The sports channel was renamed Sky Sports on April 20, 1991, and began broadcasting to sky viewers via the newly launched Astra 1B satellite on that date, alongside its existing satellite broadcasts in Marcopolo de BSB.
The channel was sold as one of the main draws in the Cielo system and sports such as rugby and golf were initially broadcast in 1991, before acquiring rights to the German and Italian soccer leagues in 1996 (both inherited from a sports channel ).
The channel was initially encrypted, but broadcast free-to-view, requiring an analog VideoCrypt decoder, but no paid subscription, to be viewed. Since VideoCrypt set-top boxes were only officially available in the UK, this was intended to prevent the service from being displayed outside of the UK and Ireland.
However, it was after the formation of the Premier League for the 1992/93 football season, it is believed that it was assisted by the promise of pay TV, Sky Sports that it became well known. Bidding £ 304m, BSkyB beat the BBC and ITV to acquire the live and exclusive Premier League football broadcasting rights for the UK and Ireland for a period of five years. In doing so, they had brought the English league's premier league live football on terrestrial television and free-to-air television for the first time in their history.
At this point, Sky Sports became a subscription channel, available with a stand-alone monthly subscription, or at a reduced price if taken with Sky's movie channels.
Sky Sports 1 mainly broadcasts football.
Sky launched its second dedicated sports channel, Sky Sports 2 on August 19, 1994, three years after the original channel launched on the Marcopolo satellite on BSB. As a result, "Sky Sports" was renamed "Sky Sports 1".
On August 16, 1996, Sky Sports 3 went live. The launch promotion involved many sports figures from the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Ryan Giggs to help get the channel up and running. Sky Sports also acquired the rights to Scottish football and the Coca-Cola Cup.
Expansion of Sky Sports Sky Sports News HQ , is a 24-hour sports news channel operated by Sky Sports. Sky Sports News was launched on October 1, 1998, with Sky Digital becoming BSkyB's first digital channel. On April 10, 2000, Sky Sports News relaunched as SkySports.com TV, a move to bring it tied in with the launch of the SkySports.com website. However, the name was soon reverted to Sky Sports News.
The channel replaced Sky Sports Center, a news program at 6:00 p.m., dedicated to the main events in the world of sports.
Current presenters on the channel include Natalie Sawyer, Jim White, and Millie Clode.
Another Show on Sky Sports News HQ is Saturday Football, hosted by Jeff Stelling and reviewed by Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson, Phil Thompson, and Charlie Nicholas, as well as match reports from Iain Dowie, Chris Kamara, Alan McInally, Peter Stevenson , Paul Walsh, Kevin Watson, Bianca Westwood and Matt Murray among others.
On August 5, 2007, the channel was "revamped" in keeping with the new look of Sky Sports. The channel was again given a 'new look' on August 23, 2010 of its own accord, winning a significant overhaul of graphics and broadcasting in widescreen and HD for the first time. The review also coincided with the channel's upgrade to a "pay" channel, including its removal from Freeview.