Editorial: Upstart Sky proves its point

At the tender age of 20, BSkyB is the youngest company ever to be named Britain's Most Admired Company.

by Matthew Gwyther, MT Editor

The speed of this achievement is quite extraordinary. The award is a tribute to a ruthlessly focused, highly competitive outfit that has left its media peer group for dead.

I recall its launch clearly - there was all sorts of hilarity about poor content, 'Squariels' and satellites that didn't work. The first years were precarious and nearly dragged founder Rupert Murdoch under. But the turning point came in 1992, with the first exclusive deal to show live Premier League football. Murdoch believed, correctly, that live sport - especially football - was the 'battering ram' for pay TV. It takes someone who can recall Grandstand or the beaming Dickie Davies to realise how brutally he has battered the oppo.

Sceptics thought recession might be its undoing. Sky costs me getting on for 60 quid a month, but I'm not the only one reluctant to give it up. Indeed, it's still growing and is now in six million UK homes. With the arrival of high definition, broadband and football matches available on your iPhone, the innovations keep coming.

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