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 along with Sky Sports it also has Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra that exist like a Premium package over the basic Sky Sports. Since its creation in 1990, Sky Sports has played an extremely prominent role in commercializing British sport. This channel has also been instrumental for making a paradigm shift in the organizational structure of sports broadcasting by being the first 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 was lacking a privileged sports channel in the beginning. Sports programs were broadcast occasionally by this channel but instead of launching a sports channel of their own, Sky Television made a decision to put money into 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 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 quickly developed into one of 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 that 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 increasing its popularity base.
In 1992/93, together with the formation of the Premier League, Sky Sports had become the most popular sports channel following the purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of Premier League Football in England and Ireland for the duration of 5 years.
Sky Sports also manages Sky Sports news, the Round-the-clock sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The look of this news channel was overhauled 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 of the screen and also the breaking news ticker were changed. A new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were also a part of the revamping. Nevertheless the broadcasting format continued to be at a 4:3 and did not get upgraded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football than with every other sports. It is perhaps because of this reason that this channel does have a tendency to suffer from some decrease in viewership during the summers when no football is played.