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 inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played an extremely prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has additionally been a key player 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 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 transmitted occasionally from this channel but rather than introducing a sports channel of their own, Sky Television chose to put money into Eurosport. Upon the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed as one of its 4 channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television declared a merger in the year 1990. Initially launched 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 tv. Eurosport terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but continued to be located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly turned out to be one of the most successful channels of the Sky system. It was from September 1992, that Sky began selling Sky Sports as a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, it was the second channel in the Sky system which was encrypted via 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 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 operates Sky Sports news, the 24 hour sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped in the year 2007. This was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, 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 portion of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and did not 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 why this channel does tend to experience some decrease in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.