PGA Championship goes online as Eleven Sports snap up live rights

After all the commotion caused by TV coverage of last year's PGA Championship, this time around it's going online with Eleven Sports pipping Sky Sports and the BBC

The PGA Championship TV coverage caused quite a stir last year. First off everyone was upset because they had paid a lot of money for Sky Sports, which then lost the rights to the final major of 2017. Then the BBC stepped in to save the day for British golf fans, only to be then attacked for its coverage of the event – despite only having three weeks to prepare.

Well, it’s all set to change again this year, with Eleven Sports picking up the championship they used to call Glory’s Last Shot.

Eleven Sports have secured exclusive rights to the PGA Championship and will allow free access to the event, which will be held at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri from August 9-12.

A statement from Eleven Sports reads: “There will be three ways to watch the action on Eleven Sports. All four rounds will be shown live and free of charge through a seven-day trial on the Eleven Sports website, and on iOS and Android mobile and tablet apps. The first two rounds will also be streamed for free on Facebook Live through the Eleven Sports UK page.”

The statement then goes on to promise at least eight and a half hours of continuous live golf on each day throughout the tournament, as well as highlights available on the website.

The coverage will be presented by Dominik Holyer and Anna Whiteley.

How to watch the 2018 PGA Championship

Thursday

4pm-7pm: Featured groups; Eleven Sports website, mobile and tablet apps, Facebook Live
7pm-close of play: Full coverage; Eleven Sports website, mobile and tablet apps, Facebook Live

Friday

4pm-7pm: Featured groups; Eleven Sports website, mobile and tablet apps, Facebook Live
7pm-close of play: Full coverage; Eleven Sports website, mobile and tablet apps, Facebook Live

Saturday

5pm-close of play: Full coverage; Eleven Sports website, mobile and tablet apps, Facebook Live

Sunday

5pm-close of play: Full coverage; Eleven Sports website, mobile and tablet apps, Facebook Live

NCG’s verdict

It makes a lot of sense. We’re increasingly moving into an online-first world and coverage of golf, as well as other sports, is continuing to progress each year.

Some people won’t like it – particularly those who fork out a lot of money for ‘The Home of Major Golf’ Sky Sports – but it’s free golf for all to access, and that can only be a good thing.

As for Sky Sports, it’s an understandable decision. The PGA Championship clashes with the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, while the move to may from 2019 would mean Sky having to fork out twice in the same financial year for the same event.

As a Sky customer myself, it’s frustrating because their coverage of golf is second-to-none. But all I really care about is live golf, particularly the majors, being available to the masses.

Alex Perry

 

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