Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier Round-the-clock 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 as a Premium package over 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 instrumental for 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 broadcast sometimes by this channel but instead of launching 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 as one of its 4 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 terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but continued to be available on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly developed into one of 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, this was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports began by broadcasting 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 became the most popular 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 manages 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. Though the main structure of presentation was preserved, the color displays on 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 remained at the 4:3 and failed to get upgraded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with any other sports. It’s perhaps because of this reason why this channel does have a tendency to experience some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.