R&A defend Sky move
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
R&A defend Sky move
The R&A have announced that from 2017 Sky Sports will have the exclusive rights to cover The Open ,bringing to an end a sixty year relationship with the BBC.
The new deal worth a reported 10 million a year to the R&A over a five year period has already attracted some major criticism form many high profile players including Lee Westwood who branded the decision an absolute disgrace,simply driven by money.
However Peter Dawson Chief Executive of the R&A has been quick to dismiss such claims adding
“We believe this is the best result for The Open and for golf. The way people consume live sport is changing significantly and this new agreement ensures fans have a range of options for enjoying the Championship on television, on radio and through digital channels. Sky Sports has an excellent track record in covering golf across its platforms and has become the home of live golf coverage over recent years. We are very much looking forward to working with them to develop and enhance the coverage of The Open.”
“We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the BBC and, although the nature of that relationship is changing from 2017, we are delighted that the BBC will broadcast prime-time highlights and that the Championship will continue to benefit from extensive live coverage on Radio 5 Live and online.”
Obviously with such a lucrative deal the R&A will be keen to promote a positive side to this deal with Dawson defending their decision,'Significantly our new agreement will enable us to take our support of golf's development in the UK and Ireland to unprecedented levels.'
I can see them already rubbing their hands at the GUI Headquarters in Maynooth,Co. Kildare. Wonder if they may even consider reducing the GUI levy's that they apply to club memberships each year, offering little in return for such subscriptions.
It's important such an investment is pumped into the game in an effort to reignite people's interest in golf again. Appreciating that good work is conducted by various people within the union,there seems to be an unending brain wave of developing bodies to develop bodies,wasting any potential funding that can only help grow the game especially in rural areas.
There's plenty of good people in these rural areas to help with the development of the game,maybe it's time they listened to such people and we can start to increase the number of people playing the game today.
Peter Allis an iconic broadcaster with the BBC for many years and one who will sadly missed when Sky take over summarises this decision best by adding “ I know the R&A do lots of lovely,lovely things but now when it comes down to the nitty-gritty they have dipped their hands into the money and that's it.”I don't think there will be a golfer that won't be bitterly disappointed at the news today.”