Sky UK Limited (formerly British Sky Broadcasting or BSkyB) is a British telecommunications company which serves the United Kingdom.
Sky provides television and broadband internet services and fixed line telephone services to consumers and businesses in the United Kingdom.
It is the UK's largest pay-TV broadcaster with 11 million customers as of 2015. It was the UK's most popular digital TV service until it was overtaken by Freeview in April 2007.
Its corporate headquarters are based in Isleworth.
Formed in November 1990 by the equal merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting, BSkyB became the UK's largest digital subscription television company.
Rupert Murdoch had failed in a bid for the official UK satellite broadcasting licence. And – when the successful bidder, British Satellite Broadcasting, refused to let News Corp into the consortium alongside UK media giants Pearson, Reed, Granada and Virgin in 1988 – he announced that that the Sky Channel would be relaunched as a UK-based service, using the Luxembourg-based Astra satellite.
It was a smart move to lease channels on the Astra system rather than launching its own satellites (as BSB was doing) – and to get there first.
Sky TV went on the air in February 1989, while BSB was repeatedly delayed by technical problems and finally made it in April 1990. Even then, the launch was a fiasco with few set-top boxes even available for store demonstrations, while Sky had raced to 750,000 dishes – cheered on and promoted enthusiastically by News Corp’s newspapers, which also managed prominent coverage of their rival’s technological problems. But it was a near disaster both for Sky and BSB. Everybody needed a merger. Sky was losing £2m a week, but BSB’s losses were four times as much. BSB struggled to achieve even 25% of the 400,000 satellite customers it had budgeted, not helped by “squarial” design problems. Spending had gone through the roof as it splashed £400m on Hollywood film rights, and out-bid ITV for a four-year football rights deal – before demanding yet more money from its shareholders. The two companies merged in 1990 to form BSkyB. 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 changed its name to Sky plc.
The United Kingdom operations also changed the company name from British Sky Broadcasting Limited to Sky UK Limited, still trading as Sky.
Sky (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia