The successor to Sony's Betacam, Betacam SP was launched in 1986 and went on to become the most successful general-purpose professional video format of the 20th Century.
Betacam SP was adopted as the standard format for field work such as ENG (electronic news gathering), but was also good enough to be used for edit mastering. Every respectable studio had Betacam SP capabilities.
The "SP" stands for "Superior Performance", which was achieved by using a metal-formulated tape instead of oxide. Horizontal resolution was increased to around 360 lines. Tape sizes were the same as Betacam.