Sky Aces British Open Golf Rights

Sky has just announced three years’ exclusive live coverage of the world’s oldest golf tournament, The Open Championship.

The terms of the deal appear to have been finalised only today as the satcaster has still to confirm screening times of the July 18-21 event.

Normally, coverage of golf’s majors is announced well in advance, with broadcast details published weeks ahead of transmission.

But this year The Open Championship didn’t figure as a highlight in July’s SkyWatch magazine and hasn’t been included in the listings updates emailed to media.

Sky’s confirmation of the deal comes only weeks after it lost the rights to English Premier League soccer, which led to speculation feeds of other international sport for which Sky doesn’t provide outside broadcast coverage, like golf, could be vulnerable to new digital platforms that bypass broadcast for online distribution.

Such competition can only be good for making Sky more on the ball given a few years ago its Open coverage was squeezed by its Tour de France commitent.

And it was only last year that Sky angered golf fans by electing to screen the Open in SD because it had exhausted its HD capacity for the Olympics.

That was a bad judgment call given how much Sky over-estimated interest in the Olympics and how The Open Championship is the only golf major that partly can be viewed here in primetime.

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