Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier Round-the-clock sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is a satellite pay TV company and together with Sky Sports it also 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 for 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 did not have an exclusive sports channel in the beginning. Sports programs were transmitted sometimes by this channel but instead of launching 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 four channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television declared a merger in the year 1990. Initially unveiled 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 television. 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 quickly developed into one of 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 via the Video Crypt system. Though Sky Sports started out by broadcasting sports such as golf and rugby, it soon acquired 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 became the most popular sports channel following the acquisition of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a period of 5 years.
Sky Sports also operates Sky Sports news, the 24 hour sports news channel which was launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped in the year 2007. This was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was maintained, the colour displays on the information box, the ticker at the bottom of the screen and also 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 a 4:3 and failed to get up-graded on the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football compared to any other sports. It is perhaps because of this reason why this channel does have a tendency to suffer from some loss in viewership during the summers when no football is played.