British Sky Broadcasting was formed after a merger between British Satellite Broadcasting and Sky Television created the company on November 2nd 1990. The merger was decided upon by both companies because the competition between them meant they were both struggling financially. It was better, they felt, to set their differences aside and work together on one company.
The History Of Sky
It didn’t begin well for British Sky Broadcasting. In its first year, it was making up to £10 million in losses every week. However, under the direction of CEO Sam Chisholm, they were able to curb the losses to just £1.5 million. It began to make profits for the first time in March 1992 at £100,000 per week.
Their service became increasingly popular over the next few years as they acquired the rights to broadcast Premier League football. ITV were holding the rights at the time, even increasing its offer from £18m to £34m to hold them, but Sky partnered with BBC to purchase them. BBC were allowed the highlights while Sky paid to have the monopoly on all live matches.
The CEO, Sam Chisholm, left his position in 1997. Mark Booth stepped into the role for a short period before Tony Ball was appointed in the late 1990s to complete Sky’s transaction from analogue to digital services.
It was around this time that Sky decided to launch its most popular product — the Sky digibox. The first of these products were shipped to customers in 1998. It allows customers to receive digital satellite television broadcasts. They were promoted with the slogans “What do you want to watch?” and “Entertainment your way”. In recent years, the slogan changed to “Believe in better”.
These set top boxes have gone through some major changes over the years to include digital video recording, internal hard drives and high definition.
Rupert Murdoch, who served as the company’s non-executive chairman throughout this whole period, announced that his son James Murdoch would be Tony Ball’s successor. The decision caused some outcry from shareholders, but the decision went ahead. In 2007, some years later, James Murdoch replaced his father as the non-executive chairman.
Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate News Corporation were poised to fully take over British Sky Broadcasting in 2010. It owned 39.1% of the company at this time. However, when the Murdoch owned newspaper the News Of The World were implicated in the hacking of a mobile phone used by murder victim Milly Dowler is sparked international outrage against News Corporation. Rupert Murdoch closed the newspaper in an attempt to extinguish the flames prior to his purchase of BSkyB, but the House Of Commons called on them to abandon the bid and they agreed.
About Sky Today
Today, Sky TV provides entertainment to around 10 million homes in the United Kingdom. Customers are able to access over 300 different networks ranging from comedy and news to documentaries and music channels. There are also Sky Sports and Sky Movies packages — the former giving you live broadcasts of the biggest sporting events and the latter providing a glance at the hottest new films.
Sky have broadband and telephone services on offer for customers too. Their award winning broadband is used by over 5 million homes across the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are many different packages and deals on sale depending on your Sky package and internet usage. Meanwhile, over 4.5 million customers have subscribed to Sky Talk making it the UK’s fastest growing provider of home communications. There are packages on sale depending on your phone usage – like how much you telephone landlines abroad or on a weekend.
The CEO of the company is currently Jeremy Barroch who took James Murdoch’s place since he accepted the chairman role. The company now employs upwards of 24,000 people and makes a revenue of around £7 billion every year.