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 additionally, it has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra which are available as a Premium package above the basic Sky Sports. Since its inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played a very prominent 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 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 by 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 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 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 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, this was the 2nd channel in the Sky system that was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports began by broadcasting sports including golf and rugby, it soon obtained 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 popular 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 manages Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The look 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 additionally a portion of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and failed to get up-graded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with every other sports. It is perhaps due to this reason that this channel does have a tendency to suffer from some decrease in viewership during the summers when no football is played.