to 39. Lower audience numbers among 18 to 24 year olds for news channels are common however, such as 3% of this age group who watch the Sky News Channel and 4% who watch the BBC News Channel.
Although Brexit fatigue is increasing across the entire country, there are certain groups which are feeling wearier than others. Sky News’ Brexit-free channel is a bold move however will appeal to those who need a break from the blanket coverage. Conveniently this group are also more likely to be from an age group that don’t typically watch Sky News, so may have the added benefit of expanding their audience profile too.
Image: Sky News
This article previously appeared in City A.M.