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 which are available as 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 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 an exclusive sports channel initially. Sports programs were broadcast sometimes by this channel but instead of launching a sports channel of their very own, Sky Television chose to invest in Eurosport. Upon 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 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 television. Eurosport terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but continued to be available on the SES Astra platform.
Sky Sports soon developed into one of the most successful channels in the Sky system. It was from September 1992, that Sky began selling Sky Sports as a subscription channel. After Sky Movies, this was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted through 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 increasing 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 a period of five years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the 24 hour sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped in the year 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Although the main structure of presentation was maintained, the colour displays of the information box, the ticker at the bottom on the screen and the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were additionally a portion of the revamping. However 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 related more with football than with every 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.