BBC quits Open coverage a year early

Golf Equipment

BBC requests release from contract; Sky Sports to broadcast a year early at Royal Troon.

The BBC has binned its live coverage of The Open a year earlier than expected, the R&A has confirmed.

The R&A, which runs the Open, was approached by the BBC to discuss getting released from the contract which would have seen the broadcasting company provide live coverage of the 145th Open at Royal Troon next year.

Sky Sports has agreed to take on responsibility, and R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: “We are looking forward to world-class coverage of The Open and I know some fans will be disappointed. The relationship between The R&A and the BBC spans more than 60 years and we understand the challenging circumstances that the BBC is currently presented with.”

There will be no additional revenue received by The R&A in 2016 as a result of the new arrangement.

‘We understand the challenging circumstances the BBC is currently presented with.’ The BBC will instead produce highlights of the event, in addition to radio coverage and enhanced digital offerings.

Slumbers added: “We are committed to delivering a spectacular edition of The Open next year at Royal Troon and working with both Sky Sports and the BBC we will ensure compelling coverage for millions of fans throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

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