Sky Sports is British Sky Broadcastings premier Round-the-clock sports news channel in England and Ireland. British Sky Broadcasting is actually a satellite pay TV company and along with Sky Sports additionally, it 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 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 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 initially. 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 4 channels.
British Sky Broadcasting and Sky Television declared a merger in 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 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, it was the second channel in the Sky system which was encrypted through the Video Crypt system. Even though Sky Sports started out by broadcasting sports including golf and rugby, it soon acquired 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 the period of 5 years.
Sky Sports also operates Sky Sports news, the 24 hour sports news channel which had been launched in 1998. The design of this news channel was revamped during 2007. It was just in time with the football season. Though the main structure of presentation was preserved, the color displays on the information box, the ticker towards the bottom of the screen and the breaking news ticker were changed. A brand new studio, new theme tune and new title sequences were also a portion of the revamping. However the broadcasting format remained at the 4:3 and did not get up-graded to the Widescreen 16:9 formats.
Till date Sky Sports is related more with football compared to any other sports. It is perhaps due to this reason that this channel does tend to experience some loss in viewership during the summers when no football is played.