Sky Sports to broadcast the US Masters golf

Sky Sports has tightened its stranglehold on broadcasting top-flight professional golf, after signing a deal to televise the US Masters live and in 3D.

US Masters: Sky Sports to cover event at Augusta in 3D
US Masters: Sky Sports to cover event at Augusta in 3D

Sky will rival the BBC for viewer eyeballs by covering the major tournament held in Augusta, Georgia.

Sky already broadcasts live coverage of the other two US major championships – the US Open and US PGA –as well as the Ryder Cup. The BBC covers the four days of the British Open, the other major in the quartet of championships.

Sky Sports will cover the four days of the US Masters, while the BBC will cover just the last two days of play.

In addition to the main tournament, the paid-for broadcaster will screen the Par-3 Contest, a warm-up round.

Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, said: "We consider ourselves fortunate to have two committed television partners who are able to reach both new and established audiences throughout the UK.

"This agreement was successful in both preserving a long-term partnership, and adding a new dimension to our coverage in the UK."

Sky Sports has shown live golf coverage since 1991 and a spokesman said it broadcast more than 3,000 hours live every year from more than 100 tournaments, and three of the four majors.

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: "Sky Sports is now the only place to see all four days of the Masters, live. Next year’s Masters will be the first shown live on Sky Sports, the first with the Par-3 Contest scheduled live on TV, and the first of golf’s majors to be shown in 3D."

The first golf tournament to be broadcast in 3D will be the Ryder Cup, which starts next week.

Francis said: "Coverage of the Masters in 3D will give a unique view of the Masters and really capture the contours of the stunning Augusta National course."

A Sky Sports spokesman declined to comment on the length of its contract with Augusta National Gold Club, and said commercial partners would be announced in due course.

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