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Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
Image: Owen Humphreys

After 60 years of showing The Open, BBC has lost its TV rights to Sky

The oldest of golf’s four majors won’t be broadcast live on free-to-air television from 2017.
Feb 3rd 2015, 1:32 PM 11,269 36

SKY SPORTS WILL show The Open Championship exclusively live for the first time after agreeing a five-year deal with The R&A.

The subscription channel will reportedly pay over €19m-a-year as part of the deal which will see them air all four days of the major from 2017.

BBC, who have owned the broadcast rights for the past 60 years, will now offer a two-hour daily highlights package and live radio coverage. The news comes a week after they agreed to pay €270m to retain Premier League show Match of the Day for three more.

“The Open is the world’s preeminent golf championship and we are committed to taking coverage of the event to new levels,” said Barney Francis, Sky Sports Managing Director.

“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.”

Barbara Slater, Director of Sport at the BBC, added:“We’re obviously disappointed that we were unable to retain live TV coverage of The Open Championship.

“However, we’re delighted 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.”

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