|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Slogan||All The Good Stuff|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Timeshift service||Sky One +1|
|Owner||Sky Group (Comcast)|
|Launched||26 April 1982|
|Virgin Media (UK)||Channel 109 (HD)|
|Virgin Media (Ireland)||Channel 114 (SD)|
Channel 143 (HD)
|Sky||Channel 106 (HD)|
Channel 206 (+1)
Channel 806 (SD)
|TalkTalk TV||Channel 301|
|BT TV (via Now TV)||Channel 340|
Channel 355 (HD)
|Sky Go||Watch live|
|Now TV||Watch live|
|Virgin TV Anywhere (UK)||Watch live (UK only)|
|Virgin TV Anywhere (Ireland)||Watch live (Ireland only)|
Sky One launched across Europe on 26 April 1982 by founder Connor Baskey as Satellite Television and is the oldest non-terrestrial TV channel in the United Kingdom. In the UK, the channel is available via digital satellite on Sky, digital cable on Virgin Media, IPTV on TalkTalk TV and online via Sky Go and Now TV. In Ireland, the channel is available via Sky Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland and Eir Vision.
Sky One listings include some very popular broadcasts—both original programs and many imported from North America—including 24 (seasons 2-9) & its spinoff 24: Live Another Day, Battlestar Galactica, Last Resort, Revolution, Bones (seasons 1-6 (first half), Caprica, Fringe, Modern Family, Glee (seasons 3-6), House (seasons 5-8), Lie to Me, Lost, Prison Break (seasons 3 & 4), The Simpsons, Stargate (SG-1 & Atlantis, and Universe), Touch, About a Boy, The Middle, You, Me and the Apocalypse and The Blacklist: Redemption.
Sky One started on 26 April 1982 as Satellite Television Ltd, and was Europe's first ever cable and satellite channel, originally broadcasting from the Orbital Test Satellite aimed at cable operators all over the continent. At first the station struggled financially, due to disappointing ratings in the countries in which it was officially available, which in turn led to insufficient advertising revenue and increasing difficulty in covering the high transmission costs.
On 27 June 1983, the shareholders of Satellite Television agreed a £5 million offer to give News International 65% of the company. Murdoch extended the broadcast hours and the number of countries the station broadcast to including the United Kingdom on 16 October 1983. On 16 January 1984, the channel was renamed Sky Channel.
Sky Channel incorporated a large number of American imports in its schedules, while also increased the quantity produced of home grown programmes, including a number of new music programmes with Gary Davies, Tony Blackburn, Linda de Mol, Pat Sharp, David "Kid" Jensen, and Anthea Turner presenting programmes such as Euro Top 40, and UK Top 50 Chart. New children's programmes like Fun Factory and The DJ Kat Show, many of which came not only from Sky's own studios in London (having already abandoned the Molinare facilities by then), but also included programmes produced in the Netherlands by John de Mol's production company.
On 8 June 1988, Murdoch announced his plans to expand Sky's service to four channels, thus creating the Sky Television network. On 5 February 1989, the Sky Television Network (Sky Channel, Sky News, Sky Movies and Eurosport) was launched, At the same time, prime-time broadcasts to European cable operators ended, being replaced by Eurosport, a joint venture between Sky and the European Broadcasting Union, and aimed at a pan-European audience (like Sky Channel had been up to that point; for a time afterwards, some of Sky's previous pan-European programming continued to be broadcast before Eurosport's startup, under the branding of Sky Europe). Initially, a new raft of shows were created, for the channel including Jameson Tonight, Sale of the Century (based more off the 1980s American version), The Price Is Right, Frank Bough's World and Sky By Day, Sky TV's variation on ITV's more popular This Morning, hosted by former BBC Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn (who had moved to commercial radio by then) and former Magpie presenter Jenny Hanley. The show had a mix of entertainment, gossip, fashion, etc. The Channel continued with the same children's programmes, soaps, and US action series, WWF Wrestling.
On 31 July 1989, the channel was renamed Sky One and closed in most European countries, broadcasting to only the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In 1990, Sky One began to acquire more recent programming, an early success being Moonlighting, which the BBC had previously screened but not repeated. Sky One also picked new programming such as The Simpsons, 21 Jump Street and the last series of Falcon Crest, and following its merger with BSB's Galaxy, Parker Lewis Can't Lose.
After many years in the clear, on 1 September 1993, Sky One was encrypted as part of the new Sky Multichannels subscription package, and could no longer be viewed outside Britain and Ireland without exporting a box, or receiving it over cable (although it had already been encrypted for a while since its original launch and first went in the clear in around 1987).
In 2000, a dedicated feed of Sky One for Ireland was launched. For most of this Irish feed's existence, the only difference between it and the United Kingdom feed has been differing commercials and programme promotions. In June 2003, the channel started broadcasting in 16:9 widescreen. However, all TV commercials were broadcast in 4:3 until 21 November 2005, because they were played off the same servers for all Sky channels, many of which were not broadcast in widescreen.
On 25 August 2012, it was announced by Stuart Murphy, director of Sky entertainment channels, that a one-hour timeshift of Sky One and Sky Atlantic would launch in the Autumn of 2012, with the former launching on 12 November 2012. The time shift channel offers most of Sky One's programming, however The Simpsons is not broadcast because BSkyB is prohibited from doing so under the current terms of their licensing agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. An on-screen message instead appears redirecting viewers to Sky One. As of 2017, The Simpsons is available to watch on the timeshifted channel.
For New Year's Day 2014, Sky One was temporarily renamed to Sky Onesie "to encourage viewers to snuggle up in front of the television wearing onesies, in a bid to recover from the previous night's celebrations".
Since 2017, Sky One has broadcast some sports coverage. This includes a partial simulcast of Soccer Saturday, highlights of, and occasional live coverage of, Formula One motor racing and the occasional live football match. The summer of 2019 saw Sky One show highlights of the 2019 Cricket World Cup and live coverage of England's matches in the 2019 Netball World Cup.
Sky2 and Sky3
The success of the channel led to the launch on 1 September 1996 of a companion channel, Sky 2; however, it was not a success and was closed down on 31 August 1997, one day short of a year after it launched. Sky 1 went back to being called Sky One. In contrast to the Sky Two that was later relaunched, this channel featured even more first-run programmes, and it broadcast only at night, between 7 pm and 6 am.
In 2002, the channel was relaunched as Sky One Mix. On 21 September 2004, Sky One Mix was subsequently renamed Sky Mix. On 31 October 2005, Sky Mix was renamed as Sky Two with the launch of a second sister channel Sky Three. Currently, Sky Two is known as Sky Replay and Sky Three is now called Pick.
Sky One HD
To coincide with the launch of Sky HD, Sky One HD began broadcasting on 22 May 2006. The channel is a simulcast of Sky One and screens high-definition versions of some of the channel's programming, which include Lost, Bones, 24, WWE Smackdown, Fringe, Prison Break, House, and most recently new episodes of The Simpsons. Programmes that are not available in HD are "upscaled" (although Sky One showed the widescreen version of TV show Malcolm in the Middle, unlike most US broadcasts, since the film was originally filmed on Panavision widescreen film but cropped to full-screen by most broadcasters. This airing of the show preserves the film's appearance without stretching or upscaling, although some scenes were compromised for widescreen and had to be upscaled).
Sky stated that they intended to increase the amount of HD content they show, and hoped that by the end of 2008, two-thirds of all prime time shows, and 90% of their own original commissions, would be in HD. A new logo was introduced along with the rebrand on 31 August 2008.
On 1 October 2010, Sky One HD launched on Virgin Media channel 122, with Sky Two moving to channel 123 and Sky 3 (now Pick) moving to channel 180 on 22 September 2010, to make way for the new channel.
Virgin Media dispute
On 1 March 2007, at midnight, Sky's basic channels, which included Sky One, Sky Two, Sky Three, Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Travel and Sky Travel Extra were removed from the Virgin Media cable television services after a dispute between Virgin Media and BSkyB. This was due to the expiry of their previous carriage agreement and the companies' inability to reach a new deal. Virgin issued legal proceedings against Sky over the dispute in April 2007.
At the beginning of March 2008, the two companies were reported to have resumed discussions over the dispute. Virgin chief executive Neil Berkett was reported as saying they had "continued interest in securing Sky basics back on our platform". The resumed talks had followed shortly after both Virgin and BSkyB had launched appeals against a recent Competition Appeal Tribunal ruling on BSkyB's 17.9% stake in ITV plc.
On 4 November 2008, a carriage deal between BSkyB and Virgin Media channels was reached and BSkyB's channels were available on Virgin's cable service from 13 November 2008. The Sky basic channels were spread across each tier of Virgin's cable TV service: Sky3 and Sky News were made available in the lowest M tier; Sky Sports News joined the M+ tier; Sky 1 and Sky 2 were made available in the L tier; and Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2, Sky Real Lives and Sky Real Lives 2 joined the XL tier.
The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on Sky One, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 30 November 2020. The number of viewers does not include repeats.
|1||Friends||“The One Where They Get Back Together”||5,300,000||27 May 2021|
|2||Friends||6.01 – "The One After Vegas"||2,860,000||13 January 2000|
|3||An Idiot Abroad||2.01 – "Desert Island"||2,659,000||23 September 2011|
|4||2.07 – "Climb Mount Fuji"||2,656,000||4 November 2011|
|5||Terry Pratchett's Hogfather||"Part One"||2,647,000||17 December 2006|
|6||Friends||5.01 – "The One After Ross Says Rachel"||2,410,000||7 January 1999|
|7||5.15 – "The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey"||2,320,000||15 April 1999|
|8||An Idiot Abroad||2.08 – "Karl Comes Home"||2,302,000||11 November 2011|
|9||The Simpsons||17.15 – "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife"||2,301,000||23 April 2006|
|10||An Idiot Abroad||3.03 – "China"||2,260,000||14 December 2012|
Sky has commissioned many homegrown programmes since it first started broadcasting back in 1984, but it was not until 1989 when content went beyond music and children reprogramming.
During the early years in commissioned some new game shows including:
The channel, in the 1990s, commissioned a number of home grown programmes (for example the drama Dream Team) while expanding its small number of Australian television series. Notably including:
Sky One commissioned a two-part Terry Pratchett's Hogfather series for Christmas 2006 proving to be successful so Sky brought out, in 2008, an adaptation of The Colour of Magic and its second half The Light Fantastic. In 2010 sky one also released Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, the 33rd book in The Discworld series.
Sky One focused in comedy sci-fi and other fiction series in the noughties, which did not have a lot of successes, including:
- A sci-fi sitcom series based on a fictional football team, The Strangerers, that was dropped after one series and never repeated
- Al Murray's sitcom Time Gentlemen Please
- Baddiel's Syndrome
- Hex, another sci-fi show, which was cancelled in April 2006
- Mile High only lasted from 2003 to 2005.
- Sky also co-produced The 4400 and co-financed the first series of Battlestar Galactica.
Sky One also screened reality shows such as
- Cruise with Stelios
- Road Wars
- Shock Treatment
- World's Deadliest Gangs
- Pineapple Dance Studios
- World of Pain
- Road Raja
- Ibiza Uncovered
- Cirque de Celebrité
- Hairspray: The School Musical.
The channel received relative success with scientific shows such as:
- Brainiac: Science Abuse and spin-offs
- Mission Implausible.
- Harry Enfield's Brand Spanking New Show.
Sky One had also re-commissioned a number of earlier game shows including Blockbusters. The most recent game show was from Mark Burnett, Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old, based on a United States format. On 30 January 2008, Sky One announced plans to bring back the UK 1990s game show Gladiators which was subsequently cancelled in 2009.
In 2011, Sky One premiered supermarket sitcom Trollied, which had broadcast six series and over fifty episodes, becoming Sky One's longest running comedy series.
Not all shows were well received, at-least to its home country audience, including Parents which was broadcast in 2012 and was not well received, leading Sky not to commission it for a second series. Moone Boy, a series written by and starring Chris O'Dowd first screened in 2012, became an instant hit internationally. It lasted three series, and ended in 2015.
In 2017, Sky One stops showing factual content and moves to showing more comedy and drama programmes as well as selected sports coverage.
The channel has become known for its first-run US imports such as: Seinfeld, The X-Files, as well as some older programmes such as the various Star Trek series, Hill Street Blues, M*A*S*H*, and Lucille Ball's various comedy series.
Sky One relies heavily on screenings of American television programmes, with many coming from Murdoch's Fox network. Another early and long-running fixture was Married... with Children, which ran all through the 1990s, but in the early 2000s, the show suddenly disappeared from its regular schedule and has not been screened on any Sky channel since.
Sky One was also the original home to the UK's first-run showings of episodes of ER and Friends, for series 4–6 of both shows (Channel 4 had shown series 1–3 first), giving Sky One some of the highest ratings for any satellite channel. In 2000, 2.8 million viewers watched an episode of Friends, the highest-rated show on any satellite channel. However, when Channel 4 launched their own digital sister channel E4 they outbid Sky One for exclusive first-run rights to both shows. However, Sky One still held the repeat rights for the early series of both shows for several years. Since 2011, Friends has been shown on Comedy Central.
The Simpsons has been airing on Sky One since both of its early years, making the series not only the longest-running programme on Sky One but also the longest-running primetime animated series to date. As many as eight episodes of said show are broadcast each evening, with any new episodes generally being shown on Sunday. Sky One has exclusive rights in the UK to show the most recent series of The Simpsons.
The Simpsons, has remained a popular import for Sky One and for its early days it was an exclusive until it finally made its terrestrial television appearance on BBC2 in 1996. It now shares the older series rights with Channel 4 and also shares rights with Disney+.
Sky One previously broadcast WWE programming before it was moved to Sky Sports. However, Sky One did continue to broadcast an edited one hour version of WWE Raw on Sunday mornings before all WWE programming moved to rival network BT Sport.
Sky One occasionally screens movies, which are shown with advertisement breaks, unlike films on premium film channels, for example Sky Cinema and its sister channels.
In 1994, Sky One started their own music show called "The Coca Cola Hit Mix" (also known as The Hit Mix) hosted by Terry Christian featuring music news and guests at the time. The show featured regular competitions, phone ins with guests and other features. This later evolved into a late night broadcast called "Hit Mix Long Play" which would broadcast simultaneously on both Sky One and Sky Two playing music videos from various genres; the show also featured themed topics such as "Step By Step" which would feature music videos with stairs in the song or video when the scheduled programming had finished. This became a popular part of the brand and would often have exclusive first play on new releases that week.
A later expansion of the music brand would be Sky One's "Morning Glory" show which would feature music video's in the early morning before the scheduled programming would start, which also featured various themes as well as caller requests.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)
Bruce Hammal was the station's continuity announcer from 1984 to 1997. Absolute Radio DJ Claire Sturgess has been a "voice" of Sky One since 1998, and was the sole announcer from 2001 until 2005. As one of Sky One's four announcers, her voice-overs are pre-recorded once a week and played out by an automated system. 
Live continuity announcements air each evening. In 2009, they were voiced by announcers Dave Kelly, Faye Bamford and Philippa Collins. In 2010, three new continuity announcers were hired, Katie Morton, Katie Hudson and Paul Daniels, replacing all the previous announcers. In 2011, two new part-time announcers were hired. During the day, pre-recorded announcements air, promoting shows from all the different Sky channels.
- (January 1984–February 1989)
- (2016–2017, shared logo with German counterpart)
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- News International buys 65% of satellite group. By Bill Johnstone, Electronics Correspondent. The Times, Wednesday, 29 June 1983; pg. 13
- Title The franchise affair: creating fortunes and failures in independent televisionAuthors Asa Briggs, Joanna SpicerEdition illustratedPublisher century, 1986Original from the University of MichiganDigitized 9 Oct 2006ISBN 0712612017, 9780712612012
- TV satellite set for weekend debut. By Bill Johnstone, Electronics Correspondent. The Times, Wednesday, 12 October 1983
- The £199 dish that will launch a television revolution. by Richard Evans Media Editor. The Times, Thursday, 9 June 1988
- From Sunday, you'll never say there's.... Advert The Times (London, England), Friday, 3 February 1989; pg12
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