Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier 24 hour 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 like a Premium package over the basic Sky Sports. Since its inception in 1990, Sky Sports has played a very dominant role in commercializing British sport. This channel has additionally been instrumental in 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 out from the Football League in 1992.
Sky Sports began as The Sports Channel in March 1990 as Sky Television did not have a privileged sports channel initially. Sports programs were broadcast occasionally from this channel but rather than introducing 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 among its 4 channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television announced a merger in the year 1990. Initially unveiled 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 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 soon turned out to be just about the most successful channels of 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 which was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports began by broadcasting sports including golf and rugby, it soon obtained the rights to air Italian and German League Football thereby improving its popularity base.
In 1992/93, with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports had become the most favored sports channel following the purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for a period of 5 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 overhauled in the year 2007. This 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 remained at a 4:3 and failed to get up-graded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with any 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.