Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier 24 hour sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is 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 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 did not have a privileged sports channel initially. Sports programs were broadcast sometimes from this channel but rather than introducing 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 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 available 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 2nd channel in the Sky system that was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports began by airing 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, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most popular sports channel following the purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for the 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 revamped in the year 2007. This was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was preserved, the color displays of the information box, the ticker at 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 portion of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and did not get upgraded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football compared to any other sports. It is perhaps because of this reason why this channel does have a tendency to suffer from some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.