The BBC has reportedly turned down ‘multiple’ offers to show coverage on the PGA Tour ‘for free’ with the UK broadcasting network moving away from the sport altogether. Sky Sports now own all the rights to live golf coverage in the UK after decades of it being available on terrestrial television.
The Masters had been a mainstay on BBC dating back to 1967 when they first broadcast the Augusta major. After briefly losing the rights to Channel 4, the BBC went on to show all four days every year from 1986 until 2011, when their package was reduced to just weekend coverage.
That was diluted even further by 2020 to showing highlights, but it’s been announced this year will be the first time the BBC won’t be airing any coverage from the 2023 Masters, meaning the major won’t feature on terrestrial television for the first time in 56 years. Budget cuts had previously been the reason given by the BBC for the decision to get rid of their golf coverage.
But it’s been claimed by a source to the Telegraph that the BBC have also rejected offers to show PGA Tour highlights ‘for free’ on several occasions. “The PGA Tour was willing to give away the highlights to the BBC for a potential programme that could have gone out every Monday night, or even just when it chose, such as for The Players, which is the Tour’s flagship event,” they said.
“It would not have had to pay any rights fees. This offer was made on multiple occasions, including in recent years. But the answer came back that it was not interested because it ‘does not suit the demographic’ the BBC is trying to reach.
“That is a stunning attitude, even if you simply look at this week and see that Rory McIlroy has a chance to go back to world No 1 and so many other UK players are teeing it up. The BBC would rather get down with the kids and instead put out stuff like the UFC.”
LIV Golf suffers humiliation as World’s Funniest Animals more popular [LATEST]
Rory McIlroy defended by Sir Nick Faldo as Sergio Garcia row heats up [LATEST]
LIV Golf’s Sergio Garcia rips into Rory McIlroy after explosive text [LATEST]
The BBC still provides highlights packages for The Open, Women’s Open and the Ryder Cup. And it’s not been entirely ruled out that the BBC could perform a U-turn on their plan to stop providing highlights for The Masters.
Although, the report adds that travel or accommodation hasn’t been booked yet for the ‘normal commentating and broadcasting teams’. Sky Sports announced just last year they had agreed on a multi-year extension for their PGA Tour coverage.
They also agreed a deal to cover at least the next two Ryder Cups, in 2023 in Rome and 2025 in New York.
Source: Read Full Article