On this very day 30 years ago sky network was launched:
* Sky Channel, later renamed Sky One;
* Eurosport, a joint-venture between the European Broadcast Union and News International;
* Sky Movies, a fee-based all-film channel;
* Sky News, a 24-hour news channel.
Sky Movies (and their other channels) didn't have a subscription at launch, they were all free to air.
Those with the early set top boxes had to either buy new ones or buy adaptors when they did. Sky Movies went subscription in 1990,
I believe you were also able to pick up a few other channels like The children's channel, MTV and Landscape.
No Landscape then, was it ever on satellite?
There was Lifestyle and Screensport as well as the German, Scandinavian and Dutch channels also on Astra
The Sky channel was overhauled to be more UK focused, which I have to say might have been a bad idea to start with, since over 8million across the EU watched the channel, but its fate was sealed On 31 July 1989, when it was was renamed Sky One and closed in most European countries.
Not sure why you think it was a bad idea , there might have been 8 million people watching but the problem with pan-european channels is that they don't work in terms of advertising. There aren't many companies that can or want to put out the same advert out across Europe. Making it UK centric not only helps with ad sales but also makes programming easier and when subscription started years later it made that a lot easier too