Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier 24 hour sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is actually 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 above 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 a key player 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 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 broadcast sometimes by this channel but instead of launching 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 announced a merger in the year 1990. Initially unveiled 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 tv. Eurosport terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained available on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon developed into one of 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 second channel in the Sky system that was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Even 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 improving its popularity base.
In 1992/93, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most favored sports channel following a 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 24 hour sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was revamped during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was preserved, the colour displays on the information box, the ticker at the bottom on the screen and also the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were additionally a part of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and did not get up-graded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football than with any other sports. It’s perhaps because of this reason that this channel does tend to suffer from some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.