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 over the basic Sky Sports. Since its creation in 1990, Sky Sports has played an extremely dominant role in commercializing British sport. This channel has also been a key player in making a paradigm shift in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first 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 a privileged sports channel in the beginning. Sports programs were transmitted sometimes from this channel but instead of launching a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television made a decision to put money into Eurosport. With the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed among its four channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television announced a merger in the year 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 discontinued its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon 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 like a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, this was the 2nd channel in the Sky system that was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports began by airing sports such as golf and rugby, it soon obtained 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 had become the most favored sports channel following a 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 Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped during 2007. This was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was maintained, 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 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 experience some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.