BBC holds on to the Masters with new multi-year broadcast deal

The new deal marks a 50 year relationship between the BBC and the Masters

The BBC has extended its broadcast agreement with the Masters following a new multi-year deal that will ensure it retains coverage of one of golf’s landmark events.

The renewal to the partnership includes highlights of the opening two rounds of the tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club as well as live coverage of the decisive Saturday and Sunday rounds.

The BBC’s coverage of this year’s Masters, which will take place between 6-9 April, will span TV, digital and radio.

An additional four digital feeds will give audiences the option to view the action from the Amen Corner, holes 15 and 16, featured groups and the driving range.

"We're extremely proud of our partnership with the Masters Tournament, and this new deal highlights our longstanding commitment to bringing world-class golf to the widest possible audience on free-to-air TV, " said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport.

"In addition, our radio and digital offerings will bring audiences closer to the action than ever before. The Masters remains one of the standout events on the sporting calendar, bringing together the world's best players in a truly unique setting."

The new deal marks 50 years since the BBC first covered action from the major and prevents a further exodus of golf from its sports portfolio following the loss of the Open.

In 2015, the publicly funded broadcaster gave up the rights to the Open a year early as part of cost saving measures, which saw it relinquish the TV rights to several other sports including Formula One.

Further cuts saw the BBC having to share the rights to the Six Nations with ITV and sub-license future Olympics coverage from Eurosport.

Incoming BBC chairman, David Clementi, has hinted at a turnaround however. Speaking to members of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee in January, Clementi said certain sporting events such as golf’s Open Championship should never have moved to Sky and called for a review on the corporation’s approach to sports broadcasting rights.

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