I have been reading a dissertation done by someone twenty years ago about government broadcasting policy between 1978 and 1992. I was surprised that there was a plan to connect the whole country up to cable TV.
I think satellite has improved with initially the BBC going unencrypted followed by the other main broadcasters.
From what I remember of the time, the government dug up every road to lay fibre-optic cable as they saw this as the future for broadcasting and information technology (who would have thought that a government would have such foresight) But all that happened was (initially) a telephone service to rival BT, followed a while later by cable TV (provided by Cable & Wireless, who turned into NTL, who turned into Virgin Media).
My brother worked for them (Cable & Wireless and then NTL) and I remember asking him at the time whether they were going to provide internet via cable modems (the US were already well into rolling that technology out and I had a dial-up internet service at the time). He said that the company were only interested in telephone and cable TV.
What did surprise me, many years later, is that they are laying new fibre to provide modern broadband services.
Of course, Sky have grown and either bought their rivals out (BSB) or put them out of business (On Digital), or just kept them in check (Virgin).
Anyway, I've now programmed the box for Sky One for quali and race. Happy that it's there, but would have preferred the C4 team providing the live coverage.