It appears almost certain that the BBC will announce a deal this week to carry coverage of the US PGA Golf Championship from Quail Hollow next month.
The announcement will come as Sky TV gets its exclusive live coverage of the Open Championship underway from Royal Birkdale.
Sky were told last week that their rights to exclusive coverage of the fourth major were not being renewed. This was a blow only days before yesterday’s revamp of the Sky Sports channel offering and the launch of a channel dedicated exclusively to golf.
Speaking last week to the Guardian newspaper a representative of the PGA said that “Broad, multi-platform distribution is the key objective for us. I’m not in a position yet to share all the details but we want the ability to engage golf fans of all ages across all platforms.”
“We want the broadest distribution we can possibly have and are very excited about the plan we have in place.”
Broad distribution through a ‘free to air’ giant like the BBC will bring golf back to a wider audience, albeit at a lesser rights fee and is also being echoed in a new broadcast deal for cricket which has spent a number of years behind a paywall.
Sky still has exclusivity for the US Masters, the US Open and the Open Championship as will as the majority of events on the US and European Tours. It will recover from this untimely switch but it does serve as a reminder that the future of how sport is broadcast will be a mix, not unlike our own coverage of GAA where you have different strands of pay Tv and free to air as well in GAAGo as a Direct to consumer model which is currently only for overseas viewers but which may yet prove to be the ultimate end game in this media battle for our eyeballs.
Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.