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 it also has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra that exist as 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 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 was lacking an exclusive sports channel initially. Sports programs were transmitted occasionally from this channel but instead of introducing 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 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 discontinued its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly developed into just about 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, this 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 acquired the rights to air Italian and German League Football thereby increasing its popularity base.
In 1992/93, together with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most popular sports channel following the acquisition of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a 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 of 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. However 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 compared to every other sports. It’s perhaps due to this reason that this channel does tend to suffer from some decrease in viewership during the summers when no football is played.