Wednesday 13 November 2019

BBC's wider reach helps secure television rights deal for US PGA

It is a coup for the corporation which took flak last year when, after 61 years, the Open switched to Sky Sports. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA
It is a coup for the corporation which took flak last year when, after 61 years, the Open switched to Sky Sports. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

James Corrigan

The BBC will today announce it has secured the live rights to the US  PGA Championship, meaning that from next month it will once again show all four days of a Major championship.

It is a coup for the corporation which took flak last year when, after 61 years, the Open switched to Sky Sports. The subscription giants are this week's broadcasters, with the BBC limited to highlights.

Many assumed that it heralded the end of BBC TV as a serious player in golf, with the powers-that-be finding it too expensive. The BBC was unable to convince the R&A to adopt a similar model used for the Masters, which would have seen the corporation retain two days of live coverage.

Even Peter Alliss, the veteran commentator who has become synonymous with BBC's golf output, sounded resigned to his employer never being the main broadcasters of a Major again. However, this opportunity arose after Sky's contract negotiations last week broke down with the PGA of America, and the BBC was quick to act.

"It was too good a deal to pass by," a BBC insider said, revealing that BT Sport and Twitter were also in the hunt. However, the PGA of America was seduced by the reach of the BBC as a free-to-air provider, as well as by its website and social media capabilities. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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