As of 2017, European Tour Productions serves as the host broadcaster for the Open Championship. The host broadcaster, as well as British and American broadcasters Sky Sports and NBC Sports respectively, utilized a total of 175 cameras during the 2016 tournament.[1][2]

Current broadcasters

Country/Region 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028
United Kingdom Sky Sports
Republic of Ireland
United States NBC/Golf Channel
Brazil ESPN[3]
Latin America ESPN[3]
Caribbean ESPN[3]
South Africa SuperSport
Australia Fox Sports
Japan TV Asahi
Hong Kong Fox Sports
South East Asia
Canada TSN
Spain Movistar Golf

Coverage overview

In the United Kingdom, the Open Championship was historically broadcast by the BBC—a relationship which lasted from 1955 to 2015. The BBC's rights to the Open had been threatened by the event's removal from Category A of Ofcom's "listed" events, a status which legally mandated that the Open be broadcast in its entirety by a terrestrial broadcaster. It had since been moved to Category B, meaning that television rights to the tournament could now be acquired by a pay television outlet, such as BT Sport or Sky Sports, as long as rights to broadcast a highlights programme are given to one of the main terrestrial broadcasters.[4]

Beginning in 2016, Sky Sports will have exclusive UK rights to The Open with the BBC showing a 2-hour highlights programme every night instead of live coverage.[5] Sky's major event coverage is fronted by David Livingstone, expert analysis from Butch Harmon, on course commentary from Howard Clark, in-depth 18th hole interviews from tour coach and golfing expert, Tim Barter and main commentary from Ewen Murray and Bruce Critchley. Other golfers such as Peter Oosterhuis, Tony Johnstone, Thomas Bjørn, David Howell, Richard Boxall, Jamie Spence, Mark Roe, Robert Lee, Ross McFarlane, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Paul McGinley, Philip Parkin and Ken Brown contributing to their coverage over the years.

In the United States,[6] ABC had historically held rights to the Open.[7][8] Beginning in 2010 under an eight-year agreement, the Open moved exclusively to ABC's sister pay television channel ESPN, with only tape-delayed highlights shown on ABC.[9] In June 2015, it was announced that NBC Sports would acquire rights to the Open Championship under a 12-year deal beginning in 2017; early round coverage airs on Golf Channel, with the main NBC network broadcasting live weekend coverage. The R&A cited NBC's successful broadcasts of Premier League football, which also primarily airs on weekend mornings in U.S. time zones, as an advantage of NBC's acquisition of The Open.[10] Similarly to the BBC, ESPN chose to opt out of its final year of Open rights, causing NBC's rights to begin in 2016 instead.[11]

Additional notes

Early ABC coverage

1982-1996

Later ABC and ESPN coverage

1997-2005

2006-2015

NBC and Golf Channel

2016-present

Commentators

Play-by-play/anchors

Announcer Years Network(s)
Terry Gannon 20172018 NBC
Dan Hicks 2016 NBC
Ernie Johnson, Jr. 20032005; 20072009 TNT
Jim McKay 19621967; 19751983; 19851988; 19901993; 19962001 ABC
Brent Musburger 19921996 ABC
Lou Palmer 1982 ESPN
Chris Schenkel 19681974 ABC
Jim Simpson 1982 ESPN
Mike Tirico 1997–present ABC
ESPN
TNT
NBC
Roger Twibell 19901991 ABC
Jack Whitaker 19821989 ABC

Analysts

Announcer Years Network(s)
Peter Alliss 19752015 ABC
BBC
ESPN
Paul Azinger 20052015; 2019–present ABC
ESPN
NBC
Ian Baker-Finch 2004; 20082009 ABC
TNT
Bobby Clampett 20032007 TNT
Nick Faldo 20042007 ABC
Justin Leonard 20172018 NBC
Dave Marr 19701991 ABC
Steve Melnyk 1992; 19941997 ABC
Johnny Miller 2016 NBC
Byron Nelson 19661974 ABC
Curtis Strange 19982003 ABC
Tom Watson 2008 ABC

See also

References

  1. ^ "Live From The Open Championship: A New Era Begins for the R&A". Sports Video Group. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  2. ^ "CTV Takes Axon's Cerebrum Back To The Open Golf Championship". TV Technology. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "ESPN to show The Open in Latin America, Brazil, for next three years". ESPN. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events" (PDF). Ofcom. March 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Open Championship: Sky wins rights; BBC to show highlights". BBC Sport. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  6. ^ Haggar, Jeff (July 15, 2013). "History of British Open on US TV (1962-present)". Classic TV Sports.
  7. ^ ABC Sports Coverage Commercials - July 22nd 1989 on YouTube
  8. ^ Stewart, Larry (21 July 1995). "ABC getting a major chance with British Open coverage". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  9. ^ "All four rounds of British Open shown live on ESPN beginning in '10". ESPN. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  10. ^ a b c Ourand, John; Lombardo, John (8 June 2015). "NBC, Golf Channel ending ABC/ESPN British Open reign". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  11. ^ a b Ourand, John (12 October 2015). "NBC getting British Open a year early". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  12. ^ Hagger, Jeff (June 15, 2015). "Original ABC footage of TC Chen double hit in 1985 US Open". Classic TV Sports.
  13. ^ Freeman 2002, p. 121.
  14. ^ a b "ABC Unit to Buy Stake in ESPN". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. January 4, 1984. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  15. ^ "NBC names Mike Tirico host of 2016 British Open coverage". Golf Digest. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  16. ^ Baker, Liana (3 May 2016). "Golf Channel unveils Olympics plans; NBC says 'no shows' to have regrets". Reuters. Retrieved 9 May 2016.