Sky Loses Live From the Masters

Tiger Woods may be live from The Masters this year but not Rich Lerner and Brandel Chamblee.

Sky Sport is no longer carrying these commentators’ erudite analysis or evocative colour pieces on the signature Golf Channel show, Golf Central Live From the Masters.

While it is providing four feeds of the world’s most prestigious golf tournament, along with On the Range coverage of the key players practising, it has inexplicably discontinued what has been a staple of not only its Masters telecasts but also of golf’s other majors.

Sky has not disclosed the reasons for this, other than to say, “We don’t have the rights to Live From the Masters.”

Sport rights have become increasingly complex in the streaming era. But Given Sky is the home of televised golf in this market, and no one else would be interested in picking up a show that analyses an event it can’t broadcast or stream here, you can only presume that Sky opted not to renew the rights.

If so, it’s a baffling decision when Sky’s golf channel, Sky Sport 6, has plenty on room on its schedule to accommodate such programming.

It continues an erosion of Golf Channel magazine programming which, if for cost-cutting reasons, is especially galling when Sky’s just hiked the cost of a Sky Sport subscription by $3 a month.

Indeed, in some respects Sky used to provide golf fans a better service when its coverage of the sport was scattered among several channels.

At least then we were treated to a variety of programming, from tips to lifestyle to news and commentary, rather than just a largely endless loop of tournaments and highlights, from the notable to the obscure.

You can argue that SS6 provides a far greater diversity of tournaments, from women’s to different tours around the world, but just as critical to the channel should be Golf Central’s analysis and insights.

And never more so than with this year’s Masters: with all the speculation about Woods’ latest comeback bid, and this being the 25th anniversary of his first Green Jacket win, Live From the Masters’ absence from the SS6 schedule is even more deeply felt.

Otherwise, Sky’s Masters coverage is spread across channels 6, 8, 9 and pop-ups as required.

In addition to the main event, there will be dedicated coverage of the 15th and 16th holes, Amen Corner and feature groups.

And if you do want to catch excerpts from Live From the Masters, they can be streamed here.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

8 Responses to “Sky Loses Live From the Masters”

  1. WOW, there is talk Warner Bros. Discovery may open in countries that don’t have Discovery+ first like in the Asia/Pacific regions. I think that sounds like New Zealand and Australia ?

  2. I’ve got to say I’m disappointed they’re not showing Live From … this year. I hadn’t twigged until this week, but it appears most, if not all, of the Golf Channel content is gone (save for actual tournament broadcasts). A real loss not having that coverage wrap around the majors this year.

  3. Yes, Clint, it’s a real shame that Sky has cut back or lost its Golf Channel content. LFTM is an excellent format, combining knowledge, wit and colour with great co-hosts (although not as good as when Frank Nobilo was on board), fantastic contributors, and invaluable press conference and behind-the-greens coverage.

  4. Now that Warner Bros. Discovery is now official, does it mean Three has got new owners, also does it mean we can expect an announcement from Discovery NZ about Warner Bros. Discovery coming to New Zealand ? so many questions and possibilities ?

  5. Yes, Trevor, it certainly does mean new ownership for Three but it’s less clear what the change means in the short term. Three years from now WBD will be a major force in this market but WB’s legacy deal with Sky will delay that in the meantime.

  6. Three years is a lifetime away. I bet Sky were laughing when they did the deal with Warner Bros. I hope Warner Bros. Discovery New Zealand will make some sort of announcement ?

  7. You can bet on that, Trevor — it should open the door to big improvements on ThreeNow, which presumably will morph into some form of WBD — just without the HBO content.

  8. Yes, I think you are right Philip. Looking at what they own is mighty impressive even without HBO Max. The asset list on their Wikipedia page is HUGE. I wonder what changes will happen to Three, it’s interesting that NewsHub made no mention of it. I found it puzzling ?

Leave a Reply