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Encyclopedia > Sky Television plc
Sky Television corporate identity from 1989, maintained by British Sky Broadcasting until 1995
Sky Television corporate identity from 1989, maintained by British Sky Broadcasting until 1995

Sky Television plc was a four-channel satellite television service launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on February 5, 1989. Sky Television merged with collapsed rival British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990 to form British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). The merger was effectively a takeover of BSB by Sky, although the latter was also suffering massive losses. British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB - formerly two companies, Sky Television plc and British Satellite Broadcasting) is a company that operates Sky Digital, the most popular subscription television service in the UK and Ireland. ... Rupert Murdoch Keith Rupert Murdoch (born March 11, 1931), is an Australian-born American media proprietor who is the majority shareholder and managing director of News Corporation, one of the worlds largest and most influential media corporations. ... News International is a British newspaper publisher owned by Rupert Murdochs News Corporation. ... February 5 is the 36th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... BSB logo British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) was a company set up in 1986 to provide direct broadcast satellite television services to the United Kingdom. ... British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB - formerly two companies, Sky Television plc and British Satellite Broadcasting) is a company that operates Sky Digital, the most popular subscription television service in the UK and Ireland. ...


History

In 1982 Rupert Murdoch's News International acquired 80% of Satellite Television UK (SATV), one of the earliest satellite television channels which brodcast from the OTS-2 Orbital Test Satellite to a pan-European audience. The service was renamed Sky Channel. The channel became widely available in Ireland in 1987. It was relaunched as Sky Television on February 5, 1989 and was one of the first Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services in the world to become operational. The service had four channels on the Astra satellite, which orbited at 19.2°E: Sky Channel, Eurosport, Sky Movies and Sky News. The Orbital Test Satellite programme was an experimental satellite system inherited by the ESA in 1975 from its predecessor, the European Space Research Organization (ESRO). ... Sky One is British Sky Broadcastings flagship entertainment channel in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. ... Eurosport is the largest European sports satellite and cable network available in 54 countries and broadcasting in 18 different languages. ... Sky Movies is the collective name for the British subscription television movie channels operated by Sky Television, later British Sky Broadcasting. ... Sky News is Europes first 24-hour television news channel, originally launched as part of the 4-channel Sky Television satellite package in February 1989. ...


The Astra satellite was owned by a Luxembourg based consortium, Société Européenne des Satellites and controlled from there, but Sky's broadcasts originated in the UK and were subject to British regulation. Originally regulated by the Cable Authority, control passed to the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and finally to the Office of Communications (Ofcom). SES Astra SA, a subsidiary of SES Global, is a Luxembourg-based corporation which owns and operates the Astra series of geostationary satellites, which transmit approximately 1100 analogue and digital television and radio channels via 176 transponders to 91 million households across Europe. ... The Office of Communications, usually known as Ofcom, is the UKs communications regulator. ...


BSB competition and merger

The impetus for the relaunch as Sky Television was the refusal of the ITC to allow Murdoch to participate in the British Satellite Broadcasting alliance. This created a battle to win customers in this new multichannel environment. In the end Sky's earlier launch and leasing of transponders on the Astra satellite network allowed it to overtake its rival. In contrast to Sky; BSB suffered from the burden of building and launching its own satellites, more ambitious and expensive technology and higher capital expenditure overall, such as the construction of its Marco Polo House HQ in London compared to Sky's industrial estate in Isleworth. BSB logo British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) was a company set up in 1986 to provide direct broadcast satellite television services to the United Kingdom. ... Isleworth is located in the London Borough of Hounslow alongside the River Thames in west London. ...


In 1990 both companies were beginning to struggle with the burden of massive losses. The failure of BSB in November 1990 led to a merger, which was in effect a takeover by Sky - quality programming and superior technical quality had been no match for shrewd, aggressive marketing and pragmatic capital expenditure. The new company was called British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) but marketed as Sky, Marco Polo House was sold, BSB's channels were largely scrapped in favour of Sky's and the Marco Polo satellites were run down and eventually sold in favour of the Astra system (Marcopolo I in December 1993 to NSAB of Sweden and Marcopolo II in July 1992 to Telenor of Norway. Both companies had already one HS376 in orbit at the time). The merger may have saved Sky financially; despite its popularity, Sky had very few major advertisers to begin with. Acquiring BSB's healthier advertising contracts and equipment apparently solved the company's problems. Nordic Satellite AB (NSAB) is a company that operates two SIRIUS satellites, which provide the Nordic countries and the Baltic states, with TV, radio, data and communications solutions. ... Telenor logo Telenor is the incumbent telco in Norway. ...


Timeline

  • 1982 - Murdoch's News International takes control of Satellite Television UK (SATV), renamed Sky Channel.
  • 1986 - Granada, Pearson, Virgin and Amstrad form British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB).
  • 1988 - BSB awarded UK satellite licence from the Independent Broadcasting Authority, Murdoch not permitted to particpate.
  • 1988 - July - Murdoch announces his intention to relaunch Sky Channel as Sky Television on the Astra satellite system
  • 1989 - February 5 - Four channel Sky Television package launched
  • 1990 - March - BSB begins broadcasts
  • 1990 - November - Both companies suffer heavy losses and BSB collapses. A merger on Murdoch's terms is agreed to form British Sky Broadcasting.
  • 1990 - BSkyB announces former BSB customers will receive Sky equipment (for Astra system) free of charge, Marcopolo satellite transmissions to cease.
  • 1992 - July - BSB satellite Marcopolo II sold to Telenor
  • 1993 - December - BSB satellite Marcopolo I sold to NSAB.

  Results from FactBites:
 
British Sky Broadcasting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1663 words)
By 1990 both Rupert Murdoch's Sky Television and the BSB alliance were beginning to struggle with the burden of massive losses.
Sky Three used to be occupied by Sky Travel until it was replaced on October 31, 2005, allowing BSkyB to air it's exclusive licenced content with delays of between 12-18 months from their original air dates on Sky One.
Sky is allowed to restrict certain channels such as Sky Sports Xtra to its direct customers, who are also able to use certain interactive features of its programming which are not available to cable viewers.
Sky Television (disambiguation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (131 words)
Formed in 1990 by the merger of Sky Television plc and British Satellite Broadcasting.
Sky Television plc, the name of the four-channel network launched by Rupert Murdoch in 1989.
SKY Latin America in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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