Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier 24 hour sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is actually a satellite pay TV company and together with Sky Sports it also 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 also been a key player in making a paradigm change 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 transmitted sometimes from this channel but instead of introducing a sports channel of their own, Sky Television made a decision to put money into Eurosport. Upon the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed among its four channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television declared a merger in the year 1990. Initially unveiled 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 terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained available on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly turned out to be just about the most successful channels in 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. Though Sky Sports began 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, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most favored sports channel following a purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a duration of five years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was overhauled during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was preserved, the color displays of the information box, the ticker towards the bottom on 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. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and failed to get upgraded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football than with every other sports. It’s perhaps due to this reason that this channel does have a tendency to suffer from some loss in viewership during the summers when no football is played.