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 along with Sky Sports additionally, it 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 an extremely prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has also been a key player for 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 out from the Football League in 1992.
Sky Sports began as The Sports Channel in March 1990 as Sky Television did not have an exclusive sports channel initially. Sports programs were broadcast sometimes by this channel but rather than launching a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television chose to invest in Eurosport. With the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed as one of its four channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television announced a merger in the year 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 continued to be available on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon turned out to be one of 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. Though Sky Sports started out by airing sports such as golf and rugby, it soon acquired the rights to air Italian and German League Football thereby improving its popularity base.
In 1992/93, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most popular sports channel following a acquisition 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 24 hour sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was revamped in the year 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Although 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 additionally a portion of the revamping. However the broadcasting format remained at the 4:3 and failed to get up-graded on 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 have a tendency to experience some decrease in viewership during the summers when no football is played.