The BBC gave up live coverage of the Open Championship in 2015 and now only show highlights

No Terrestrial TV Golf: A Successor To Faldo Or Lyle Has Been Missed

The Open Championship returns this week and once again golf returns to the BBC.

However, the tournament will be shown live and exclusively on Sky Sports over here in the UK with the BBC offering evening highlights shows.

The BBC gave up their live rights to the Open in 2015 with Sky Sports hosting at Troon in 2016 for the first time.

That was after the BBC gave up live rights to other tournaments like the Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship in recent years.

Golf Monthly’s Editor-at-large Bill Elliott is in Portrush with us this week and believes that possible successors to the Major-winning likes of Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle have been lost due to a lack of live terrestrial golf.

“That’s a great pity, not just for the BBC but for golf itself because obviously that’s where you get maximum audiences,” Bill Elliott told the Golf Monthly podcast on the subject of live Open coverage being behind a paywall.

“I think Sky who do the golf now as far as most people are concerned – although the BBC will be doing highlights of this Open but those are highlights – I think Sky do a fantastic job. They can allocate time to the sport that the BBC simply couldn’t.

“It’s a great shame that when the BBC formed BBC 3 or BBC 4 they had the opportunity, and there was a great move at the time, to make one of those channels a dedicated sports channel which in effect would have meant they would have had the time. Not just for golf but for all sports.

“In the end that idea unfortunately didn’t come to fruition and in the end, Rupert Murdoch and Sky’s money won the day.

“While those of us who choose to afford or can afford to have Sky it means that we get to see a lot more golf than we otherwise would do and I’m one of those people.

“There are people who can’t afford to do that and the game is being lost.

“Now I think that’s the best part of 30 years so that’s minimally three generations.

“A lot of whom, a majority of whom, will not have been exposed to golf and therefore perhaps a successor to Nick Faldo or Sandy Lyle has been missed, almost certainly.”

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