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Sky UK Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sky plc, with its current company directors being Andrew Griffith and Christopher Taylor.The present service can trace its heritage back to 1989, when BSky B's predecessors Sky Television plc and British Satellite Broadcasting encrypted their respective film channels – Sky Movies and The Movie Channel which required viewers to get decoding equipment and a subscription to watch the channels.Key selling points were the improvement in picture and sound quality, increased number of channels and an interactive service branded Open....now called Sky Active, BSky B competed with the ONdigital (later ITV Digital) terrestrial offering and cable services.Media commentators had debated whether the figure could be reached as the growth in subscriber numbers elsewhere in Europe flattened.The Daily Mail newspaper reported in 2012 that the UK government's benefits agency was checking claimants' "Sky TV bills to establish if a woman in receipt of benefits as a single mother is wrongly claiming to be living alone" – as, it claimed, subscription to sports channels would betray a man's presence in the household.
In Q3 1998, there were 6 million 'multichannel' TV homes in the UK (i.e.Confirming it had reached its target, the broadcaster said its reach into 36% of households in the UK represented an audience of more than 25m people.The target was first announced in August 2004, since then an additional 2.4m customers had subscribed to Sky's direct-to-home service.In May 2006, the Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports was awarded two of the six Premier League packages that the English FA offered to broadcasters. In February 2015, Sky bid £4.2bn for a package of 120 premier league games across the three seasons from 2016.This represented an increase of 70% on the previous contract and was said to be £1bn more than the company had expected to pay.
It is the UK's largest pay-TV broadcaster with 11 million customers as of 2015.