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 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 also been instrumental in 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 a privileged sports channel initially. Sports programs were broadcast occasionally from this channel but instead of introducing a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television chose to invest in Eurosport. With 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 launched 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 discontinued its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained located on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports quickly 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, it was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports began by broadcasting 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, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports became the most popular sports channel following the purchase 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 design of this news channel was revamped during 2007. This was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was maintained, the color displays on 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 part of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format remained at the 4:3 and failed to get up-graded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is associated more with football than with every other sports. It is perhaps due to this reason why this channel does have a tendency to experience some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.