BBC loses rights to broadcast The Open Championship to Sky Sports from 2017
The end of one of sport’s longest partnerships was confirmed today as the BBC formally surrendered the rights to The British Open Championship.
Golf’s governing body, the Royal & Ancient, announced the game’s oldest major had been lost to terrestrial television, with Sky Sports awarded an exclusive contract to show the tournament from 2017.
The BBC refused to compete with an offer from Sky thought to be in the region of double the £7million a year it is paying under the current deal.
That meant next year’s tournament will signal the end of what will have been a 61-year association between the corporation and the R&A.
It also made the Open the latest event partially protected for terrestrial coverage to be lured from free-to-air networks onto pay-TV.