Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier Round-the-clock sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is actually a satellite pay TV company and together 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 inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played an extremely prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has additionally been instrumental in 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 in the beginning. Sports programs were broadcast sometimes from this channel but rather than introducing a sports channel of their 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 television. 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 soon turned out to be just about 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, it was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. 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 had become the most popular sports channel following the acquisition of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a duration of five years.
Sky Sports also operates Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was overhauled during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Although 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. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at a 4:3 and failed to get upgraded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football compared to any other sports. It’s perhaps due to this reason why this channel does tend to suffer from some decrease in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.