Sky Sports will become the UK exclusive live broadcaster of the Open Championship golf from 2017 after outbidding long time broadcaster the BBC.
The deal agreed with the R&A runs for 5 years. It had been rumoured Sky were aggresively looking to get coverage exclusively for all four days rather than trying to share coverage with the BBC, similar to The Masters. The Sky deal also sees them getting the 2019 Walker Cup. The BBC will retain a 2 hour highlights slot from the 2017 Open airing each night of the tournament.
The BBC will remain the place to see the Open live in 2015 and 2016.
“The Open is the world’s preeminent golf championship and we are committed to taking coverage of the event to new levels. We offer something for every sports fan and this exciting agreement for The Open means our customers can now enjoy all four Majors live. Sky Sports has a passion for golf that has spanned two decades, offering unrivalled commitment, airtime and promotion as well as year-round innovative coverage. We look forward to working with The R&A to entertain and engage new and existing golf fans through our multi-platform coverage and also at the grassroots level via Sky Academy.” – Managing Director, Sky Sports, Barney Francis
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, added: “We believe this is the best result for The Open and for golf. The way people consume live sport is changing significantly and this new agreement ensures fans have a range of options for enjoying the Championship on television and through digital channels. Sky Sports has an excellent track record in covering golf across its platforms and has become the home of live golf coverage over recent years. We are very much looking forward to working with them to develop and enhance the coverage of The Open.
“We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the BBC and, although the nature of that relationship is changing from 2017, we are delighted that the BBC will broadcast prime-time highlights and that the Championship will continue to benefit from extensive live coverage on Radio 5 Live and online.”
“We’re obviously disappointed that we were unable to retain live TV coverage of The Open Championship. However, we’re pleased to be continuing our 60-year partnership with the R&A and feel that a comprehensive two-hour highlights programme – a format which has already proven successful – in a prime-time slot over four days will allow us to continue to bring all the best action and key moments from The Open to a large free-to-air audience on TV, radio and online.” – Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater