NBC SPORTS GROUP AND THE R&A FORM LONG-TERM MEDIA PARTNERSHIP
The Open, Women’s British Open and The Senior Open Championship to Air on NBC and Golf Channel Beginning in 2017
Stamford, CT and Orlando, FL (June 8, 2015) – NBC Sports Group and The R&A announced today a long-term media partnership in the United States beginning with The Open from Royal Birkdale in 2017 and spanning 12 years. The announcement was made today by Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, and Mark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group.
“The R&A is synonymous with the traditions and history of golf, and The Open is golf’s original championship. NBC Sports is proud to present The Open Championship, and to work with The R&A on their initiatives to grow the game around the globe,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group. “This partnership will allow NBC Sports, Golf Channel and NBC Universo to serve the legions of sports fans in the U.S. with complete coverage that reflects the prestige of The R&A’s championships.”
“We are delighted to announce that from 2017, The Open will be broadcast by NBC Sports Group. They have unparalleled experience in golf and have demonstrated a genuine desire to showcase and promote The Open and The R&A’s elite championships through their extensive range of channels and digital platforms,” said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A. “The United States is home to millions of fans of The Open and we know that through NBC Sports Group, they will enjoy world-class coverage of the Championship.”
The new partnership agreement includes coverage across all media of The Open, The Senior Open Championship, and The Amateur Championship, as well as the RICOH Women’s British Open, in partnership with the Ladies’ Golf Union. The agreement also includes coverage of the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup, in years when these international amateur team events are hosted by The R&A and Ladies’ Golf Union.
NBC Sports Group, The R&A and Ladies Golf Union partnership:
Returns The Open and RICOH Women’s British Open to U.S. broadcast television for the first time in eight years
Represents Golf Channel’s first live coverage of a men’s major championship with The Open
Adds the RICOH Women’s British Open as the fourth women’s major championship on Golf Channel, and joins this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship as the second to receive broadcast coverage on NBC
Includes NBC Universo’s live Spanish-language golf coverage of The Open and the RICOH Women’s British Open
“As these events’ new home in the U.S., NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the RICOH Women’s British Open and Curtis Cup will further raise the profile of these world-class events,” said Lazarus. “Adding broadcast coverage of the Women’s British Open will contribute to the momentum that the LPGA Tour and Golf Channel have generated in the United States, as the women’s game continues to grow stronger.”
“This is fantastic news for the Women’s British Open and the Curtis Cup and for women’s golf generally,” said Trish Wilson, Chairman of the Ladies’ Golf Union. “To have the full weight and breadth of the NBC Sports Group behind these two international events will be of tremendous benefit to their future growth.”
NBC Sports Group’s promotional effort will feature The Open as one of the final marquee events within NBC Sports’ widely recognized Championship Season each spring and summer and will strengthen NBC Sports Group’s leadership position as sports fans’ morning destination in the U.S. In addition, the partnership will collaborate on showcasing golf’s oldest and most international championships, including Golf Channel’s coverage of The Open Qualifying Series events, documentaries from the Emmy-nominated Golf Channel Films unit and a U.S. promotional tour of the Claret Jug, one of sport’s most iconic trophies. Golf Channel and The R&A also will work together on efforts to showcase The R&A’s global youth initiatives, utilizing Golf Channel’s presence in more than 200 million households, 80 countries and 11 languages around the world.
ABOUT THE OPEN
The Open is golf’s oldest championship. Played since 1860 on British and Irish links golf courses, it is the sport’s most international Major with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans. Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.
ABOUT THE R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A organises The Open, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the sport worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico. The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 152 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 138 countries.
ABOUT THE LADIES’ GOLF UNION (LGU)
Founded in 1893, the LGU is the encompassing body for ladies’ amateur golf in Great Britain & Ireland. The LGU Executive Council includes representatives of ladies’ golf’s national governing bodies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Operational activities are undertaken by a wholly owned subsidiary, LGU Championships Limited (“LGUCL”), which in particular owns and runs the RICOH Women’s British Open, founded by the LGU in 1976 and one of the five Major Tournaments for Professional Women golfers. LGUCL also has responsibility for running British Amateur Championships and Home International events, and preparing the Great Britain & Ireland teams for representative matches, such as the Curtis Cup and the Vagliano Trophy. Further information about the LGU is available on www.lgu.org.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.