R&A chief says BBC at risk of losing right to show The Open
Tuesday 24 April 2012
The BBC has been warned by the Royal & Ancient that it risks losing the rights to live coverage of The Open if it does not keep pace with television's technological revolution. A contract is in place until 2016 but the corporation has reduced its golf coverage recently and it faces fierce competition from the satellite broadcaster Sky.
The Open is on the B List of sporting events which are protected, but only to the extent that highlights must be available free-to-air.
Asked if the R&A was concerned by the BBC's coverage, the governing body's chief executive, Peter Dawson, said: "Certainly. We have had that conversation with the BBC.
"They have to keep up with the advances in technology of broadcasting and they know we have got our eye on that. The BBC have some very talented people in their production team. We want the Open to be seen by as many spectators as we possibly can. Negotiations [on a new television deal] are usually opened 12 to 18 months before. Who knows who will be in the market by then?"
The R&A yesterday announced that a ban on mobile phones for spectators will be lifted for this summer's Open, at Royal Lytham and St Annes. Calls will be allowed in designated areas but photography and video recording will not be permitted.
There have also been a number of changes to the Lytham course since David Duval won there in 2001. All but four holes – the first, ninth, 12th and 15th – have undergone redevelopment with almost 200 yards added to the overall length and a completely new seventh green constructed.
Latest in Sport
Liverpool injury news: Simon Mignolet set to replace injured Brad Jones but Dejan Lovren and Glen Johnson remain on the sidelines
Manchester United injury news: Angel Di Maria unlikely to face Spurs as Marouane Fellaini's 'mystery illness' turns out to be rib injury
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester City team news: Manuel Pellegrini hopes to have Vincent Kompany back for Burnley visit but hopes not to risk Stevan Jovetic
Neil Warnock sacked: Tim Sherwood fits role at Crystal Palace
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'