As far as I'm aware of, the Sky Box Office programmes use copy protection signalling as I heard of others (including neighbours that live nearby) being unable to record from these channels even to a VCR. However, what surprises me here is that the Panasonic has recorded something, even if just the sound, since most DVD recorders such as the Lite-On series will immediately stop recording the moment they detect copy protection signalling. :rolleyes:
If you have a separate DVD player handy, you can try playing a Macrovision protected DVD in the player and then start recording this on your Panasonic DVD recorder to see what happens. Before you load the DVD in the player, start the recording on the DVD recorder. If the recording on your Panasonic plays back fine up until the loading point of the DVD (where Macrovision kicks in) and then the picture goes black, then this is an indication that the black screen issue you have with the Sports programming is copy protection signalling.