Report: BBC set to stop showing The Masters to cut costs

The BBC is set to end their coverage of The Masters for good after a 56-year association with the opening major of the year at Augusta National.

Matt Chivers's picture
Thu, 26 Jan 2023
Report: BBC set to stop showing The Masters to cut costs

The BBC is set to end its long-term association with The Masters as the popular terrestrial platform is aiming to cut costs.

As first reported by Telegraph Sport, the BBC is unlikely to extend their contract to broadcast the picturesque setting down Magnolia Lane and the lush fairways which host the best players on the planet in April.

The corporation first showed The Masters in 1967, but ties are going to be cut which means viewers in the UK will now need a Sky Sports subscription to view the action in Georgia.

This news comes weeks after some golf fans were disappointed to see Matt Fitzpatrick not included on the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, a competition that has been presented by the BBC since 1954.

This move could be seen as further disregard the BBC has shown towards golf in recent years. With coverage from Augusta reduced from four days to weekend coverage in 2011, this was further reduced to a highlights programme in 2020.

The BBC have also only shown highlights of The Open Championship since 2016. This latest reduction in free-to-air golf coverage will likely be a disheartening blow to UK golf fans.

The commentary voice of the late Peter Alliss, as well as Ken Brown and Andrew Cotter, became synonymous with the BBC's television coverage of golf.

Sky Sports has established itself as the home of golf broadcasting in the UK. The subscription-based service shows all four major championships, PGA Tour coverage, the Ryder Cup, the DP World Tour and the LPGA Tour too.

In 2014, Sky Sports signed a deal to exclusively show live coverage of the PGA Tour until 2022. It was announced in June 2022 that the platform extended this exclusive deal.

Alternatively, if UK golf fans wish to watch LIV Golf in 2023, they will need to find the CW Network app as the Saudi-financed league has struck a deal with The CW, the fifth-largest network in America.

It has been widely reported that The CW won't pay for media rights to LIV. The proposed agreement will take the form of a share in advertising revenue.