Jacklin backs R&A move to switch from BBC to Sky

by admin on March 1st, 2019

filed under 深圳桑拿网

The pay TV channel will have exclusive live rights for the Open from 2017-21 with the BBC screening a daily two-hour prime time highlights show and continuing its live radio coverage.


The Open, like the Wimbledon tennis championships, has long been regarded as one of the ‘crown jewels’ of British televised sport and the decision to remove it from the shrinking list of free-to-air events is a controversial one.

Veteran BBC commentator Peter Alliss and former world number one Lee Westwood have criticised the R&A’s plan but Jacklin takes a different view.

“Sky are dedicated to the sport,” the 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion told Reuters in a telephone interview from his home in Florida.

“I’ve worked with their team as a commentator for the last three years and I think they’ve done a great job for golf and for the European Tour.

“Let’s face it the people who play golf and love golf are going to have Sky so from a financial point of view…if the R&A is going to be able to do more for the grassroots of golf with the extra money they are getting, it’s a good arrangement,” added Jacklin.

“In my opinion they are helping to grow the game and I think they’ll continue to do a great job.”

The R&A, which controls golf outside of the United States and Mexico and organises the Open, announced its plan on Tuesday but did not disclose financial details.

According to media reports, the new contract is worth 10 million pounds ($15.1 million) a year, three million more than the BBC was paying.


“The BBC will still have two hours of highlights every day,” said Jacklin who is working with Magnolia Park Golf and Country Club in Buckinghamshire, England to design a brand new par-three course, driving range and academy facilities (深圳性息.magnoliapark.co.uk).

“The BBC can’t throw the resources at it that Sky can so their coverage is second best,” added the 70-year-old.

“The BBC coverage goes back a long time,” said Jacklin of the terrestrial TV company’s 60-year partnership with the Open.

“I remember my Open win was the first one on colour television. I then went on to work with Henry Longhurst, Harry Carpenter and Peter Alliss for 20 years or so as a commentator but time moves on and money talks.”

Golf is in the middle of an international crisis with playing numbers dwindling around the world and courses closing down at an alarming rate.

Jacklin, however, has trust in the R&A and believes it knows what is best for the future of the sport.

“I really don’t think this decision is going to make much difference to the growth of the game,” said the Englishman.

“I think the R&A have made the right decision, I really do. I’m not party to their politics but they run the game worldwide and know how to grow it.

“This is an important time for golf and I’m sure they’ve deliberated a lot over it,” added Jacklin. “I think they’ve got the best of both worlds with this decision.”

Jacklin, who won two of his four matches in charge of the European Ryder Cup team between 1983-89 and is their most successful captain of all time, said he had first-hand experience of the BBC’s excellent live radio coverage of the Open last year.

“Millions of people listen to it when they are out on the road,” he explained. “I know how good the coverage is too because I drove around 11,000 miles in Britain last summer for my UK tour.

“I’m not saying things always change for the better but it seems to me that sport is not the BBC’s focus any more, it’s more on entertainment, things like Strictly Come Dancing for example.”

Jacklin featured on ‘Strictly’ in 2013 and was the first contestant to be voted off in that series.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

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