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(Pocket-lint) - Sky is rebranding and relaunching its Sky Sports News channel in time for the start of the new football season. Called Sky Sports News HQ, the new channel will appear on the Sky EPG at 401, elsewhere on other providers, and will be available from 12 August.

Changes to the channel include improved digital services and redesigned companion applications. Social media coverage will be more integrated in future too.

Sky Sports News HQ will have a new schedule that will include new programmes and features, including a greater focus on reporting stories under investigation. Kirsty Gallacher and Jim White will spearhead a team of 20 presenters and 32 reporters.

There will be a new, more relaxed studio set-up that is double the size of the previous one. Online, there will be an SSN HQ hub that offers catch-up video clips and addition content. Plus, a dedicated social media desk will feed reporters items to investigate.

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The new version of the channel will launch alongside Sky Sports News 5 (and the HD versions) which will primarily show European football. It will also be available on Virgin Media from launch and TalkTalk has announced that it will be adding the new sports channel to its line-up too.

READ: Sky Sports 3, 4 and F1 HD channels arrive on Virgin Media as it reshuffles EPG to cope

"Sports fans want to get even further into the heart of sports news, and we’ll take them there with the best resources: 11 presentation points in a fantastic new studio, new ways of reflecting stories under investigation and those driving social conversations, and revamped apps and digital services," said Sky Sports News HQ executive editor Andy Cairns.

Sky has also announced that the Sky Sports app for iPad will soon be able to personalise rugby union and rugby league news, as well as the existing football and cricket options.

Writing by Rik Henderson.