Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier 24 hour sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is a satellite pay TV company and together with Sky Sports it also has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra that exist like a Premium package over the basic Sky Sports. Since its inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played a very prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has additionally been a key player in making a paradigm shift in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first ones to support and encourage the Premier League to break away from the Football League in 1992.
Sky Sports began as The Sports Channel in March 1990 as Sky Television was lacking an exclusive sports channel initially. Sports programs were transmitted sometimes by this channel but instead of introducing a sports channel of their own, Sky Television made a decision to invest in Eurosport. With the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed among its four channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television announced a merger in 1990. Initially launched as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was rebranded Sky Sports when it was eventually launched in April, 1991 on the SES Astra IB Satellite television. Eurosport discontinued its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly developed into just about the most successful channels in the Sky system. It was from September 1992, that Sky began selling Sky Sports as a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, this was the second channel in the Sky system which was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports began by airing sports including golf and rugby, it soon obtained the rights to air Italian and German League Football thereby increasing its popularity base.
In 1992/93, together with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports had become the most favored sports channel following a purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for the period of 5 years.
Sky Sports also operates Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was revamped in the year 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, the color displays on the information box, the ticker towards the bottom of the screen and also the breaking news ticker were changed. A new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were also a part of the revamping. However the broadcasting format remained at a 4:3 and did not get upgraded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football compared to every other sports. It’s perhaps due to this reason that this channel does tend to experience some decrease in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.