We asked for your thoughts on the matter across our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and the forum.
Reaction: BBC loses Open TV to Sky
As you may have seen, it was announced today that Sky had claimed the rights to The Open Championship from 2017. A new era for the BBC’s golf coverage will come in the form of a daily two-hour highlights programme and 5 Live radio.
In an open letter, Chief Executive of The R&A, Peter Dawson said,
‘I recognise that this new broadcast model represents a significant change and I understand that change, particularly where it involves the BBC, is controversial.
We have considered this new agreement extremely carefully and firmly believe that by working with the two leading sports broadcasters for the UK and Ireland we have achieved the best result not just for the future of The Open but for golf as a whole.’
Many golfers attribute BBC coverage of The Open for inspiring them to take up the game. A high profile example is Lee Westwood, who just last week said,
‘I wouldn’t be playing the game if I hadn’t watched Greg Norman win The Open at Turnberry in 1986… you have to question the role of The Royal & Ancient… they are the guardians of the game but it seems to be money-driven’.
Imurg, on the Golf Monthly forum said, ‘I turned to the game having seen Faldo and Woosie on the box. Moving The Open to Sky will prevent newcomers of all ages from getting the bug’.
Liverpoolphil, on the Golf Monthly forum, agreed, ‘I don’t know how they expect to gain more viewers into the sport when they restrict the people who can watch it’. He continued, ‘I personally prefer the BBC coverage – it doesn’t have all the gadgets that Sky does but all the gadgets cover the poor team of commentators’.
Piece, on the Golf Monthly forum said, ‘The corporation [BBC] hasn’t taken golf seriously for years thus it can’t expect to dine out on historical links’.
Lobthewedge, on the Golf Monthly forum, was also critical of the BBC, ‘They [Sky] do a great job with the regular golf coverage and will no doubt breathe life into what was stagnant BBC coverage’.
What do you think of the new deal? Do you prefer Sky or BBC golf coverage? How do you think it will affect golf participation rates? Get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, the Golf Monthly forum or by leaving a comment below.