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BBC under fire for rejecting ‘multiple offers’ of free PGA Tour coverage

The BBC has supposedly removed all doubt about its unwillingness to show golf as reports say they won't even broadcast it for free. Matt Chivers explains
 

The BBC has stuck another dagger into the future of its golf coverage by reportedly rejecting the chances to show PGA Tour coverage for free.

According to the Telegraph, the BBC has refused on “multiple occasions” to show highlights of the PGA Tour even when the corporation wasn’t required to pay for the rights.

Highlights of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass were allegedly on the table, but the BBC has asserted that golf broadcasting “doesn’t suit the demographic” to which the platform wants to appeal.

This news probably won’t shock golf fans who have already been made aware of the BBC’s unwillingness to show golf, particularly the four major championships that attract the largest audiences.

The Telegraph says the PGA Tour was up for allowing the BBC to show highlights of the previous weekend’s action on Monday nights, or whenever it was deemed appropriate without paying rights fees.

The BBC’s rejection seems more damning at a time when players such as Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Tyrrell Hatton are flying the flag so well for the home nations in the states.

bbc

Golf fans experienced significant frustration at the end of 2022 when Fitzpatrick was neglected by the Sports Personality of the Year award, with golf as a whole being given a very small segment during the awards ceremony.

The Masters is set to be removed from the BBC’s sports coverage for the first time in 56 years and this has effectively banished the sport from the popular terrestrial channel.

Sky Sports has secured the rights to the Masters, the US Open, the PGA Championship, and the Open Championship, with the broadcasting giant often dedicating a whole channel to golf’s oldest major.

2020 marked the first time in more than half a century that live golf wasn’t shown on the BBC. The voices of Peter Alliss, Ken Brown, and Andrew Cotter became synonymous with settling down and enjoying an evening of action.

In a year, and a week at TPC Sawgrass, where the controversy of LIV Golf has dominated again, golf fans will no doubt be disappointed to hear that top-class professional golf will continue to be subscription-based only.

BBC radio will reportedly maintain its coverage of the Masters and there is a glimmering hope that renegotiation could take place with Augusta National.

The year’s first major will play host to a mixture of PGA Tour stars and LIV Golf rebels who have been allowed to compete on the hallowed turf in Georgia while their exemptions still remain.

Will you miss the BBC’s coverage of live golf? Tweet me and let me know!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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