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 together with Sky Sports additionally, it has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra which are available as 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 also been a key player in making a paradigm shift in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first 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 an exclusive sports channel in the beginning. Sports programs were broadcast occasionally from this channel but instead of introducing a sports channel of their own, Sky Television made a decision 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 launched as British Sky Broadcasting, the Sports Channel was relabeled 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 quickly developed into just about 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 which was encrypted via the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports began by broadcasting sports such as 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 favored sports channel following a acquisition of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for the duration of 5 years.
Sky Sports also operates Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, the color displays on the information box, the ticker towards the bottom of the screen and the breaking news ticker were changed. A 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 any other sports. It is perhaps due to this reason why this channel does tend to experience some loss in viewership during the summers when no football is played.