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 which are available like 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 additionally been instrumental in making a paradigm shift 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 did not have a privileged sports channel initially. Sports programs were transmitted occasionally from this channel but instead of launching a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television chose to invest in Eurosport. Upon 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 1990. Initially launched as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was rebranded 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 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, this was the second channel in the Sky system which was encrypted through 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, 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 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. This was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, the colour displays on the information box, the ticker at the bottom of the screen and also the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were also a part of the revamping. However the broadcasting format remained 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 every other sports. It’s perhaps due to this reason why this channel does have a tendency to suffer from some decrease in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.