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Sky is a subscription satellite TV/cable TV network; originally pan-European until 1989, but now available legally only in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It forms the cornerstone of Sky Television (a British satellite service now known as British Sky Broadcasting) and belonged (originally wholly, later in part) to Rupert Murdoch. In 2018 Murdoch's company made a bid to reacquire the shares they'd sold off, only to be outbid by Comcast (owners of NBCUniversal), meaning Murdoch lost control of the company he largely created.

It originally launched with only four channels— Sky Channel (renamed to Sky One by July of 1989), Sky News, Sky Movies, and Eurosport (a channel backed by the EBU to show all the sporting events they had no time to air), broadcasting on the free-to-air Astra satellite platform (though Sky Movies was scrambled after the first year). It beat the government-backed BSB (British Satellite Broadcasting) to air by over a year, and in turn a "satellite war" was briefly waged between the two rivals. BSB had hoped people would wait for its promised high-quality originals and superior technical quality which included the infamous "squarial" receiving dish), but Sky's early launch proved people would be just fine with Sky's populist programming. BSB and Sky wound up heavily bleeding cash and therefore merged to survive in November 1990— this resulted in the rename to BSkyB. The healthier advertising contracts, as well as the rights to films and sport, held by BSB were picked up by Sky, which then expanded its network to five channels (BSB's Movie Channel— redesigned to fit Sky's slick CGI aesthetic— and Sky Sports, previously BSB's Sports Channel, were the survivors {Sky sold their stake in Eurosport as a result}; BSB's Galaxy and Now channels were merged into Sky One and Sky News; BSB's music/youth channel, The Power Station, was shuttered in favor of MTV Europe, and was replaced by Sky Movies for ex-BSB customers). Sky kept broadcasting over BSB's Marcopolo satellites for a little bit before abandoning the platform in favor of Astra (due to the Marcopolo system's government regulation and lack of channel expansion).

1993 saw the launch of "Sky Multichannels", which meant that all Sky channels, and not just the sports and film channels, as well as certain channels operated by outside companies, were scrambled and customers would pay subscription fees (this was to ensure only UK viewers received these programs). Over the next few years, Sky opened more channels for movies and sports, as well as various other channels and services as Astra launched more satellites. Sky Digital was launched in 1998, offering viewers interactive services and a boatload of new channels; the analogue service was shuttered by 2001. Since then, the service has grown by leaps and bounds, offering DVRs, HDTV and even internet and telephony services to customers. In 2016, they launched their "Sky Q" DVRs, which integrates Netflix and other streaming services into the guide and menu system, offers 4K resolution, a new touch remote, and boxes that double as Wi-Fi hotspots. Their most recent innovation is currently the Sky Glass, a TV that streams television channels to said TV over Wi-Fi without the need for a satellite.

They also operate a cord-cutting service known as NOW (formerly NOW TV), which can be used by non-Sky customers and offers different packs of channels, including timed passes where customers can buy channels for a limited time (ie. if there's a big event on Sky Sports so they buy it for 24 hours). Rebadged Roku devices are offered as part of the service, though you can use your own device if you want to.

Essentially Fox's UK counterpart; during the early years they shared much of the same programming and The Simpsons is still a part of Sky's lineup, while Sky News and Fox News frequently team up to cover global news, though with the split of Sky from Murdoch's other assets their relationship with Fox is slowly coming to an end, as Comcast had planned to launch a global news network in 2020 that combines the resources of Sky News and NBC News, but never came to fruition.

The network includes the channels:

  • Sky Showcase (the flagship channel showing a selection of programmes from across Sky's portfolio of channels including Sky Witness, Sky Documentaries, Sky Crime, Sky Nature, Sky Arts, Sky Max, Sky Comedy, Sky History, Sky Kids, Syfy and E! - as well as selected highlights from Sky Cinema and Sky Sports)
  • Sky Witness (formerly just Living, and Sky Living; airs ABC and CBS content, with a new focus on crime shows)
  • Sky Atlantic (which airs HBO/Showtime/etc content, as well as British originals for some reason)
  • Sky Max (which airs entertainment and drama output previously shown on Sky One)
  • Sky Comedy (Shows US comedy shows both new e.g. Miracle Workers and old e.g. Parks and Recreation. Most comedy acquired from HBO or Showtime moved here from Sky Atlantic. Replaced Universal TV on January 27, 2020). From 1 September 2021, the comedy output on Sky One transferred to here.
  • Sky Documentaries (shows human interest documentaries, mostly from Sky Arts)
  • Sky Crime (A true crime channel. Replaced Real Lives, itself a rebranding of (Sky) LivingIt, which was Living2 before that)
  • Sky History (formerly History and The History Channel. The co-branded (since 2020) UK version of The History Channel. Also has a secondary channel, Sky History2, formerly History 2, H2 and Military History)
  • Sky Nature (dedicated to nature documentaries)
  • Sky Arts (and from 2008-2015, Sky Arts 2) (airing shows about contemporary and classical artnote . From 2020 onwards, it became one of their three free-to-air entertainment networks)
  • Sky Replay (formerly Sky Two, basically a catch-up service for Sky One and Sky Witness (after the relaunch as Sky Replay), showing the same shows at different times)
  • Sky Mix (formerly Sky Three, later Pick TV and Pick; the second of the network's four free-to-air stations, effectively an advert for a full Sky TV package)
  • Challenge (the third free-to-air station, acquired from Living TV Group (formerly Virgin Media Television). Dedicated to game shows, basically a Transatlantic Equivalent of Game Show Network)
  • Sky News (the network's fourth free-to-air station, and pretty much (formerly) Murdoch's only TV news network that's impartial; started out looking cheap and cheerful, but is now considered an important part of Britain's TV news media)
  • Sky Sci-Fi (reborn from the ashes of Syfy UK on July 26, 2022, shows various Speculative Fiction series and movies)
  • Sky Kids (shows children's TV shows)
  • Also contains two multipack networks:
    • Sky Cinema (formerly Sky Movies, split into channels based on specific genres, as well as the occasional temporary channel dedicated to a specific franchise like James Bond and Star Wars. Airs films uncut and ad-free, and requires the user to enter a customisable PIN, done so it can get around Watershed restrictions)
    • Sky Sports (contains Sky Sports News and channels dedicated to specific sports. Sky Sports News was on Freeview until 2010)

Most of Sky's channels are also carried by cable operators like Virgin. Pick, Challenge, Sky Arts and Sky News can also be seen on broadcast (Freeview). The exception is Sky Atlantic, launched as a Sky-exclusive showcase channel, though rumors have swirled about other services carrying itnote .

Other Sky-branded TV services are available in Italy and Germany; a similar service is available via both cable and satellite in Australia called Foxtel (up until the 2013 split of Murdoch's entertainment and print assets, they also owned NDS, the people who made the encryption software; hence the services also share similar equipment and on-screen guides). Murdoch also tried a few times to enter the US market; both attempts failed.note 

Not to be confused with Sky One, which is the name of a submarine-launched fighter aircraft in Gerry Anderson's UFO (1970).

Series produced by Sky:

As well as various US imports, either first-run or bought from other networks:

There are also Sky Cinema Originals:

This is Sky Tropes. Part of the British Sky Broadcasting network.
  • The Pioneer: In 1989, People who already had a satilite were given a free 6 months of Sky.
Sky has also become famous to fans of game shows The Price Is Right and Sale of the Century for airing low-budget versions in 1989 that, despite being short-lived, nonetheless have their fans.

Alternative Title(s): Sky 1, Sky One