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 inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played an extremely prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has also 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 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 in the beginning. Sports programs were broadcast sometimes by this channel but instead of introducing a sports channel of their very 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 1990. Initially launched as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was relabeled 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 located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon developed into one of the most successful channels of the Sky system. It was from September 1992, that Sky began selling Sky Sports like a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, this was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports started out 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, 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 the period of 5 years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was overhauled in the year 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was preserved, the colour displays of the information box, the ticker towards the bottom on the screen and the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were also a portion of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and did not get upgraded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football compared to every other sports. It is perhaps because of this reason that this channel does tend to suffer from some decrease in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.