OUTRAGE! BBC declines chance to show PGA Tour coverage for FREE!

The BBC has rejected the chance to show weekly PGA Tour highlights for free, and it's even ending its 56-year association with The Masters. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 9 Mar 2023
OUTRAGE! BBC declines chance to show PGA Tour coverage for FREE!

The BBC has incredibly turned down the opportunity to show highlights of PGA Tour events for free, according to a report in The Telegraph.

Golf correspondent James Corrigan has revealed how the BBC recently rejected the chance to show a weekly highlights programme of the latest PGA Tour events on Monday nights, or whenever they fancied. 

Despite the PGA Tour's long-term deal with Sky Sports Golf remaining very much in place, bosses approached the BBC with their latest offer in a bid to attract an even wider UK audience this season and beyond. 

But the BBC has reportedly taken no interest in the option, and that has frustrated top bosses at the PGA Tour. 

Their reason to decline? 

"It does not suit the demographic."

A source tells The Telegraph:

"The PGA Tour was willing to give away the highlights to the BBC for a potential programme that could have gone out every Monday night, or even just when it chose, such as for The Players Championship. 
"It would not have had to pay any rights fees. This offer was made on multiple occasions, including in recent years. But the answer came back that it was not interested because it ‘does not suit the demographic’ the BBC is trying to reach.   
"That is a stunning attitude, even if you simply look at this week and see that Rory McIlroy has a chance to go back to World No.1 and so many other UK players are teeing it up.
"The BBC would rather get down with the kids and instead put out stuff like the UFC."

The BBC's latest rejection of a PGA Tour highlights package comes just three months after England's Matthew Fitzpatrick was shunned as a nomination for Sports Personality of the Year despite having won the US Open at Brookline in 2022. 

That decision even stunned presenter Gary Lineker. 

In fact, Fitzpatrick's victory was given a grand total of 33 seconds of coverage during the annual show, with golf getting less than a minute in total. 

The Telegraph also recently reported how the BBC will not be showing any highlights of The Masters next month, either. 

This will end a 56-year-association with golf's first major of the season at famed Augusta. 

The decision was made to save £1m

Perhaps the BBC will change their mind over the coming weeks on that front, but for now, the BBC is not scheduled to be showing any of the action of the 2023 Masters where Rory McIlroy will go in search of completing the career grand slam. 

Tiger Woods is also in town. 

The BBC ended their live rights deal to show The Open in 2016, and even that was one year earlier than had been originally planned.

Their decision to bypass PGA Tour highlights for free, and discontinue their association with The Masters, becomes even more surprising when you consider the R&A's latest data showed 5.6 million adults hit the golf course in Great Britain and Ireland in 2022. 

The lockdown had much to do with that. 

Of that total, 20% were female, which was a 5% rise on 2019. 

Consumer spending among UK golfers has also increased to a whopping £5.1 billion

What do you make of the BBC's decision to shun our sport? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels, or come and join us over on the GolfMagic YouTube Channel.