Sky One

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


On 31 July 1989, Sky Channel was renamed Sky One. Its best-known owner, British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), was formed by the merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting on 2 November 1990. Both companies had begun to struggle financially and were suffering financial losses as they competed against each other for viewers. The Guardian later characterised the merger as "effectively a takeover by News Corporation".

In early 2007, Freeview overtook Sky Digital with nearly 200,000 more subscribers at the end of 2006, while cable broadcaster Virgin Media had three million customers. In July 2007, BSkyB announced the takeover of Amstrad for £125 million, a 23.7% premium on its market capitalisation. BSkyB and Virgin Media announced that they had reached agreement for the acquisition of Virgin Media Television by BSkyB. Virgin1 was also a part of the deal and was rebranded as Channel One on 3 September 2010, as the Virgin name was not licensed to Sky. The new carriage deals were understood to be for up to nine years. The deal was completed in July 2011 and Virgin Media Television was renamed Living TV Group.

In June 2010, News Corporation made a bid for complete ownership of BSkyB. However, following the News International phone hacking scandal, critics and politicians began to question the appropriateness of the proposed takeover. The resulting reaction forced News Corp. to withdraw its bid for the company in July 2011. The scandal forced the resignation of James Murdoch, who was the chairman of both BSkyB and News International, from his executive positions in the UK, with Nicholas Ferguson taking over as Chairman of BSkyB.

In September 2012, Ofcom ruled that BSkyB was still fit to hold broadcast licenses in the UK, but criticised James Murdoch's handling of the scandal. On 28 June 2013, News Corporation was split into two publicly-traded companies; the company's publishing operations (including News International, renamed News UK) and broadcasting operations in Australia were spun into a new company known as News Corp, while the company's broadcast media assets, including its 39.14% stake in Sky, were renamed 21st Century Fox.

On 12 May 2014, BSkyB confirmed that it was in talks with its largest shareholder, 21st Century Fox, about acquiring 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. The enlarged company (dubbed "Sky Europe" in the media) will consolidate 21st Century Fox's European digital TV assets into one company. The £4.9 billion takeover deal was formally announced on 25 July, where BSkyB would acquire 21st Century Fox's stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. BSkyB also made a required takeover offer to Sky Deutschland's minority shareholders, resulting in BSkyB acquiring 89.71% of Sky Deutschland's share capital. The acquisitions were completed on 13 November.

British Sky Broadcasting Group plc changed its name to Sky plc to reflect the European acquisitions, and the United Kingdom operations were renamed Sky UK Limited. Sky plc bought out the remaining minority shareholders in Sky Deutschland during 2015, using a squeeze-out procedure to obtain the remaining shares and delist Sky Deutschland on 15 September 2015.

The Walt Disney Company announced on 14 December 2017, that it would acquire 21st Century Fox, including its stake in Sky plc but barring specific US assets. Fox stated that this purchase would "not alter [its] full commitment and obligation to conclude our proposed transaction". Analysts suggested that Disney's proposed transaction could ease regulatory concerns over Fox's purchase of Sky, as the company will eventually lose its ties to the Murdoch family. Disney has a narrower scope of media ownership in the country than the Murdoch family. Sky already has a relationship with Disney for its Sky Cinema service, holding pay television rights to its films in the United Kingdom and operating a dedicated Sky Cinema channel devoted to Disney content.

On 12 October 2018, Comcast announced it will compulsorily acquire the rest of Sky after its bid gained acceptances from 95.3% of the broadcaster's shareholders. Sky was delisted on 7 November 2018 after Comcast acquired all remaining shares.

On 28 July 2021, it was announced that the Sky One channel would cease broadcasting by 1 September, and be replaced with Sky Showcase, a new channel intended to showcase content from across Sky's other channels. Many of Sky One's existing general entertainment and original productions would move to another new channel called Sky Max.

1st ID (31 July 1989-31 August 1993)

Visuals: Same as the 3rd Sky Channel ident, but "Channel" is replaced with "One".

Variant: In 1990, the script "One" was replaced by a sans-serif "ONE" which descends into the logo, accompanied by a thinner neon light version of it.

Technique: CGI. This was designed and animated by Pacific Data Images.

Audio: Same as the 2nd and 3rd Sky Channel idents.

2nd ID (1 September 1993-31 October 1995)

Visuals: On a blue background with the words "SKY ONE" swirling around, there is a bunch of streaks fly in and form the SKY "ring", and 3 glass copies of the SKY logo, at an angle, forming one SKY logo. It turns to rotate us, and tilts back a little bit. The letters "O", "N", and "E", encased in silver "boxes", fly in, and turn blue, yellow, and red, respectively. The whole thing shines.

Technique: CGI. This was done by Novocom/GRFX.

Audio: A mellow tune (the "Sky Symphony") composed by Frank Gari, this time using Korg M1 and E-MU Proteus series synthesizers. An announcer says "From the Sky Satellite Network, this is Sky One."

3rd ID (December 1994)

Visuals: Within a window, there is a selection of different carol singers outside in the snow as they sing. The camera pans to a Christmas tree and a TV set featuring the respective Sky ident.

Technique: Live-action.

Audio: The carollers singing (depends on the ident), and an announcer saying "A very merry Christmas from all of us here at channel name."

4rd ID (1 November 1995-31 August 1996)

Visuals: On a swirling background which flashes, the SKY logo, in a long rectangle, rotates to face the screen while zooming out. Yellow "curtains" part, presenting the word "one", in a bold, italic font. The final result is over a background of silk curtains.

Technique: CGI done by Novocom.

Audio: A soothing tune, followed by a majestic 7 note horn fanfare (the 1995 "Sky Symphony"). An announcer says, "This is Sky One, part of the Sky Satellite Network."

5th ID (1 September 1996-31 October 1997)

Visuals: There is the SKY logo from before, from an upper-right angle. It rotates to face the camera with a flash, and the number "1" (or the number "2") fades in. Four comets streak behind the logo and the background swirls and twirls wildly. Sometimes, the rectangle that the logo is in is horizontal instead of vertical.

Technique: CGI by Novocom.

Audio: A jazzy tune ending with a orchestral hit (the 1996 "Sky Symphony"). An announcer says, "This is Sky One."

6th ID (Merry Christmas from Sky 1996) (December 1996)

Visuals: There is the respective Sky channel logo, and then the screen zooms out of a TV located in a living room containing a tree and a set of cards on top of the TV set. As the camera continues to zoom out, we reach out of a house where a family (consisting of a mother, father, daughter, son and a dog) is seen playing in the snow while the full moon rises. The outside landscape has a snowman and a large decorated pine tree and Santa Claus' sleigh is seen in the sky. Then, it's revealed that the whole scene is part of a snow globe, which reads "Merry Christmas from" in a white font, while the Sky egg logo appears to the right, and "1996" is on the bottom of the globe. The lighting (apart from the lights in the house inside the globe) dims as a candle lightly glows.

Variants: Although each channel used the same ident, the result with the family depends on the networks:

  • Sky 1 and Sky 2: The family is joined by a snow-covered Homer Simpson, where the family "present" him to the viewers.
  • Sky Movies/The Movie Channel/Sky Movies Gold: The family poses together, while the daughter holds a movie clapperboard.
  • Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3: The Father, Daughter and Son play a game of football while the mother and dog watch them.
  • Sky Soap/Travel/News: The family poses together in front.

Technique: Appears to be a mixture of CGI and 2D animation.

Audio: A festive tune with jingle bells and a four-note harp tune at the end.

Availability: This was used on all Sky channels during the 1996 Christmas Season.

7th ID (1 November 1997-30 September 1998)

Visuals: There is a live-action clip playing on a white background. On the top of the screen, the then-new Sky logo ("SKY" inside a yellow slanted oval with a silver outline) appears, and at the bottom of the screen, "one" appears.

Technique: Live-action and/or CGI.

Audio: Sounds and/or music that change depending on the ID.

Availability: The Sky Box Office 1 ID appears at the beginning of a VHS of a 1998 WWE One Night Only PPV that was held in the UK.

8th ID (1 October 1998-6 January 2002)

Visuals: There is a live-action scene that leads to the then-new Sky One logo ("SKY one" in a outline of a square, with part of the outline cut by the words) appearing.

Technique: Live-action.

Audio: Sounds and/or music that change depending on the ID.

9th ID (7 January 2002-20 September 2004)

Visuals: There is an activity that leads to the then-new Sky One logo (which is "SKY|ONE" with "SKY" being presented as a outline) appearing. The whole ID uses red or red-orange for its colour scheme.

Technique: Live-action and/or CGI.

Audio: Sounds that match the specific ID's actions.

10th ID (21 September 2004-30 October 2005)

Visuals: The Sky logo appears over a cloudy sky. As a Sky One ident, the Sky One logo from before appears over either a pool of water or a ocean.

Technique: Appears to be CGI.

Audio: Some music plays throughout.

11th ID (31 October 2005-14 February 2008)

Visuals: There is a city forming on a purple background, eventually leading to the channel's logo appearing.

Technique: CGI by Swedish design agency Kaktus Films.

Audio: Some music plays throughout, typically with a announcer spiel.

12th ID (15 February-31 August 2008)

Visuals: Blue glass half-semicircles and a glass circle appear and rotate as the specific channel's logo appears, all over a background the same colour as the half-semicircles and circle. The colour depends on the channel.

Technique: CGI created in-house at Sky Creative.

Audio: Some music plays throughout, typically with a announcer talking over it.

13th ID (31 August 2008-1 February 2011)

Visuals: A live-action scene is seen, in which a large numeral depicting the Sky channels' logo interacts with the environment. Much like the previous ID, the majority of the ident set is shared between Sky1, Sky2, and Sky3, with the difference being each individual channel's numeral and material state: in Sky1's case, it uses blue solid crystals.


The following six idents are used on Sky1, Sky2, and Sky3. All use the same scene except for the channel numeral depicted; for this page, Sky1's elements will be used for the descriptions here.

  • Boxes: In a city landscape, there is a cardboard box opening up to release a stream of blue crystals, which fall into another cardboard box nearby. Eventually, some of the crystals knock over the box and create a blue "1".
  • Twister: In a rural town, a tornado ("twister") emerges and wrecks havoc as a sign of a nearby diner falls apart. Soon, a car flies forward and the camera pans to the large "1", which soon cracks open to reveal the blue crystals once the car hits it.
  • Whack-a-Mole: On an amusement pier (Brighton Palace Pier), the screen passes through the rides and head towards an orange "Whack-a-Mole" machine, where attendees are hitting the spots featuring blue "1"'s, which smash into the blue crystals.
  • Bones: We see Seeley Booth (played by David Boreanaz) at a shooting range. In slow-motion, Seeley then aims and fires his gun; the bullet then hits the "1", causing it to shatter in the center.
  • Lost: A set of doors open, revealing Sayid Jarrah (played by Naveen Andrews), eyeing over the "1", which breaks itself apart with the crystals surrounding him as it causes Sayid to float in the air.
  • Christmas: The sequence begins on a carousel ride as it spins, revealing the setting to be a Christmas Fair. There is the "1" near it; it soon breaks apart and reforms into a large blue Christmas Tree, with a "1" on top.

The following idents are produced solely for Sky1.

  • The Simpsons: Introduced in 2010 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the series, this ident is in the disguise of an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon called "Slaughter is the Best Medicine". We see Itchy tormenting Scratchy through various ways until he ends up on a stretcher. Itchy uses a laser to carve out a "1" on the stretcher Scratchy is locked up to; Itchy fires the laser again towards the "1" and cause it to shatter into the crystals, which in the process cuts up Scratchy into his torso parts. A rare Sky2 variant exists.
  • Got to Dance: A large crowd on a busy street is seen dancing along; at the front of the crowd is the blue "1" animating akin to an audio visualizer. This ident would eventually be re-used to promote Pineapple Dance Studios; the difference being the latter has the blue "1" already formed and remains static throughout.
  • Fringe: We see Olivia Dunham (played by Anna Torv) and Peter Bishop (played by Joshua Jackson) at a laboratory; the camera then zooms into a microscope, where various blue microscopic crystals form the blue "1".
  • 24: At an underground car park is Renee Walker (played by Annie Wersching) dropping off from her car and aiming her gun; behind Renee is the "24" logo as a blue 3D object, which then morphs into the Sky1 logo.

Technique: Usually a combo of live-action and CGI. The main ident set was directed by Jonathan Yeo and produced by The Moving Picture Company and Sky Creative. The "Simpsons" ident uses hand-drawn animation produced by Gracie Films.

Audio: Each ID has its own unique jingle and/or sounds corresponding to the actions onscreen; the musical scores were composed by Freefarm.

14th ID (1 February 2011-8 July 2016)

Visuals: Over live action footage, a CGI 1, 2 or 3 is featured. The channel logo fades in towards the end.

Variants: In later years, Sky 1 started to use their own unique variants instead of the standard ones, promoting shows like Arrow, The Muppets, Stella and You, and Me and the Apocalypse, to name a few.

    • For instance, in the Muppets variant, Miss Piggy walks into view as the logo appears, covering her face. A annoyed Miss Piggy walks offscreen and reappears a moment later, this time standing directly in front of the logo.
    • The Arrow variant has the titular hero shoot the logo with an arrow, shattering it into many pieces before reforming a few seconds later.

Technique: A combo of live-action and CGI.

Audio: As with the previous ident, all of them feature their own unique jingle and/or sounds.

Availability: The idents might be preserved on sites like TV-Ark.

15th ID (19 April 2016-8 October 2017)

Visuals: A blue "1" appears on a white background. The "1" spins and forms a tornado of multicoloured crystal gems. Eventually, the camera zooms in as the "1" stops spinning and the tornado disappears, leaving many gems on the ground.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Sounds corresponding to the actions onscreen over some music.

16th ID (9 October 2017-1 September 2021)

Visuals: There is the final Sky One logo (a white rectangle with a blue Sky logo and a blue rectangle with "one" on it) on a blue background.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio: An announcer spiel over some music.

Sky Channel
Sky One
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