Sky secures TV rights deal to show The Open until 2024

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The Open Claret Jug
Sky TV, which will broacast the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush (above), next week, has signed an agreement with the R&A to extend coverage of the world’s oldest Major until 2024. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

THE R&A and Sky Sports have extended the agreement for the award-winning live coverage of The Open through to 2024.

The Open, golf’s original championship and the only men’s major championship played outside of the United States, will be part of a comprehensive schedule of live golf shown by Sky Sports.

It will include more than 100 tournaments in 2019 with all four men’s majors, all five women’s majors and The Solheim Cup.

The announcement, extending The R&A’s relationship with Sky Sports for a further three years, means golf fans can look forward to even more great moments from the globally renowned championship, which returns to Northern Ireland next week for the first time in 68 years.

The agreement also covers the AIG Women’s British Open and the Senior Open, as well as The R&A’s prestigious amateur events including The Amateur and Women’s Amateur championships, the men’s Walker Cup and women’s Curtis Cup.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said, “The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and is watched by many millions of viewers around the globe.

“Our partnership with Sky has helped us deliver BAFTA-winning coverage of The Open, and present the drama and excitement of the championship from the opening shot to the closing putt in a dynamic and entertaining way.

“We look forward to working with them to continue to improve and elevate the coverage of The Open and our other professional and amateur championships in the years to come.”

Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster said, The Open is an iconic moment of  summer sporting brilliance and over the past three years Sky Sports has elevated the coverage to new heights.

“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with The R&A until 2024. We respect the history and traditions of The Open but know that together we can keep finding new and innovative ways to help tell its stories.”

Sky Sports first broadcast The Open in 2016 from Royal Troon, winning a BAFTA for its coverage across a dedicated channel which included the first tee shot live for the first time – and the hugely popular Open Zone delivering insight from the world’s top players on the practice ground.

Henrik Stenson triumphed over Phil Mickelson in an epic Sunday encounter in 2016.

The following year, Jordan Spieth produced a dramatic closing run at Royal Birkdale to lift the Claret Jug for the first time, including the long wait as he sized up his options after hitting his drive into the TV compound, which was not out of bounds.

Then at Carnoustie in 2018, Francesco Molinari, saw off the challenge of a stellar chasing pack, including Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, to become The Open’s first ever Italian Champion Golfer of the Year.

Sky Sports customers can enjoy live coverage in HD via Sky Q, while NOW TV lets viewers watch live sport online without a contract, making The Open easily accessible to anyone with a connected device.

NOW TV can be watched anytime, anywhere on the web or on over 60 devices with the mobile or tablet app.

The 2020 Open will take place at Kent’s Royal St George’s, in Sandwich, before it returns to St Andrews for the 150th staging of the event in 2021.

It was announced in February that Royal Liverpoool’s Hoylake Course would stage the 151st Open – eight years after Rory McIlroy claimed his first Claret Jug on Merseyside.

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