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 which are available like a Premium package above the basic Sky Sports. Since its creation in 1990, Sky Sports has played a very prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has additionally been a key player for making a paradigm shift in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first 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 in the beginning. Sports programs were transmitted occasionally 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 4 channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television announced a merger in 1990. Initially unveiled as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was relabeled Sky Sports when it was eventually launched in April, 1991 on the SES Astra IB Satellite television. Eurosport terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon developed into one of the most successful channels of the Sky system. It was from September 1992, that Sky began selling Sky Sports like a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, it was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports started out by broadcasting sports including golf and rugby, it soon obtained 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 became the most favored 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 operates Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was overhauled during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was maintained, the color displays of the information box, the ticker at the bottom on the screen and the breaking news ticker were changed. A new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were additionally a part of the revamping. However the broadcasting format continued to be at a 4:3 and did not get up-graded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with every other sports. It’s perhaps due to this reason why this channel does tend to suffer from some loss in viewership during the summers when no football is played.