In a time before the Internet era began, the European teenagers and kids got Sky Channel. Before Rupert Murdoch killed Sky Channel, after getting 100% of all Sky tv shares on 5th of February 1989. He officially renamed one of world’s most fantastic tv channel to Sky One on August 1989, and then created his famous sky packages. ASTRA thought that they did the sky deal (because Rupert included Eurosport!), but instead Rupert Murdoch used his powers to ruin the free TV choice in Europe. First he threw out Eurosport and replaced with Sky Sports in 1990. Then on the 1st of September 1993, he scrambled all of his tv channels for everyone else than those living in United Kingdom and Ireland.
This Sky Channel, brought the European countries much more connected than any other services at the same time. The hosts of Sky Channel’s programs were really talented. Pat Sharp was one of them, which is still an icon today for bringing very talented musicvideo shows back in the days. But that’s not all folks!.. The Sky Trax crew, which was part of the main musicvideo program on the channel also had live events from Amsterdam, where they had many Live concerts from. So! This is the complete Sky Channel report, that guides you from the start to the end in it’s history. Read on and we hope that such service could return. But with all countries in Europe following Rupert by closing its channels for a certain group of countries. Its very unlikely. It would give more peace to the world though. It certainly would!…
The launch of Sky Channel in United Kingdom on Swindon
Satellite Television renamed to Sky Channel by News International on 27th of June 1983
Sky Channel managed to became one of the most inspiring tv channels ever made in the years 1985 to 1989 for all ages. It was transmitting to almost every cable tv operator in Europe from United Kingdom and Netherlands. They also managed to have over 9 million viewers across Europe at most, before they changed their success totally and focused on United Kingdom and Ireland instead.
On Monday 16th of January 1984, Sky Channel was launched in United Kingdom. Before this day, Cable Satellite was only broadcasted to the Nordic (Norway and Sweden were first on 26th of April 1982), but now also United Kingdom became part of the channel as Swindon Cable started to transmit this new tv channel. At first Sky Channel broadcasted for 5 hours daily, but within a very short time the broadcasting hours increased little by little.
Norway and Finland were the first two countries to permit the new service’s transmission via cable, followed by Malta and Switzerland, and then West Germany.
Sky Trax didn’t start before 1985. In the beginning, the channel had Music Box as it’s main music program. The channel also had cartoons and unknown serials in this period but this parts would be increased a lot very soon. But this wouldn’t give the channel enough income, so Sky Channel needed to get investors and Rupert Murdoch spit money into Satellite Television. This gave the channel more content like serials, movies and documentaries.
Sky Trax replaced Music Box in 1985
To be able to make Sky Channel grow, the channel had to evolve. Music Box got replaced with Sky Trax that kept many of the people from Cable Countdown that went on Satellite Television before it was renamed to Sky Channel. They had to do drastically changes to the content for it to survive, because the advert income wasn’t giving them enough. The new era of the channel, managed to throw out the slow paced Music Box program , with something they called Sky Trax, Euro Top 40, The Great Video Race and UK Top 50 Chart.
Here some of the icon names like Pat Sharp, Gary Davies, Lina de Mol, David Jensen and Athea Turner managed to turn Europe into a music loving continent. Yes, Sky Trax did really something to the teenagers with their amazing musicvideo shows that included competitions.
Amazing Extravaganza artists performed on Sky Trax
Sky Trax managed to bring out some excellent musical artists, like the disco queen C C Catch singing Soul Survivor for audience. Venom also got interviewed right after their Brazilian tour. Kool and The Gang with Fresh performed live on Sky Trax in 1985, which you can see below:
This program was a huge arena for artists. People could also communicate with the hosts, where they wrote in letters and sent them gifts. The shows between the musicvideos did show amazing backgrounds that the show creators changed for each time they were on-air live. They had balloons, TV’s in the background, the floor was artistic done and the hosts were extremely talented with the ability to unite Europe.
Something like this didn’t happen again in Europe after Rupert Murdoch killed of every music show on Sky Channel. By 1994 it was all faded out. MTV Europe sort of managed to revive the Sky Trax feeling, but that one also ended it’s European uniting production by 1996.
Kids shows, Cartoons, Serials, Movies and Sport events squeezed Sky Trax out
In the first months of Sky Trax, this show had many hours of broadcast with musicvideos. But, soon more programs were added to replace it more and more. Sky Channel introduced programs in the mornings in 1986, more serials and extra cartoon time during the day and also in the evenings got other programs. So, Sky Trax got squeezed out of the sky tv listings every month and in the end there was nothing more.
First in 1985, Sky Trax built up the program schedule a lot. The program started at 09.15 in the morning with a break between 14.15 and 16.00, when the program continued until 18.30! In 1986 the program got shortened in the evenings when DJ Kat Show was launched and then in 1987, Sky tv managed to put Transformers or Jaycee and the Wheeled Warriors typical cartoons etc in the middle of the day. I remember watching these a lot after school, but I never understood why Sky Channel out of sudden was gone from our cable network in Oslo, Norway.
There was also other programs like Eurochart Top 50, which brought more live events shows in 1988, that Rupert looked at as more profitable. They were all branded behind Sky Trax at first, but as month went by the Sky Trax name got less and less used. Coca Cola also spend lot’s of its economy, sponsoring this show that broadcasted live from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The final death to all music programs on Sky Channel, was when News International got 100% of the shares and changed the channel completely on 5th of February 1989. Many programs, except of Sky Trax jumped over to Super Channel which was Sky Channels biggest rival.
In 1986, Sky Traxx wasn’t the only program that did revolutionary things for Sky Channel. Two new programs for “older” children added this to the list.
In the weekdays, the viewers would get a show that got the name DJ Kat Show. Originally, it was shown from Netherlands with Lina de Mol as the programs main host. It was pretty nice and especially the wake-up time was popular. This program aired at 07.30 (7.30am) in the mornings in Europe. It lasted for one hour, but sometimes the show started 07.25 (7.25am) too.
For one hour, older kids and teenagers got wake-up entertainment thru the cartoons and the characters in the show. But it didn’t only broadcast in the mornings. Also at 17.00 (5pm) in the evenings.
The program had cartoons and DJ Kat himself were a puppy that was quickly loved by children everywhere in Europe. It lasted much longer than Fun Factory show, that aired in the weekends. Actually, DJ Kat show aired on Sky Channel (Sky One from summer 1989) until 1995 and were one of Rupert Murdoch biggest icons for Sky One also. However, his style became worse and worse. In the end he didn’t feel like that pumped Kat that he was meant to be.
Fun Factory in the Weekends was Huge
In the weekends however, Sky Channel turned Europe upside down with it’s Fun Factory show that went on air for 4 hours straight on Saturdays and Sundays. Until 1989, this was a fantastic show for all kinds of children. They brought many cartoons and the show was incredible well done. Fun Factory program was sort of Europe’s birth in the weekends. It made the weekends fun and special for everyone. It had all the entertainment that teenagers needed for sure! The puppies were extremely well done, with the green crocodile that just made you hooked! So, when Sky Channel ended its life in summer 1989. It had provided Europe with entertainment as it should be for everyone.
It was as if the life ended when Sky Channel era was over. For us in Scandinavia, we survived a bit more with the Scandinavian TV3. But it wasn’t the same. TV3 even had a small broadcast from 07 to 08 in the mornings of 1988 to compete with Sky Channel even. They survived because of Sky Channel choose to close down.
People understood that the Negative times at would begin after Sky Channels 5th year anniversary Special
After this program, most of people saw a totally different Sky. The channel sort of became a cartoon, serial and movie channel. The channel also added all sorts of sports under a name Sky Sport where the channel broadcasted different sport events around the world.
This was all Ruperts plan. WWF (Wrestling) also became very popular on the channel. The channel started it’s life as Satellite Television, which Rupert Murdochs company News International got 60% shares of back in 1993. Now he owned 100% and on 5th of February 1989 he launched Sky Television. The Sky Channel name was kept until August 1989 when he renamed the channel to Sky One.
New Programs on the new Sky Channel
Conclusion to the whole Sky Channel article
In 1984, Satellite Television became Sky Channel! Then it all started up as a small tv channel. By 1986, Sky Channel became a huge tv channel that was broadcasting from early mornings to late nights. It had this unique feel. Every Sky Channel broadcast, managed to start or end the broadcasts with extravaganza tones. The channel knew how to grow and they did it in a very cool way. You didn’t get tired of their commercials at all, because of the methods they used to get you hooked. Sky Channel was the channel for everyone. Here is the fantastic intro that Sky Channel introduced itself with:
What Rupert Murdoch did to save it all, because of financial losses was a really huge step backwards. He became the one who tricked ASTRA into thinking about a free tv world with full of tv channels for Europe. But he killed it all in 1993. So, on one side there is a reason to not say a single positive word about this money maker. On the other hand, he sort of built up Sky Channel the way we know it. However! The music shows on Sky Channel came from Satellite Television productions and not from himself. Satellite Television had several shows like Cable Countdown which became huge in Norway and Finland.
Now it 2017 we just sit here on the net, writing all this for you so you know the fight for Free TV before the Internet came. And yes,.. that happened! Disvida will be here trying to reveal it all for you. Enjoy your stay here.
And as a nice bonus! The very first Good Morning show in Scandinavia went on air on Sky Channel