Wednesday 13 December 2017

Irish viewers face US PGA TV blackout as Sky Sports loses rights

Jimmy Walker poses with the trophy after winning the US PGA Championship (AP)
Jimmy Walker poses with the trophy after winning the US PGA Championship (AP)
The PGA’s chief commercial officer Jeff Price last night revealed that the satellite channel had lost the rights to broadcast the event as they aim for “new platforms”. Photo: Sportsfile

William S Callahan

Next month's US PGA Championship will not be broadcast on Sky Sports, meaning Irish viewers look likely to face a TV blackout from events at Quail Hollow.

The PGA's chief commercial officer Jeff Price last night revealed that the satellite channel had lost the rights to broadcast the event as they aim for "new platforms".

"We had a good partnership with Sky but the 2017 US PGA Championship will not be on Sky," said Price. "It was a multi-year deal that was up. Ultimately, one of the key things for us is scale of distribution and obviously with all the new platforms that consumers are engaging with, we want to make sure we reach all of them.

"Broad distribution, multi-platform distribution is the key objective for us," he said. "I'm not in a position yet to share all the details but we want the ability to engage golf fans of all ages across all platforms.

"We want the broadest distribution we can possibly have and are very excited about the plan we have in place."

Sky had shown the US PGA for the past decade, including Rory McIlroy's two victories in 2012 and 2014 and Pádraig Harrington's triumph at Oakland Hills in 2008.

Meanwhile, at the US Women's Open, Ireland's representatives Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow have plenty of work to do if they are to make the cut.

Amateur Maguire limited the damage after opening her round with two bogeys, however, any momentum she took from picking up a shot on her sixth hole was handed back when she bogeyed the next. Again, she bogeyed consecutive holes on her back nine, however a birdie and two pars to close left her on three-over, nine shots behind China's Shanshan Feng out in front.

Meadow couldn't find a birdie in her five-over round of 77.

US Women's Open,

Live, Sky Sports 4, 7.0pm

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