Sky Sports & BBC Sport extend Masters contract

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Sky Sports and BBC Sport will continue to share live coverage of the Masters Tournament after both broadcasters agreed a new multi-year deal with the Augusta National.

The extended deal, starting from 2015, means Sky Sports will continue to be the only place in the UK to watch all four days of golf’s first Major of the year, while BBC TV will screen live free-to-air coverage of the final two rounds at the weekend.

Sky Sports has shown live coverage of all four days of the Masters since it was first awarded TV rights to the tournament in 2011 and the pay-TV broadcaster will continue show all four rounds as well as the Par 3 Contest.

The new deal strengthens Sky’s unrivalled live golf portfolio which also includes the Ryder Cup, US Open, US PGA Championship, World Golf Championship events, PGA Tour, European Tour and Ladies European Tour events.

Barney Francis, Managing Director Sky Sports, said: “We’re delighted to extend our partnership with Augusta National.

“The Masters is more than a Major, it is a magical tournament played on a magnificent golf course, producing incredible golf every year.

Only on Sky Sports can viewers enjoy all four days live, plus the annual Par 3 Contest with extra coverage across a variety of platforms.

“We look forward to continuing our coverage of the Masters and providing the coverage this unique golf event deserves.”

BBC Sport has retained coverage of the Masters for terrestrial audiences, extending the corporation’s broadcasting association with the tournament to almost half a century.

Despite losing complete coverage of all four days in 2011, when Sky entered the Masters fray for the first time, BBC TV has covered the weekend action live together with highlights of Thursday and Friday’s play, and the new TV deal ensures this arrangement will carry on for the next few years.

The deal also includes an additional six digital feeds to bring even more action to audiences across four screens – PC, tablet, mobile and connected TV.

The BBC’s golf portfolio has diminished in recent years to just six days of live men’s golf a year – two days of the Masters and all four days of The Open Championship.

BBC Sport also screens live coverage of the Women’s British Open, alongside free-to-air highlights of the Ryder Cup, Wentworth PGA Championship and Scottish Open, plus it will screen golf’s return to the Olympic programme exclusively live in 2016 and 2020.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says “We’re incredibly proud of our long partnership with Augusta National which dates back over 45 years and are delighted that BBC audiences will continue to enjoy coverage of one of the world’s most iconic sporting events.

“This year we are extending our digital offering with a range of additional streams enabling us to bring even more to our viewers.

“The BBC is all about delivering the key sporting moments of the year to the widest possible audience, and the Masters never disappoints.”

The 2014 Masters promises to be one of the most open fields in recent years, and both Sky Sports and BBC Sport will bring comprehensive coverage across all of its platforms.

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