NBC Sports Group and The R&A, the governing body of U.K. golf, announced a long-term, 12-year partnership in the U.S. starting in 2017 with The Open from Royal Birkdale.
The deal announced on Monday by Peter Dawson, CEO of The R&A, and NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus, returns The Open and RICOH Women’s British Open to U.S. broadcast television for the first time in eight years.
It also represents Golf Channel’s first live coverage of a men’s major championship with The Open, and includes NBC Universo’s live Spanish-language golf coverage of The Open and the RICOH Women’s British Open.
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.
“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,” Lazarus said in a statement. “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.”
Dawson praised NBC’s extensive range of channels and digital platforms. “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,” he said.
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 hopes to strengthen NBC Sports Group’s position as morning destination for U.S. sports fans.
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.