Is Sky taking the live coverage of the Open Championship from the BBC really as disastrous as many in the golf industry are making out?
The BBC’s coverage of golf over the last few years has been left behind by its Sky counterparts covering the European and PGA Tours week-in, week-out. Gary Lineker hosting Masters coverage? Michael Vaughan quizzing Tiger? Both excellent hosts/analysts in their own sports, but not so good when crossing over.
“It’ll mean less of the younger generation will be able to watch golf” is one comment I’ve heard a lot and seen in the media. I’m not sure about you but when I was a youngster I was never able to dictate to my old man what was on the TV, I can hardly imagine many young children trotting into the lounge on a Saturday afternoon and saying ‘stick the golf on dad.’
However, what I do remember when I was a child was seeing golf on the box a lot, as dad’s a golf nut. When Sky took coverage of the two Tours he was in his element – when I visit today I can almost guarantee there’ll be golf on the TV no matter what time of day (much to mother’s annoyance).
So, for me, the fact the Open Championship is moving to Sky is not an issue, the issues for me range from the attitude of some golf clubs (and their members) to junior golfers and the wider generational issue of getting the kids off the games consoles, out of their bedrooms and doing anything active – hopefully onto the golf course.
If the parents are golf fans they’ll have the Open on the TV either watching four days of live coverage on Sky or the prime time highlights on BBC. As long as the children are in the living room as a family they’ll be watching golf.
But if parents aren’t interested in the sport then the children won’t be watching it, whether it’s on terrestrial or Sky.
The golf industry seems to have a habit of living in a cloud of doom and gloom and this news gives the ‘dementors’ another opportunity to worry. There is so much good going on in our game, so many Pros working hard to bring juniors into golf, let’s not allow this to cast another non existent cloud over us.
TGI Golf Head of Communications