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open championship

Sky has wrangled the rights to golf's oldest major from the BBC. Sky Sports will have exclusive live rights to the Open Championship from 2017, though the BBC will still show highlights.

It marks the end of 61 years of free-to-air coverage for the tournament.

Sky is reported to have paid £75 million for the rights and will show live coverage of all four days.

It will be available to watch on TV, online, and on mobile devices.

"Sky Sports has a passion for golf that has spanned two decades, offering unrivalled commitment, airtime and promotion as well as year-round innovative coverage," Barney Francis, Sky Sports managing director, said.

"We look forward to working with the R&A [Royal & Ancient Club of St Andrews, organiser of the Open] to entertain and engage new and existing golf fans through our multi-platform coverage and also at the grassroots level via Sky Academy."

The BBC will broadcast a two-hour highlights show every day.

"We're obviously disappointed that we were unable to retain live TV coverage of The Open Championship," said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport.

"However, we're pleased to be continuing our 60-year partnership with the R&A and feel that a comprehensive two-hour highlight programme – a format which has already proved successful – in a prime-time slot over four days will allow us to continue to bring all the best action and key moments from The Open to a large free-to-air audience on TV, radio and online."

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