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 additionally 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 broadcast occasionally by this channel but rather than launching a sports channel of their own, Sky Television chose to put money into 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 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 television. Eurosport terminated its partnership with Sky Television upon the launch of Sky Sports but remained 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, it was the 2nd channel in the Sky system which was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports began by broadcasting sports such as golf and rugby, it soon obtained 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 had become the most popular sports channel following a purchase 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 24 hour sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The look 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 preserved, the color 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 part of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at the 4:3 and failed to get upgraded 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 that this channel does tend to suffer from some loss in viewership throughout the summers when no football is played.