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Sky At 20 - Time Line

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Over the last 20 years, Sky have achieved significant milestones. We have put together a time line of these, and will add more articles to this section as soon as possible.

 

 

  • 1989 - 5 February - Sky launches a ‘Direct to Home’ satellite television with four channels
  • 1989 - Sky launches its first customer management centre in Livingston, Scotland.
  • 1990 - Sky now has 1 million subscribers.
  • 1990 - November - British Satellite Broadcasting and Sky Television merge to create British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB)
  • 1990 - Sky Movies becomes the first UK encrypted channel.
  • 1990 - Sky brings first live coverage of England’s cricketers on tour.
  • 1990 - Sky One brings The Simpsons to UK audiences.
  • 1991 - Some of BSB's five channels are merged with Sky's: Now with Sky News and Sky Arts, Galaxy with Sky One, The Sports channel is renamed to Sky Sports, The Movie Channel is kept and The Power Station is kept but removed later.
  • 1991 - BSB and Sky’s nine channels streamline in to a five channel network.
  • 1992 - Sky signs £304m deal for exclusively live coverage of the new FA Premier League.
  • 1992 - BSkyB makes an operating profit for the first time.
  • 1992 - Sky Sports introduces the clock and score line.
  • 1992 - 31 December — BSkyB ceases transmissions to Marcopolo I satellite.
  • 1993 - Sky launches first multi-channel package, offering 14 basic channels.
  • 1993 - Launch of Nickelodeon a joint venture between BSkyB and MTV Networks.
  • 1993 - Sky News wins its first of 21 RTS awards.
  • 1994 - 17% of BSkyB is floated on the UK and US stock exchanges.
  • 1994 - Launch of Sky Sports 2 and Sky Travel.
  • 1994 - MTV launches on Sky.
  • 1995 - BSkyB enters the FTSE 100 index.
  • 1995 - BSkyB launch six more channels including the History Channel and the Disney Channel.
  • 1995 - Number of Sky customers exceeds 5 million.
  • 1995 - Sky opens a second customer management centre in Dunfermline.
  • 1996 - BSkyB and the Premier League sign an extension for a reported £670 million.
  • 1996 - Sky pioneers pay-per-view television in the UK.
  • 1996 - Over six million households subscribe to Sky.
  • 1996 - Launch of a further six channels including Sky Sports 3.
  • 1997 - The world’s first National Geographic Channel launches as part of a Sky joint venture channel.
  • 1997 - Pay-per-view movies launch on Sky Box Office.
  • 1998 - August - First of a new generation of Astra satellites launched, paving way for digital satellite television. Sky Digital launches on 1 October.
  • 1998 - Sky Sports News launches, Europe’s first round the clock sports news service.
  • 1999 - Sky Sports broadcasts the world’s first interactive football match.
  • 1999 - The launch of a ‘free dish and box’ offer helps accelerate the growth of Sky digital.
  • 1999 - Skysports.com offers the UK’s first live streamed football match.
  • 1999 - Launch of Sky News Radio.
  • 2000 - Sky News launches the world's first interactive TV news service.
  • 2000 - Launch of Artsworld.
  • 2001 - BSkyB signs their 5 millionth subscriber. Analogue service discontinued.
  • 2001 - Sky+ introduced: A set top box/digital video recorder hybrid.
  • 2002 - BSkyB takes an equal share of Freeview, in partnership with the BBC and Crown Castle.
  • 2002 - Sky News wins its first Bafta, for its reporting of 9/11
  • 2003 - Sky subscribers reach 7.5 million.
  • 2003 - Sky introduces dual recordings and series link to Sky+ boxes.
  • 2003 - Sky launches a dedicated Accessibility Customer Service team.
  • 2003 - Sky acquires the television series 24
  • 2004 - Launch of Freesat from Sky, offering around 200 television and radio channels.
  • 2004 - Sky News is awarded the Five News Contract.
  • 2004 - Sky Movies wins the rights to screen the Oscars coverage to UK audiences.
  • 2004 - Introduction of the first Sky+ designer box range.
  • 2005 - BSkyB purchase network provider Easynet for £211m
  • 2005 - Sky launches Sky by Broadband, a service available to existing movie and sports service subscribers that allows them to download movies and sports clips direct to their home computer. The service is made available free of charge.
  • 2005 - Launch of Sky Mobile TV
  • 2005 - Sky launches pioneering parental controls, enabling parents to restrict access to channels.
  • 2006 - Sky HD launches on 22 May, with a line-up of 10 high definition channels.
  • 2006 - Sky achieves CarbonNeutral status.
  • 2006 - Sky launches and allows pre-registering of its new broadband service.
  • 2006 - Sky acquires Season 3 and 4 of Lost.
  • 2006 - Sky acquires 17.9% stake in ITV, Britain's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster.
  • 2006 - Sky rebrands Sky By Broadband as Sky Anytime, adding US imports to on-demand content.
  • 2006 - Sky launches Remote Record.
  • 2007 - Sky announces plans to launch pay channels on the digital terrestrial platform.
  • 2007 - BSkyB acquire electronics manufacturer Amstrad for a reported £125 million.
  • 2007 - October - Sky Broadband reaches 1 million customers.
  • 2007 - Launch of Sky Real Lives.
  • 2007 - Artsworld is renamed Sky Arts.
  • 2007 - Sky+ sales hit 2m
  • 2007 - Launch of Sky Anytime.
  • 2007 - Sky One picks up its first BAFTA for Ross Kemp on Gangs.
  • 2008 - BSkyB announce that they will offer online TV in the form of Sky Player. This allows people to watch Satellite Channels over the Internet, without the need for a satellite receiver.
  • 2008 - August 31st - Sky One rebrands to Sky1
  • 2008 - Sky Broadband launches UK’s first truly unlimited broadband package.
  • 2008 - Sky passes 9 million customers milestone.
  • 2008 - Sky Talk hits a million and Sky+ 4 million customers for the first time.
  • 2008 - MTVN HD becomes the 30th channel to join Sky+HD, Europe’s leading HD platform.
  • 2008 - Sky becomes first UK broadcaster to deliver 3D TV
  • 2009 - January - Sky run an advertising campaign, "TV is Changing" sparking off various rumours of VOD and the new EPG to be spawned on forums all over the internet. In reality, this meant that Sky were now selling HD boxes for only £49 with a choice of 31 HD Channels available to watch.
  • 2009 - Sky announces Europe's most sustainable broadcast facility.
  • 2009 - Launch of SciFi HD
  • 2009 - February 5th - Sky becomes 20 years old.

Some of this information was found on the BSkyB Wiki Page.

 

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