Following a relationship that spans over 60 years of broadcast coverage, it has been announced that the BBC will no longer be showing the British Open.
It was originally agreed that the 2016 Open at Royal Troon would be the final Open championship to feature on BBC television, with Sky Sports due to take over coverage from 2017 on.
But the BBC have now requested to immediately terminate its contract with the Royal and Ancient golf club, the body in control of the event. The request was accepted and Sky will now step in to cover the 2016 Open instead.
Reports say that Sky were offering double the £7million a year rate from the BBC, thus forcing the broadcaster to withdraw from its 60 year association. The R&A confirmed that it would not receive any additional revenue as a result of this new arrangement.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said:
We are looking forward to world-class coverage of The Open from our partners at Sky Sports and are grateful that they have stepped in a year early.It is sad to see the BBC’s live coverage of The Open end and I know some fans will be disappointed.
The BBC will broadcast prime time highlights starting in 2016 and will continue its radio coverage.