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Golf switches to highlights a year earlier

BBC’s live coverage of The Open brought to an end

Peter AllissThe BBC’s live television coverage of The Open golf tournament will switch to highlights next year, bringing a premature end to its 60-year reign over the event.

It will shown live on Sky from next year instead of 2017 and the BBC will begin showing extended highlights from next year. It will continue to provide live radio coverage and cover the tournament online over the four days. Veteran commentator Peter Alliss (pictured) will remain part of the BBC team.

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said on the BBC’s website it was “critical the BBC targeted its resources to provide maximum value for money for licence fee payers.

“We know that many fans are unhappy with the loss of rights and in an ideal world the BBC would still be the home of live coverage of The Open,” added Ms Slater.

“The BBC is faced with some challenging financial savings targets. Sport on the BBC is not immune to those pressures and they are compounded by the highly inflationary nature of the rights market.”

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “The relationship between the R&A and the BBC spans more than 60 years and we understand the challenging circumstances that the BBC is currently presented with.”

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