Sky TV channels
By Mike Whitehead | Tuesday, July 6th 2021
In the increasingly crowded subscription TV market place, Sky is still seen as the premier provider of quality programming across all genres. From Sky Sports to Sky Cinema, and the coveted Sky Atlantic, we've got all the details of exactly what channels Sky offers.
With the largest channel choice of all the Pay TV providers, Sky has a competitive pricing structure to match. For a full outline of everything Sky has to offer, through all the different packages, this guide will tell you all you need to know.
Most popular Sky TV channels
With well over 400 channels available on Sky TV if you max out all your optional extras, that list is far too long to cover in any meaningful way in this guide. Instead we've picked out what, in our opinion, are the top ten best TV channels on Sky. You can see the full list of channels on Sky's own website.
- 1. Sky Atlantic – This has to be Sky's most sought-after channel. Most of the best content it puts out is thanks to Sky's exclusive deal with HBO in the United States, bringing across shows like Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, True Detective, Riviera, Billions, Tin Star and many more
- 2. Sky Sports – It won't come as standard and it's not cheap to bolt it on, but any sports nut would be crazy not to find a way to work Sky Sports into their monthly budget. These days there are 11 channels, most of them covering a specific sport (football, cricket, F1 and so on), with a few such as Mix, Main Event and Arena showing a mix of the sports left over. You will also get Sky Sports News
- 3. Sky Cinema – Again, you will have to pay a fair bit extra for Sky Cinema, but it still provides excellent value for money with 11 movie channels and on demand access to over 1,000 movies at any given time included in the price
- 4. Sky One – Provides a solid mix of programmes you won't find elsewhere, including A League Of Their Own, Blacklist, Modern Family, In The Long Run, The Simpsons, Sick Of It and many, many more
- 5. Netflix – Once shunned by Sky as a competitor, Sky now includes a Netflix subscription in your deal, opening up access to literally thousands of shows and movies including Netflix Originals such as Stranger Things, The Witcher, Lost In Space, Altered Carbon and many, many more
- 6. Discovery – Not quite the source of factual documentaries it once was, Discovery still provides a great deal of 'factutainment' – shows based in reality, but with the drama cranked up for effect. Wheeler Dealers, Fast N’ Loud, Deadliest Catch, Expedition X and Gold Rush are just some of the highlights
- 7. SyFy – Killjoys, Krypton, Battlestar Galactica, Futurama, The Twilight Zone. The quality of SyFy's own output has increased dramatically over the years and there is a wealth of great stuff to watch here
- 8. Sky Box Sets – Previously only available as a paid-for extra, Sky Box Sets is now included with any Sky TV package as standard, giving access to hundreds of TV series
- 9. Fox – Offers a wide range of high quality American shows including Family Guy, War Of The Worlds, The Walking Dead, The Mentalist, NCIS and many more
- 10. Indian and Asian channels – Sky is the only service to bundle all its Indian and Asian channels in as standard, with an incredible 19 channels to choose from including movies, entertainment, news and more
Sky’s core offering – Sky Signature – comes with a whopping 300 channels including all the familiar Freeview TV favourites; BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 (including HD) and so on, along with. In addition, there’s a range of entertainment channels such as Dave, Quest and Alibi. If films are more your thing, you can watch Film4 and TCM.
300 channels does sound a lot. However, be mindful there’s quite a bit of repetition included here. For example, how many news channels do you really need if they all have the same headlines? We all have our favourite and will simply stick with that.
There’s also +1 channels included if you want to watch a programme that may clash with something else, along with a number of channels that are quite niche, including religious, adult-only viewing and shopping channels.
Sky’s premium channel offering begins with its Signature package. Essentially, any premium channel is one that is not classed as Freeview. Whether you would personally class some of these channels as premium viewing is subject to opinion.
Nevertheless, the Sky Signature bundle includes an extra 150 channels in addition to the Freeview ones, and also includes free access to Sky Box Sets – previously a chargeable extra – giving access to over 500 box set series.
Premium entertainment channels
Over the last few years, Sky has made great strides with its original programme offering and has earned a terrific reputation for quality output. The Signature bundle includes Sky’s crown jewel – Sky Atlantic – which is, of course, home of the award-winning fantasy drama, Game of Thrones.
In addition, you’ll find many other awesome programmes such as Billions, Westworld, Riviera and Gangs of London to name but a few.
Sky One is another channel that has massively improved its output and includes The Blacklist, The Flight Attendant, Strike Back, A League of Their Own and everyone’s favourite cartoon comedy, The Simpsons.
You can also grab all the latest new programming available through Sky Living, Fox and Universal. If you’re a comedy fan, in addition to Dave, there’s Comedy Central and Gold where you can enjoy all the old vintage classics such as Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers.
Premium factual channels
Sky’s competitors cannot really come close to the offering it has for factual and documentary channels. Whatever channel you’re looking for in this genre, if you can’t find it with Sky you’ll struggle to find it anywhere.
National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Crime & Investigation, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and History Channel are all to be found with Sky’s Signature package.
Premium kids' channels
Adding the Kids bundle to your basic Entertainment package should keep the little ones happy with a suite of channels to satisfy all their needs. With eight kids channels, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoonito, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr, Nick Jr Too and Baby TV, there should be something for everyone.
Premium music channels
No matter what your age or what type of music you like to listen to, there’s something for all of you with Sky’s range of music channels.
Rock and Pop lovers will enjoy the four MTV channels included: MTV Music, MTV Base, MTV Hits and MTV Classic. In addition you can watch Box Hits, KISS, Magic and Kerrang. There’s even a NOW 80s channel for any A-Ha or Rick Astley fans out there.
If music documentaries are your thing, the Sky Arts channel has a great selection available as part of its regular programming schedule.
Premium movie channels
For all film fanatics, Sky Cinema will give you everything you’re looking for and can be added on to the basic Signature package. In total you get an extra eleven channels dedicated to films across a range of categories.
Sky Premiere, as the name suggests, is where you will find all the most recent cinema releases shown on UK TV for the first time. Sky Hits includes a range of titles that were both a critical and box office success when they were originally released, such as The Goldfinch and The Secret Garden.
Sky Greats has a fantastic range of diverse, all-time classic movies from the more recent to golden oldies including Wayne’s World and Gandhi. Sky Comedy provides the laughs with titles such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and romcoms such as Hitch.
You can see plenty of Drama and Thriller titles with dedicated channels to these genres. Sky Classics has a wonderful range of timeless movies including Lawrence of Arabia and It’s a Wonderful Life. With on demand, you can watch all of these movies, whenever you like. If you love to be scared then Sci-Fi and Horror is a must watch with everything from An American Werewolf in London to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Premium sports channels – Sky Sports
Back in its infancy, Sky was very much seen by some as the bully in the playground, taking all the best sports away from poor old Auntie Beeb. However, whilst it’s had its ups and downs over the years and has had to work tirelessly to get its various formats correct, Sky’s sports selection is undeniably second to none.
Its Sports package is the foundation upon which Sky has secured its success. More recently, along with its Cinema package, Sky has conducted a very successful re-branding of its sports offering with the result being a much more focused, concise selection centred on particular sports rather than a mix of everything.
Sky Sports Main Event has all the big events happening here and now. The big golf major, the cricket test match, and the big premier league clash – you’ll find them all here. The other premium channels are all centred on a specific sport. Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports F1 all have programming totally focused on their respective sports.
In addition to Sky Sports Premier League there’s Sky Sports Football, which offers programming away from the top-flight and focused on lower league matches.
There’s no doubt Sky has suffered some setbacks of late with increased competition from BT Sport who managed to capture a healthy portion of Premier League games, both European club competitions and, most recently, The Ashes in Australia. This competition is only going to become fiercer as time goes on but, for now, Sky’s sports package is still the best overall and well worth adding on to your basic Signature package.