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Timeline of Sky Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a timeline of the history of Sky Television.

1970s and 1980s

  • 1981
    • 21 October – SATV begins test transmissions on the Orbital Test Satellite after the European Space Agency allowed the company to test the satellite for the use of commercial television, with an hour of light entertainment in English each night. The low-powered satellite forces it to broadcast to cable systems rather than directly to individual satellite dishes.
  • 1982
    • February – The BBC is awarded two of the five channels DBS satellite channels.[4]
    • 26 April – Satellite Television launches as a pan-European service. The channel was often referred to on-screen as Super Station Europe. However the channel is initially only available in some European countries, with Norway and Finland being the first two countries to permit the new service's transmission via cable, followed by Malta, Switzerland and West Germany.
  • 1984
    • 16 January – Satellite Television is renamed Sky Channel.
    • 25 June – The consortium wanting to launch satellite television announces that the original launch date of 1986 will be delayed until 1989.[7]
  • 1985
    • 15 June – The consortium which has been planning to launch satellite television in the UK collapses on costs grounds.[8]
  • 1986
    • 2 April – The IBA invites bids from the private sector to operate a commercial service on three of the five DBS channels allocated to the UK in 1977 for satellite broadcasting.
    • 11 December – The IBA announces that BSB has been awarded a fifteen-year franchise to operate the satellite television service.[9]
  • 1987
    • No events.
  • 1989
    • 5 February – Sky Television launches at 6.00pm. The channel line-up consists of Sky Channel, Sky News, Sky Movies and Eurosport.
    • 3 June – Sky Television and The Walt Disney Company come to an arrangement which allows to broadcast movies for a five-year period,[11] this agreement comes a few weeks after plans to create a full-time channel were scrapped, although a Disney-branded version eventually launched on 1 October 1995.[12][13]
    • June – BSB is awarded the other two DBS channel slots, meaning that the service will launch with five channels. These two channels had originally been allocated to the BBC but were handed over for commercial use when the BBC dropped its plans to use the two channels on cost grounds.[8]
    • 31 July – Sky Channel becomes a UK and Ireland-only service and is renamed Sky One although for a short time after the relaunch, some of Sky Channel's former pan-European programming is broadcast in the hours before Eurosport's startup, and the programme block is branded as Sky Europe.

1990s

  • 1992
    • February – TV-am closes its in-house news service and contracts out news bulletins to Sky News.
    • 18 May – Sky purchases the live rights to the newly formed football Premier League for £304 million.
    • 1 July – Sky sells the Marcopolo satellite to Telenor of Norway for about £30 million.[17]
    • 15 August – Sky Sports launches Sports Saturday. The programme follows the same format as the BBC's Grandstand programme featuring a mix of sporting action, concluding with the day's football results.
    • 16 August – To mark the start of Sky Sports's coverage of the Premier League, the channel launches an afternoon-long football programme called Super Sunday.
    • 1 September –
      • Sky Sports becomes a subscription channel.
      • Sky Movies stops showing non-movies content. It had previously shown selected premium content such as live boxing, music concerts and World Wrestling Federation due to it having been Sky's only encrypted channel and had been known as Sky Movies Plus.
    • 1 October – The Comedy Channel closes and is replaced by Sky Movies Gold, a "classic movies" service is launched as part of Sky Movies package and broadcasts from late afternoon until the early hours, with the first film is shown at 6.00pm on the new network was 1979's Rocky II.
    • 31 December – Sky stops broadcasting via the Marcopolo satellite.

2000s

  • 2001
    • The first Sky+ boxes go on sale.
    • 1 July – The Sky Sports.com TV brand is scrapped and the channel reverts to its original name of Sky Sports News.
    • 18 August – PremPlus launches.
    • 2 September – .tv stops broadcasting.
    • September – Sky launches its first personal video recorder, Sky +.
    • 27 September – Sky stops broadcasting via analogue. Sky had originally planned to switch off its analogue service earlier in 2001 but delayed it by three months due to the possibility of lost revenue from the remaining analogue subscribers, thereby giving those customers extra time to switch to Sky's digital service.[26][27] The last channel to stop broadcasting via analogue satellite is Sky One.[28]
    • 1 October – Following its acquisition of interactive service Open...,[29] Sky launches Sky Active.
  • 2003
    • February – Sky Travel Shop launches as a full-time travel retail channel.
    • 17 April – Sky launches three music channels – The Amp, Scuzz and Flaunt. The channels are operated on Sky's behalf by CSC Media Group channels.
    • June – The Sky Movies Premier Widescreen channel is closed and the majority of films on the remaining channels are now shown in widescreen.[33]
    • 1 November – The Sky Movies Premier and Sky Movies Max channels are brought under one banner as Sky Movies 1 through 9 and Sky Movies Cinema 1 and 2 become Sky Cinema 1 and 2.[34]
  • 2006
    • January – Sky launches its online television service Sky By Broadband, which is rebranded later in 2006 to Sky Anytime on PC.
    • 30 January – A tenth Sky Movies channel is launched and Sky Movies starts broadcasting two HD channels. Sky Movies 9 and the new Sky Movies 10 are PIN-protected, meaning that for the first time 15 rated films were able to be shown as early as 5.00pm.[37]
    • 2 March – Alternative/indie music channel The Amp is relaunched as a classic hits channel called Bliss.
    • 22 May –
      • Sky Sports becomes the exclusive broadcaster of all live cricket matches in the UK following the ECB awarding Sky exclusive coverage of all of England's home tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.[38]
      • Sky launches its high definition service when Sky One HD and Sky Sports 1 HD begin broadcasting.
    • July – Sky Sports 2HD launches.
    • 3 November – The final edition of Sky News Ireland is broadcast.[39][40]
    • December – Sky sells their three music channels Bliss (previously The Amp), Scuzz, and Flaunt to Chart Show Channels. CSC had previously operated the channels on Sky's behalf.
  • 2007
    • 1 March –
      • The Sky basics channels stop broadcasting on Virgin Media when the two companies cannot agree a new carriage deal.[41]
      • Sky Arts launches, replacing Artsworld.
    • 27 March – Sky launches its on-demand service Sky Anytime.
    • 4 April – Sky Movies is revamped with each channel now covering a specific genre and are renamed. The new line-up is Sky Movies Premiere, Sky Movies Premiere +1, Sky Movies Comedy, Sky Movies Action & Thriller, Sky Movies Family, Sky Movies Drama, Sky Movies Classics, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror, Sky Movies Modern Greats, Sky Movies Indie, Sky Movies HD1 and Sky Movies HD2.[42]
    • 6 May – PremPlus closes.
    • 7 November –
      • Sky Real Lives launches.
      • Sky Travel is relaunched as a holiday retail channel, replacing Sky Travel Shop. Sky Travel +1 is renamed Sky Real Lives +1 and Sky Travel Extra becomes Sky Real Lives 2.[43]
  • 2008
    • 17 March – Sky Sports 3HD launches.
    • 20 March – A HD simulcast of Sky Movies Premiere is launched.
    • 16 May – Sky Anytime on PC is rebranded as Sky Player, along with updated software to include live simulcasts of Sky News and Sky Sports.
    • 18 August – Sky Arts +1 starts broadcasting.
    • 31 August – Sky One, Sky Two and Sky Three are renamed Sky1, Sky2 and Sky3 respectively.
    • October – High-definition simulcast channels of Sky Movies Action/Thriller, Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror, Sky Movies Drama, Sky Movies Modern Greats, Sky Movies Family and Sky Movies Comedy launch.[44]
    • 13 November – The Sky Basics channels return to Virgin Media.[45][46]
  • 2009
    • 26 October – Sky Movies Indie HD launches.[47]

2010s

  • 2011
    • 1 January –
    • 1 February –
    • 28 February – Sky 3 is rebranded as Pick TV.
    • 6 July – Sky Anytime is merged with Sky Mobile and is rebranded as Sky Go.[66] Key changes include the ability to watch live channels in line with your Sky TV subscription at no additional cost, limited to two simultaneous devices.
    • 5 September – Sky Living Loves begins broadcasting 24 hours a day.
    • 20 September – Pick TV +1 is removed from Freeview.[67]
    • 12 October – The final edition of Sky Magazine is published.[68]
    • 8 November – ITN confirms it has secured a five-year contract to resume production of 5 News from early 2012, meaning Sky News will cease to broadcast on the channel from the end of 2011.[69]
  • 2012
    • 21 February – Sky Living Loves stops broadcasting.
    • 9 March – Sky Sports F1 launches.
    • 17 July – Sky launches Now TV. It is launched to provide access to Sky TV to those who have no existing pay TV subscription and do not want to be tied into a contract.[70] The service offered only films at first, adding sports in March 2013,[71] and entertainment channels in October 2013.[72][73]
    • 12 November – Sky One launches a +1 channel although for licensing reasons, The Simpsons is not broadcast on the timeshift channel.[74]
  • 2013
    • 28 March – Sky Movies Disney is launched, effectively replacing Disney Cinemagic.[75] To facilitate the new channel, Sky Movies Classics stops broadcasting, Sky Movies Modern Greats is rebranded as Sky Movies Greats and Sky Movies Indie becomes Sky Movies Select.[76][77]
    • 30 June – Sky Sports launches its first temporary channel Sky Sports Ashes to provide full coverage of the 2013 Ashes Series. Temporary channel renaming of this nature is now common practice within Sky, both for sports and movies.[78]
    • 7 October – Pick TV is rebranded as Pick.
    • 30 October – digital teletext serviceSky Text closes.
  • 2014
    • 12 August –
    • September – Sky Sports News Radio closes.
    • 13 October – Following BSkyB's 2014 acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority 90.04% interest in Sky Deutschland in November 2014, its holding company British Sky Broadcasting Group plc changes its name to Sky plc.[80] The United Kingdom operations also changes the company name from British Sky Broadcasting Limited to Sky UK Limited, and still trades as Sky.
  • 2016
    • 9 February – Sky launches its latest set-top box Sky Q.[84] and later in 2016, Sky stops selling its Sky+ box to new customers.[85]
    • 8 July – Sky Movies is rebranded as Sky Cinema.[86][87]
    • 13 August – Sky Sports broadcasts its first event in UHD.[88]
    • 24 August – Sky Sports Mix launches. It is available to all Sky customers, and is designed to offer a sampling of content from the full range of Sky Sports networks to non-Sky Sports customers.[89][90]
  • 2017
    • 4 January – Sky Cinema Box Office closes.
    • 18 July – Sky Sports is revamped with the numbered channels being replaced by sports-specific channels. These include two channels dedicated to football, a cricket channel and a golf channel. Other sports are moved to two new channels – Action and Arena – and a showcase channel called Sky Sports Main Event is launched which features simulcasts of the top events being shown on Sky Sports that day.[91] Also, Sky Sports News drops the HQ label.
  • 2018
    • 23 January – Fox's £11.7bn bid to take full control of Sky is provisionally blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) amid concerns of plurality.[92]
    • 14 February – BT and Sky have agreed a £4.4bn three-year deal to show live Premiership football matches from 2019 to 2022, but the amount falls short of the £5.1bn deal struck in 2015.[93]
    • 27 February – US cable TV giant Comcast makes a £22.1bn bid for Sky, challenging the existing offer from 21st Century Fox.[94]
    • 1 March – Pick +1 returns to Freeview.
    • 6 August – Sky Living is rebranded as 'Sky Witness', bringing an end to the Living brand after 25 years.[95]
    • 26 September – 21st Century Fox announces it will sell its 39% stake in Sky UK to Comcast, ending Rupert Murdoch's three decade association with the broadcaster.[96]

2020s

  • 2021
    • 6 January – Sky Cinema Premiere +1 resumes broadcasting as Sky Cinema Disney's permanent replacement.
    • 16 March – NOW TV to rebrand as NOW.[107]
    • 1 September –
      • Sky One closes after more than 30 years on air. Its entertainment and drama programmes move to a new channel with most of its programmes moving to a new Sky Max with its comedy programming moving to Sky Comedy.
      • Sky Showcase launches. It broadcasts a selection of programmes from across Sky’s portfolio of channels as well as selected highlights from Sky Cinema and Sky Sports.[108][109]
    • 18 October – Sky releases Sky Glass, a TV with Sky built-in, thereby removing the need of a set-top-box or a satellite dish.[110]
  • 2022
    • 31 March –
      • Sky stops broadcasting channels in standard definition for the first time when it switches off the SD feed of three Sky Cinema channels - Comedy, Drama and Thriller.[111]
      • The Pick and Syfy timeshift channels close.
    • 26 July – Sky Sci-Fi launches, replacing Syfy.[112]
    • 27 July – Sky Sports launches a UHD channel for Sky Sports Main Event. [113]
    • 18 October – Sky launches its new streaming box, Sky Stream, and becomes the second way to receive Sky without in need of a satellite dish.[114]
    • 22 November – Sky announces the launch of a linear children's channel. Due to launch in February 2023, Sky Kids is intended to serve viewers aged 1–7.[115]

See also

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