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 along 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 creation in 1990, Sky Sports has played a very dominant role in commercializing British sport. This channel has also been a key player for making a paradigm change in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first 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 initially. Sports programs were transmitted sometimes from this channel but rather than launching a sports channel of their 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 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 continued to be located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon 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 second channel in the Sky system that was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. 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 improving its popularity base.
In 1992/93, together with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most favored sports channel following the acquisition of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for the period of five years.
Sky Sports also operates Sky Sports news, the 24 hour sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was preserved, the colour 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 also a portion of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at a 4:3 and did not get up-graded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with every other sports. It’s perhaps because of this reason that this channel does tend to experience some decrease in viewership during the summers when no football is played.