British Sky Broadcasting ( BSkyB short ) is the largest provider of pay- TV in the UK and Ireland.


Sky began in 1982 as Sky Channel, received free pan-European TV channel from the Netherlands by Eutelsat1 -F1 satellite was transferred to Europe. At the time Sky had no broadcasting license for the UK. Sky Channel was at that time fed into West Germany in the cable television network of the German Post.

In February 1989, the station of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation was incorporated under the name Sky Television as one of the first directly via satellite receivable program restarted. Sky used it as one of the first new Astra satellite at 19.2 ° East to spread first four programs ( Sky One, Sky News, Sky Movies and Euro sport).

After the failure of the competitor British Satellite Broadcasting ( founded in 1986 ), both merged in November 1990 the company called British Sky Broadcasting ( BSkyB). The radiation on the Marco Polo satellites was set on December 30, 1992 sold the satellites to Telenor or Nordiska Satellitaktiebolaget.

With the launch of other Astra satellites succeeded BSkyB from 1991 to continuously expand its program in which there are several new television programs - for example, The Movie Channel, Sky Movies Gold and Sky Sports - launched or existing television programs such as The Children 's Channel or Discovery Channel contract as Pay TV able to bind to itself.

With the Sky Multi Channel Package BSkyB constricted in the summer of 1993, a pay- TV package from several previously receivable on other satellites or only on cable television; so were added, among other things Bravo, Country Music Television, MTV Europe and Nickelodeon. In addition, it contained Sky One, which was previously transmitted unencrypted over Astra. More stations followed in 1994/95 (Sky Sports 2, Sky Travel, Sky Soap, The History Channel, Disney Channel, and others)

With the launch of the Astra 2 satellites on the new orbital position 28.2 degrees East in 1997, BSkyB began on 1 December 1998 with the distribution of their digital TV bouquets Sky Digital with more than 500 television and radio programs. In addition, the programs of the BBC and ITV were received from 2002 onwards, which spread their programs since 2004 and 2006 respectively unencrypted digital via satellite Astra 2D, whose footprint is largely confined to the British Isles. This package also includes additional free channels.

In addition, the BSkyB since May 22, 2006 operates some HDTV channels and offers since 1998 an EPG.

Free to air channels (selection)


  • Sky News
  • Al Jazeera English (Qatar )
  • Bloomberg
  • France 24
  • NHK World HD
  • CCTV News ( China)
  • CNC World ( China)
  • RT SD / HD ( Russia)


  • B4U Music
  • BET
  • Bliss
  • Enlightenment
  • Capital TV
  • Channel AKA
  • Greatest Hits
  • Clubland TV
  • Dance Nation TV
  • Flava
  • Scuzz


  • Horror channel ( Horror)
  • CBS Reality ( Reality TV )
  • CBS Action (Action)
  • CBS Drama ( U.S. series )
  • Movies4men 1-2
  • Men & movies
  • True Movies 1-2

Unlike in Germany, there are to most movie channels a shifted by 1 hour timeshift version, recognizable by an identifier that ends with " 1".

The news channels (except CNC) are also unencrypted broadcast on 19.2 ° East satellite position.

Owners and failed takeover by Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, once the sole owner of BSkyB, has a share of 39.1 per cent in the company. Murdoch's son James in 2003 CEO of BSkyB. Murdoch BSkyB was planning for a long time again to take full control owned by a consortium of managers. But critics feared an inequality in the UK media landscape, should Murdoch newspapers The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and News of the World are also in possession of Sky News. The publishers of including The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph threatened with legal action, the television should be adopted. In the wake of the News International Scandal and the attitude of his tabloid News of the World, Murdoch moved in mid-July 2011, the takeover bid for BSkyB back.


Sky uses VideoGuard encryption system that NDS - was developed - a subsidiary of News Corporation.

To receive the transmitter is the special set-top box Sky Digibox with a smart card required. These can be purchased for a set fee. Officially, this box is available only to residents of the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


The channels can be received via satellite and some cable networks in the UK and Ireland.