Sky land Open live rights from 2017


Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Sky Sports has been awarded exclusive rights to live television coverage of The Open Championship in a five-year deal from 2017, the R&A has announced.

Sky is taking over the rights from the BBC, which has had a 60-year partnership with golf’s oldest major.

The new deal commences at what will be the 146th Open Championship, being played at Royal Birkdale from July 16-23 2017.

The BBC will offer two-hour daily highlights and live coverage on radio and online.

The R&A, the sport’s governing body, said the new agreement will allow it to provide significantly increased financial support to golf participation initiatives in the UK and Ireland.

Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, said: “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, on radio and through digital channels.

“Importantly, the new agreement will enable us to increase substantially our support for golf in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said: “The Open is the world’s pre-eminent golf championship and we are committed to taking coverage of the event to new levels.”

Barbara Slater, the BBC’s director of sport, said, “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.”

Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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