Sky (company)

Sky Limited is a British media and telecommunications conglomerate. Headquartered in London, it has operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Sky is Europe's largest media company and pay-TV broadcaster by revenue (as of 2018),[3] with 23 million subscribers and more than 31,000 employees as of 2019.[2][4] The company is primarily involved in satellite television and broadband services.[5][6]

Initially formed in 1990 by the equal merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting, BSkyB became the UK's largest digital pay television company.[7] In 2014, after completing the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, the merged company changed its name to Sky plc.[8]

Prior to November 2018, Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox owned a 39.14% controlling stake in the company;[9] on 9 December 2016, following a previous attempt under News Corporation that was affected by the News International phone hacking scandal, 21st Century Fox announced that it had agreed to buy the remainder of Sky, pending government approval. However, after a bidding war that included The Walt Disney Company (which was, in turn, acquiring most of 21st Century Fox assets), U.S. media and telecoms conglomerate Comcast acquired the entirety of Sky in 2018 for £17.28 per-share.

Before the acquisition by Comcast, Sky was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index and had a market capitalisation of approximately £18.75 billion (€26.76 billion) as of 2018.[10]

Sky Limited
Sky
Formerly
British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (1990–2014)
Sky plc (2014–2018)
Division
IndustryTelecommunications
Mass media
PredecessorSky Television
British Satellite Broadcasting
Founded2 November 1990
FounderRupert Murdoch
Headquarters
Grant Way, Isleworth, TW7 5QD, United Kingdom
Area served
Europe
Key people
Jeremy Darroch (CEO)
Andrew John Griffith (COO & CFO)
ProductsDirect-broadcast satellite, pay television, broadcasting, broadband and telephony services
Revenue£12.916 billion (2017)[1]
£700 million (2017)[1]
£691 million (2017)[1]
Total assets£18.438 billion (2017)[1]
Total equity£18.438 billion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
31,000+ (2018)[2]
ParentComcast (2018–present)
SubsidiariesSky UK
Sky Ireland
Sky Deutschland
Sky Italia
Sky España
Sky Switzerland
Sky Vision
Amstrad
The Cloud
Websitewww.skygroup.sky

History

Foundation

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) was formed by the merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting on 2 November 1990.[11] Both companies had begun to struggle financially and were suffering financial losses as they competed against each other for viewers. The Guardian later characterised the merger as "effectively a takeover by News Corporation".[12]

The merger was investigated by Office of Fair Trading[13] and was cleared a month later since many of the represented views were more concerned about contractual arrangements which had nothing to do with competition.[14] The Independent Broadcasting Authority was not consulted about the deal; after approval, the IBA demanded precise details about the merger, stated they were considering the repercussions of the deal to ultimately determine whether BSB contracts were null and void.[15][16] On 17 November, the IBA decided to terminate BSB's contract, but not immediately, as it was deemed unfair to 120,000 viewers who had bought BSB devices.[17]

Sam Chisholm was appointed CEO[18] in a bid to reorganise the new company, which, continued to make losses of £10 million per week. The defunct BSB's HQ, Marco Polo House were sold, 39% of the new company's employees were made redundant to leave just under 1000 employees,[12] many of the new senior BSkyB executive roles were given to Sky personnel with many BSB leaving the company. In April the nine Sky/BSB channels had been condensed into five, with EuroSport being dropped soon after the Sky Sports launch.[19] Chisholm also renegotiated the merged company's expensive deals with the Hollywood studios, slashing the minimum guaranteed payments. The defunct Marcopolo I satellite was sold in December 1993 to Sweden's NSAB, and Marcopolo II went to Norway's Telenor in July 1992[20] after the ITC was unable to find new companies to take over the BSB licences and compete with BSkyB. News International received 50%, Pearson PLC 17.5%, Chargeurs 17.5%, Granada 12%, Reed International 2% of the new shares in the company.[21]

By September 1991, the weekly losses had been reduced to £1.5M a week, Rupert Murdoch said "there were strong financial marketing and political reason[s] for making the compromise merger instead of letting BSB die. Many of the lessons had been learnt with more than half the running cost of the combined company". Further cuts in losses were a direct result of 313,000 new customers joining during the first half of 1991.[22] By March 1992, BSkyB posted its first operating profits, of £100,000 per week, with £3.8 million weekly from subscriptions and £1 million from advertising, but continued to be burdened with £1.28 billion of debt. James Capel forecast BSkyB would still be indebted in 2000.[23]

Premier League football

In the autumn of 1991, talks were held for the broadcast rights for Premier League for a five-year period, from the 1992 season.[24] ITV were the current rights holders for the Football League, and fought hard to gain the new rights. ITV had increased its offer from £18m to £34m per year to obtain the new rights.[25] BSkyB joined forces with the BBC[26] to make a counter bid. The BBC was given the highlights of most of the matches, while BSkyB paying £304m for the Premier League rights, would give them a monopoly of all live matches, up to 60 per year from the 1992–93 season. [27] Murdoch has described sport as a "battering ram" for pay-television, providing a strong customer base.[28] A few weeks after the deal, ITV went to the High court to get an injunction as it believed their details were leaked before the decision was taken. ITV also asked the Office of Fair Trading to also investigate since it believed Rupert Murdoch's media empire via the newspapers had influence the deal.[29] A few days later neither action took effect, ITV believed BSkyB was telephoned and informed of its £262m bid, and Premier League advised BSkyB to increase its counter bid.[30]

BSkyB retained the rights paying £670m for the 1997–2001 deal, but was challenged by On Digital[31] for the rights from 2001–2004, thus it was forced to pay £1.1 billion which gave it 66 live games a year.[32]

Following a lengthy legal battle with the European Commission, which deemed the exclusivity of the rights to be against the interests of competition and the consumer, BSkyB's monopoly came to an end from the 2007–08 season. In May 2006, the Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports was awarded two of the six Premiership packages that the English FA offered to broadcasters. Sky picked up the remaining four for £1.3bn.[33]

Flotation

In October 1994,[34] BSkyB announced its plans to float the company on the UK and US stock exchanges, selling off 20% of the company.[35] The stock flotation reduced Murdoch's holding to 40 percent and raised £900m, which allowed the company to cut its debt in half. Sam Chisholm said "By any standards this is an excellent result, in every area of the company has performed strongly".[36] Chisholm, became one of the world's most highly paid television executives.[37]

In 1995, BSkyB opened its second customer management centre at Dunfermline, Scotland,[38] in addition to its original centre at Livingston which opened in 1989. BSkyB entered the FTSE 100 index, operation profits increased to £155M a year, and Pearson sold off its 17.5% stake in the company.[39]

Sam Chisholm resigned from BSkyB due to a rift with Rupert Murdoch.[40] A week later, Murdoch was quoted as saying "I cannot understand the fuss; BSkyB was grossly overpriced", which caused further rifts with the new management.[41]

Launch of Sky Digital

In 1997, BSkyB formed a partnership with Carlton and Granada to bid for the right for the new digital terrestrial network. In June, it was awarded the right to start the service, ONdigital under the condition BSkyB withdrew from the group's bid.[42]

In February 2003 BSkyB wished to renegotiate its deal with MTV to reduce its payment from £20m. Chief executive Tony Ball said "We're definitely prepared to stare them down if we can't get a sensible deal, MTV, and other channels, have done particularly well out of the growth of Sky but the opportunity for savings is now there and Sky will be taking it," he added. "MTV has done extremely well out of that original deal."[43] On 17 April 2003 BSkyB launched its own range of music channels Scuzz, Flaunt and The Amp, as part of its plan to create its own original channels for the platform.[44] Within 18 months the channels failed to make impact, and were outsourced to the Chart Show Channels company.[45]

Shortly afterwards it acquired Artsworld, giving a majority of subscribers full access to the channel. The buyout was part of James Murdoch's strategy to improve the perceptions BSkyB which could lead to potential new subscribers. John Cassy, the channel manager of Artsworld, said: "It is great news for the arts that a dedicated cultural channel will be available to millions of households."[46]

In early 2007 Freeview overtook Sky Digital with nearly 200,000 more subscribers at the end of 2006, while cable broadcaster Virgin Media had three million customers.[47]

Amstrad takeover

In July 2007, BSkyB announced the takeover of Amstrad for £125m, a 23.7% premium on its market capitalisation.[48]

Virgin Media Television acquisition

On 4 June 2010, BSkyB and Virgin Media announced that they had reached agreement for the acquisition by BSkyB of Virgin Media Television.[49][50]

Virgin1 was also a part of the deal and was rebranded as Channel One on 3 September 2010, as the Virgin name was not licensed to Sky.[51][52] The new carriage deals are understood to be for up to nine years.[53]

On 29 June 2010, The Competition Authority in Ireland cleared the proposed transaction.[54]

On 20 July 2010, The Office of Fair Trading announced that they would review BSkyB's acquisition of the Virgin Media Television business to judge whether it posed any competition concerns in the UK.[55] The OFT planned to investigate the deal to see whether it could constitute a qualifying merger under the Enterprise Act 2002. The watchdog invited interested parties from the industry to comment on the sale, including its potential impact on the pay-TV market. On 14 September 2010, the OFT decided not to refer BSkyB's takeover of Virgin Media's TV channels to the Competition Commission.[56]

Attempted takeover by News Corporation

In June 2010, News Corporation made a bid for complete ownership of BSkyB. However, following the News International phone hacking scandal, critics and politicians began to question the appropriateness of the proposed takeover. The resulting reaction forced News Corp. to withdraw its bid for the company in July 2011.[57][58] The scandal forced the resignation of James Murdoch, who was the chairman of both BSkyB and News International, from his executive positions in the UK, with Nicholas Ferguson taking over as Chairman of BSkyB.[59]

In September 2012, Ofcom ruled that BSkyB was still fit to hold broadcast licenses in the UK, but criticised James Murdoch's handling of the scandal.[60]

On 28 June 2013, News Corporation was split into two publicly-traded companies; the company's publishing operations (including News International, renamed News UK) and broadcasting operations in Australia were spun into a new company known as News Corp, while the company's broadcast media assets, including its 39.14% stake in Sky, were renamed 21st Century Fox.[61]

European acquisitions

On 12 May 2014, BSkyB confirmed that it was in talks with its largest shareholder, 21st Century Fox, about acquiring 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. The enlarged company (dubbed "Sky Europe" in the media) will consolidate 21st Century Fox's European digital TV assets into one company.[62][63] The £4.9 billion takeover deal was formally announced on 25 July, where BSkyB would acquire 21st Century Fox's stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. BSkyB also made a required takeover offer to Sky Deutschland's minority shareholders,[64] resulting in BSkyB acquiring 89.71% of Sky Deutschland's share capital. The acquisitions were completed on 13 November.[8] British Sky Broadcasting Group plc changed its name to Sky plc to reflect the European acquisitions, and the United Kingdom operations were renamed Sky UK Limited. Sky plc bought out the remaining minority shareholders in Sky Deutschland during 2015, using a squeeze-out procedure to obtain the remaining shares and delist Sky Deutschland on 15 September 2015.[65]

Takeover by Comcast

On 9 December 2016, 21st Century Fox announced that it had made an offer to acquire the remainder of Sky plc for £11.7 billion at a value of £10.75 per-share. It marks Fox's second attempt to take over Sky, as its previous attempt under News Corporation was affected by the News International scandal. The two companies reached an agreement on the deal on 15 December; it is subject to regulatory approval.[66][67]

Ofcom expressed concern that this purchase would give the Murdoch family "material influence over news providers with a significant presence across all key platforms" and "increased influence over the UK news agenda and the political process". However, the regulator did deem that a Fox-owned Sky would be "fit and proper" to hold broadcast licences, despite the recent sexual harassment controversies that had emerged at the U.S. Fox News Channel, as there was no evidence to the contrary.[68][69][70] Avaaz opposed Ofcom's opinion, stating that the regulator "made mistake after mistake in deciding to give the Murdochs a clean bill of health to take over more of our media".[71]

The Walt Disney Company announced on 14 December 2017, that it would acquire 21st Century Fox, including its stake in Sky plc but barring specific U.S. assets. Fox stated that this purchase would "not alter [its] full commitment and obligation to conclude our proposed transaction". Analysts suggested that Disney's proposed transaction could ease regulatory concerns over Fox's purchase of Sky, as the company will eventually lose its ties to the Murdoch family. Disney has a narrower scope of media ownership in the country than the Murdoch family.[72] Sky already has a relationship with Disney for its Sky Cinema service, holding pay television rights to its films in the United Kingdom and operating a dedicated Sky Cinema channel devoted to Disney content.[73]

A preliminary report by the Competition and Markets Authority issued January 2018 called for the insulation or outright divestment of Sky News as a condition of the purchase, so that it is editorially independent from the Murdoch family.[74] Sky had threatened to reevaluate the channel's continued operations if they "unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available in relation to Sky's broader business". The channel has operated on a loss of at least £40 million per-year.[75][76] In February 2018, Fox proposed the establishment of an independent editorial board, and committing to fund the network for at least 10 years. This commitment would be inherited by Disney after the completion of its purchase of 21st Century Fox.[77][78] On 3 April 2018, Fox stated that Disney had "expressed an interest in acquiring Sky News", which would not be conditional on its proposal to acquire 21st Century Fox.[79]

A bidding war began 25 April 2018, when the competing U.S. media and telecoms conglomerate Comcast (owner of NBCUniversal), announced a counter-offer for Sky at £12.50 per-share, or approximately £22.1 billion.[80][81][82][83] NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke stated that purchasing Sky would roughly double its presence in English-speaking markets, and allow for synergies between the respective networks and studios of NBCUniversal and Sky.[84]

On 5 June 2018, Culture Secretary Matt Hancock cleared both 21st Century Fox and Comcast's respective offers to acquire Sky plc. Fox's offer is contingent on the divestiture of Sky News.[85][86] On 12 June 2018, Comcast announced a US$65 billion counter-offer to acquire the 21st Century Fox assets that Disney had offered to purchase.[87] However, Fox subsequently agreed to an increased, US$71.3 billion offer from Disney instead.[88] On 15 June 2018, the European Commission gave antitrust clearance to Comcast's offer to purchase Sky, citing that in terms of their current assets in Europe, there would be limited impact on competition. Comcast included a 10-year commitment to the operations and funding of Sky News similar to that of Disney's offer.[89][90][91] On 19 June 2018, Disney formally agreed to acquire Sky News as part of Fox's proposed bid, with a 15-year commitment to increase its annual funding from £90 million to £100 million.[92]

On 11 July 2018, Fox increased its bid for Sky to £14.00 per-share, valuing it at £24.5 billion. Comcast subsequently counterbid just hours later with an offer at £14.75 per-share, valued at £26 billion.[93][94] On 19 July 2018, after Fox agreed to a Disney counter-offer,[95][96] it was reported that Comcast had abandoned its bid for 21st Century Fox to focus solely on Sky.[97][98]

On 20 September 2018, the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers ordered that a blind auction be held "in order to provide an orderly framework for the resolution of this competitive situation". In this process, Fox, followed by Comcast, made new cash-only bids for Sky. After these first two rounds of bidding, there would be a third round where both companies could make new offers. However, the third round of bidding would only be binding if both companies make a bid. The results were to be revealed on 22 September, and be confirmed by the start of trading on 24 September.[99] Comcast won the auction with a bid of £17.28 per-share, beating Fox's bid of £15.67.[100][101] Sky plc had until 11 October to formally accept this offer.[102]

Following its auction victory, Comcast began to acquire Sky shares from the open market. On 26 September 2018, Fox subsequently announced its intent to sell all of its shares in Sky plc to Comcast for £12 billion.[103][102] On 4 October 2018, Fox completed the sale of their shares, giving Comcast a 76.8% controlling stake at the time. [104] On 12 October 2018, Comcast announced it will compulsorily acquire the rest of Sky after its bid gained acceptances from 95.3% of the broadcaster's shareholders.[105] Sky was delisted on 7 November 2018 after Comcast acquired all remaining shares.[106]

Management

The first CEO of BSkyB was Sam Chisholm, who was CEO of Sky TV before the merger. Chisholm served in this position until 1997. He was followed by Mark Booth who was credited with leading the company through the introduction of Sky. Tony Ball was appointed in 1999 and completed the company's analogue to digital conversion. He is also credited with returning the company to profit and bringing subscriber numbers to new heights. In 2003, Ball announced his resignation and James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch was announced as his successor. This appointment caused allegations of nepotism from shareholders.[107]

On 7 December 2007, it was announced that Rupert Murdoch would be stepping down as BSkyB's non-executive chairman and would be replaced by his son, James. In turn, James stepped down as CEO of BSkyB, to be replaced by Jeremy Darroch.[108]

The current company directors are Comcast personnel; Michael J Cavanagh (Comcast Senior VP & CFO), Arthur R Block (Legal Counsel) and David L Cohen (Senior VP & CDO).[109]

Financial performance

Financial results have been as follows:[1]

Revenue and profit or loss, by fiscal year
Year ended Revenue (£m) Profit/(loss)
before tax (£m)
Net profit/
(loss)(£m)
30 June 2017 12,916 803 691
30 June 2016 11,965 752 663
30 June 2015 9,989 1,516 1,952
30 June 2014 7,632 1,082 865
30 June 2013 7,235 1,257 979
30 June 2012 6,791 1,189 906
30 June 2011 6,597 1,014 810
30 June 2010 5,709 1,173 878
30 June 2009 5,359 456 259
30 June 2008 4,952 60 (127)
30 June 2007 4,551 815 499
30 June 2006 4,148 798 551
30 June 2005 4,048 631 425
30 June 2004 3,656 480 322
30 June 2003 3,186 128 190
30 June 2002 2,776 (1,276) (1,383)
30 June 2001 2,306 (515) (539)
30 June 2000 1,847 (263) (272)
30 June 1999 1,545 (389) (285)
30 June 1998 1,434 271 249
30 June 1997 1,270 314 288
30 June 1996 1,008 257
30 June 1995 778 155
30 June 1994 550 93
30 June 1993 380 (76)
30 June 1992 233 (188)
30 June 1991 93 (759)

In February 2019 The Economist magazine claimed that Sky enjoys gross margins of 50%.[110]

Current operations

Subsidiaries

Sky UK Ltd
The original Sky Television plc, now a holding company for Sky's United Kingdom operations.[111]
Sky Subscriber Services Ltd
Operating company for the Sky pay-television service.[112]
Sky In-Home Services Ltd
Home installations of satellite dishes and set-top boxes.[113]
Sky Broadband Ltd and Sky Home Communications Ltd
Operating companies for Sky's broadband and telephony services, including Be Un Limited which was acquired from Telefónica UK/O2.[114]
Sky Ireland
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in Ireland.[115]
Sky Italia Srl
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in Italy.[116]
Sky Deutschland AG
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in Germany and Austria.[117]
Sky España
In September 2017, Sky launched an over-the-top video streaming service in Spain, featuring content from 21st Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, Turner and Viacom.[118]
Sky Switzerland
In May 2017, Sky Deutschland acquired Homedia, operator of the Swiss over-the-top streaming company Hollystar. Sky subsequently launched Sky Sport as an OTT service in Switzerland, followed by an OTT entertainment service known as Sky Show in 2018.[119][120][121]
Amstrad
British electronics company acquired by BSkyB.[48]
Now TV
An internet broadcast company owned by Sky.
Freesat from Sky
A free Satellite television service similar to Freesat and Freeview.
The Cloud
Wi-Fi provider acquired by BSkyB.[122]

Ventures

A&E Networks UK (50%) – with A&E Networks. Operates History, Lifetime and CI channels.[123]
Bad Wolf Ltd (minority stake) – with HBO. Drama production company.[124]
Sky Sports Racing (50%) – with Arena Racing Company
Ginx TV Ltd (50%) – with ITV plc[125]
Jupiter Entertainment (60%)
Nickelodeon UK Ltd (40%)[126] – with Viacom International Media Networks Europe, part of Viacom. Operates Nickelodeon and associated channels
Love Productions (70%) – Production company of The Great British Bake Off.[127]
Skybound Stories[128] – (Joint venture with Skybound Entertainment)

Partnerships

Comedy Central (UK and Ireland) (25%)[126] – with Paramount British Pictures, part of Viacom/National Amusements
DTV Services Ltd (20%) – with Arqiva, BBC, Channel 4 and ITV plc. Manages and markets the Freeview brand.[129]

Former operations

Subsidiaries

Acetrax
A video on demand movie rental service. Now closed down.[130]
Sky México (41.3%) – with Liberty Media and Grupo Televisa
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in Mexico. Sold their stake to DirecTV
Sky Brasil (80%) – with Liberty Media and Grupo Televisa
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in Brazil. Sold their stake to DirecTV
Japan Sky Broadcasting (JSkyB) – with SoftBank Corp.
Operating company for Sky pay-television service in Japan. Sold to DirecTV and later absorbed into SKY PerfecTV!

Ventures

Australian News Channel Pty Limited (33.3%)[126] – with Seven Network and Nine Entertainment Co. and operated Sky News Australia. Sold to News Corp Australia
Beamly (10%) – Sold to Coty, Inc.

Stake in ITV

ITV plc has been the subject of a flurry of rumoured take-over and merger bids since it was formed. For example, on 9 November 2006, NTL announced that it had approached ITV plc about a proposed merger.[131][132] The merger was effectively blocked by BSkyB on 17 November 2006 when it controversially bought a 17.9% stake in ITV plc for £940 million,[133] a move that attracted anger from NTL shareholder Richard Branson[134] and an investigation from media and telecoms regulator Ofcom.[135] On 6 December 2006, NTL announced that it had complained to the Office of Fair Trading about BSkyB's move. NTL stated that it had withdrawn its attempt to buy ITV plc, citing that it did not believe that there was any possibility to make a deal on favourable terms.[136] On 17 July 2014, BSkyB's 6.4% stake in ITV was sold to Liberty Global, valued at £481 million.[137]

Sky originals

Sky original productions include the following series:[138]

See also

References

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External links

Freesat from Sky

Freesat from Sky is a British satellite television service from Sky UK. It offers over 240 free-to-air (FTA) channels in its EPG. This is a greater number than its competitors, Freesat, which has 200+, and Freeview, which has 70+.

It also has up to six HD channels and Sky Active interactive data service. The service is less-promoted than the subscription-based Sky satellite service.

Mediaset Premium

Mediaset Premium is an Italian digital terrestrial television service provided by Sky Italia. It provides pay TV and pay-per-view (only for football matches) through the use of a smart card as well as video on demand through its Premium Play and Premium Online streaming service.

Minidish

The Minidish is the tradename used for the small-sized satellite dish used by Freesat and Sky. The term has entered the vocabulary in the UK and Ireland as a generic term for a satellite dish, particularly small ones.The Minidish is an oval, mesh satellite dish capable of reflecting signals broadcast in the upper X band and Ku band. Two sizes exist:

"Zone 1" dishes are issued in southern England and were 43 cm vertically prior to 2009; newer mark 4 dishes are approximately 50 cm

"Zone 2" dishes are issued in elsewhere (Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and northern England), which are 57 cm vertically.The Minidish uses a non-standard connector for the LNB, consisting of a peg about 4 cm (1.6 in) in width and 7.5 mm (0.30 in) in height prior to the mark 4 dishes introduced in 2009, as opposed to the 40 mm collar. This enforces the use of Sky-approved equipment, but also ensures that a suitable LNB is used. Due to the shape of the dish, an LNB with an oval feedhorn is required to get full signal.

On Demand (Sky)

On Demand is the brand-name of a range of services from Sky designed to compete with video on demand services currently offered by rival companies such as Virgin TV or BT TV as well as internet television services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

On Demand has been available in various forms including: a PC version using a peer-to-peer platform over broadband Internet connection, a version for users of 3G mobile telephones, a push video on demand service for subscribers equipped with a Sky+ HD set-top box or the PVR3 version of the Sky+ set top box and a pull video-on-demand service.

Sky

The sky (or celestial dome) is everything that lies above the surface of the Earth, including the atmosphere and outer space.

In the field of astronomy, the sky is also called the celestial sphere. This is viewed from Earth's surface as an abstract dome on which the Sun, stars, planets, and Moon appear to be traveling. The celestial sphere is conventionally divided into designated areas called constellations. Usually, the term sky is used informally as the point of view from the Earth's surface; however, the meaning and usage can vary. In some cases, such as in discussing the weather, the sky refers to only the lower, more dense portions of the atmosphere.

During daylight, the sky appears to be blue because air scatters more blue sunlight than red. At night, the sky appears to be a mostly dark surface or region spangled with stars. During the day, the Sun can be seen in the sky unless obscured by clouds. In the night sky (and to some extent during the day) the Moon, planets and stars are visible in the sky. Some of the natural phenomena seen in the sky are clouds, rainbows, and aurorae. Lightning and precipitation can also be seen in the sky during storms. Birds, insects, aircraft, and kites are often considered to fly in the sky. Due to human activities, smog during the day and light pollution during the night are often seen above large cities.

Sky Active

Sky Active was the brand name for interactive features on Sky Digital and is available in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It enables a viewer to interact with TV content, respond to an advertisement or access internet-based services.

The service replaces Open.... which helped launch Sky Digital's interactive content, and launched many other features that viewers see today such as games, emailing and shopping via their TV.

It can be accessed by pressing the red button on a Sky Digital remote, while watching any Sky Digital Channel. Alternatively, there is an entry in the "Interactive" area of the EPG.

The service got shut down on the 31st of January 2015

With the dawn of the internet, it's made many of the Interactive services that Sky offered redundant, that's probably why there's nothing left.

Sky Broadband

Sky Broadband is broadband service offered by Sky UK in the United Kingdom. With the introduction of Sky Fibre, Sky Broadband now refers to ADSL broadband products.

Sky Deutschland

Sky Deutschland GmbH, branded as Sky, is a German media company that operates a direct broadcast satellite Pay TV platform in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (through Teleclub). It provides a collection of basic and premium digital subscription television channels of different categories via satellite and cable television.

It was launched in 1991 as Premiere. The channel originally started as a single analogue channel on the Astra 1A satellite, showing films dubbed into German, as well as in original audio, live football matches from the German Bundesliga and Austrian Bundesliga (and at one time the UEFA Cup), and documentaries and TV series. After the coming of the digital age, the service has since consisted of many channels with many new ones added over the years. On 4 July 2009, the service and its channels were rebranded as "Sky".

Sky Deutschland is a wholly owned subsidiary of Comcast-owned Sky. The programming service itself is provided by its subsidiary Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG (formerly Premiere Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG). It topped 3,000,000 subscribers by the end of 2011. As of Q2 2014, Sky Deutschland has more than 4 million subscribers.

Sky España

Sky España is a subsidiary of Sky and supplies digital Pay Television and video on demand service accessible only through the Internet created to compete with Movistar+, Netflix, HBO Spain and Amazon Prime Video in Spain.Yoigo is an operator of Internet and mobile services which maintains an exclusive agreement that allows customers to the rate into Fibra + la Sinfín with unlimited fibre access to Sky España service for €9 per month.

Sky Go

Sky Go (formerly known as Sky Player, Sky Anytime on PC and Sky By Broadband) is an online television service from Sky which launched in January 2006. The service allows users to watch live and on demand video content from their Mac, Windows PC, mobile phone, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 via a broadband or Wi-Fi internet connection. On demand content comprises sports highlights, latest news, movies and TV programmes. Content is viewable for a limited amount of time and is protected by digital rights management software provided by Microsoft and the NDS Group, and therefore cannot be copied to disc or viewed beyond the date carried by its license. The service is available at no extra cost to existing Sky TV customers, with accessible content depending on the subscriber's Sky package. Non-Sky TV customers can access the service by subscribing on a pay-per-view basis.

Sky Go is viewable on up to two devices, with the ability to increase this to four devices with Sky Go Extra for a monthly fee. The now-deprecated Microsoft Silverlight 3.0 browser plug-in is required to play content on computers. Due to viewing rights, certain programmes are not available to watch via Sky Go, and are 'blacked out' from the schedule. To have access to the full selection of live TV channels available on Sky Go, users will need a subscription to the relevant TV packages that correspond to the available channels.

Sky Ireland

Sky Ireland Limited is a subsidiary of Comcast-owned Sky and supplies television, internet and telephony services in Ireland.Its corporate headquarters are in Dublin which were opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on 18 January 2013. Sky's broadband services have no cap and are unlimited.Sky Ireland employs around 900 staff in Dublin.

Sky Italia

Sky Italia is an Italian satellite television platform owned by Sky. It is owned by Comcast, and it is a major sports broadcaster. Sky Italia also broadcasts three national free-to-air television channels: Tv8, Cielo and Sky TG24. As of 2018, following an agreement with Mediaset, Sky Italia also operates a series of subscription-based terrestrial channels offering sports, entertainment and movies.

Pay TV services on Sky Italia satellite platform are encrypted in NDS VideoGuard. The VideoGuard set-top boxes that have been provided since July 2010 are identical to the Sky+ HD boxes used in the UK. Pace, Amstrad (itself owned by Sky) and Thomson, all Digibox licensors, have been producing Sky Italia boxes (Sky Box, Sky HD, My Sky and My Sky HD) identical to their Sky Digital, Sky+ and Sky+ HD offerings, albeit with the potential removal of the second card slot and UHF modulator.

Sky Kids (magazine)

Sky Kids magazine was a monthly magazine which came with the Sky Magazine. It was in circulation between 2004 and 2009.

Sky Magazine

Sky Magazine (or 'Sky Mag') was a magazine distributed to subscribers of the BSkyB satellite service Sky Digital.

Sky Studios

Sky Studios is the home studio to much of Sky's programming output. The studio facilities are part of Sky's Isleworth campus, which consists of 11 buildings plus ancillary structures, with three of those buildings containing television studios. The site is also a playout centre for many of Sky's channels.

There are 10 conventional television studios on site, alongside a number of galleries and purpose-built studios for news and sports news broadcasting.

Sky Sports, Sky Sports News and Sky News all use the studios, alongside light entertainment shows such as Thronecast, Skavlan and Harry Hill's Tea Time. Previously it has been the home of shows such as Brainiac: Science Abuse.

Sky Television plc

Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated a nine-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989. Sky Television and its rival British Satellite Broadcasting suffered large financial losses and merged on 2 November 1990 to form British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). Programming merger took effect on 1 December 1990.

Sky Text

Sky Text was the digital teletext service operated by British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was available on Freeview Channel 206 and Sky. The text service ceased on 30 October 2013 and skyinteractive.com, skytext.sky.com are no longer available to view.

Sky Vision

Sky Vision is a production and distribution company founded by Sky in 2012. The business has investments in nine production businesses in the UK and US: Love Productions, Blast Films!, Sugar Films, True North, Chrysalis Vision and Sky Vision Productions in the United Kingdom, and Jupiter Entertainment, Talos Films and Znak & Co. in the United States.In addition to its investments, the company also works with independent producers in the UK and US including Asylum Entertainment, Double Nickel Entertainment and Peacock Alley Entertainment in North America, and Avanti Media, Bohemia, Chalkboard, LittleRock Pictures, Merman Films and Spring Films in the United Kingdom.In April 2019, it was announced that Sky Vision would be folded into Comcast's NBCUniversal Global Distribution.

The Cloud (company)

The Cloud is a provider of public access Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK and is a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. It has over 22,000 Wi-Fi hotspots network access points in the UK.The Cloud has offices in St Albans, Munich, and Stockholm.

Sky
UK and Ireland
Germany and Austria
Italy
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See also

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