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 along with Sky Sports additionally, it has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra that exist like 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 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 occasionally from this channel but rather than launching a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television made a decision to put money into Eurosport. Upon the launch of Sky Television in February 1989, Eurosport was marketed among 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 finally launched in April, 1991 on the SES Astra IB Satellite tv. Eurosport discontinued 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 just about the most successful channels in 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 via the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports began by airing 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, together with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports had become the most favored sports channel following a purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a duration of five years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the 24 hour sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped during 2007. This was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was preserved, the colour displays of the information box, the ticker towards the bottom on 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. However the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and did not get up-graded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with any other sports. It is 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.