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 which are available as a Premium package above the basic Sky Sports. Since its creation in 1990, Sky Sports has played a very dominant role in commercializing British sport. This channel has additionally been instrumental in making a paradigm change in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first 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 in the beginning. Sports programs were broadcast occasionally by this channel but rather than launching a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television made a decision to put money into 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 unveiled as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was rebranded Sky Sports when it was finally launched in April, 1991 on the SES Astra IB Satellite tv. Eurosport discontinued its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained available on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon 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 2nd channel in the Sky system that was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports started out by airing sports including golf and rugby, it soon acquired the rights to air Italian and German League Football thereby improving its popularity base.
In 1992/93, together with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports had become the most popular sports channel following a purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for the duration of 5 years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was overhauled during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, the colour displays of the information box, the ticker at the bottom on the screen and also the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were also a part of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format remained at a 4:3 and failed to get up-graded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with every other sports. It’s perhaps because of this reason that this channel does have a tendency to experience some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.