Sky has announced that its bagged the rights to show golf’s oldest major for five years from 2017 onwards.
All four days of the British Open Championship will be broadcast live and exclusive by Sky Sports following an agreement with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
The BBC, which previously broadcast the tournament live, will instead show a two-hour daily highlights package every day between 8:00pm and 10:00pm and provide coverage on BBC Radio 5 live and on the BBC Sport website.
Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A said: “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.”
Fresh from broadcasting the 2014 Ryder Cup live (as well as testing out fancy new 4K rigs), Sky Sports will be able to show over 100 tournaments a year, including all four majors, the Ryder Cup plus every event on the European Tour and PGA Tour from 2017.
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.
“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.”
The new rights agreement also sees Sky Sports punters getting exclusive access to live coverage of the Walker Cup in 2019 at Royal Liverpool.
Sky TV subscribers will be able to tee off with the full Sky Sports package, which is currently priced at £24.50/month on top of a package of Sky channels, which start at £21.50/month for the Original Bundle.
Non-Sky TV customers will still be able to stream the action live via Now TV. Sky Sports passes on Now TV currently costs £6.99 for 24 hours access while weekly passes can be snapped up for £10.99. Note that rates for Now TV are due to change in March.