The Open: BBC to end live television coverage one year early

Zach Johnson celebrates winning The Open in 2015
The BBC had shown The Open for 60 years

The BBC's TV coverage of The Open will change from live to highlights one year earlier than planned.

From 2016, the BBC will show extended TV highlights, provide live radio coverage and continue to cover the tournament online over the four days.

Peter Alliss will remain part of the BBC team covering The Open.

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said it was "critical the BBC targeted its resources to provide maximum value for money for licence fee payers".

The oldest of golf's four major championships will now be broadcast live on Sky from 2016, rather than 2017, as had been announced in February.

"We know that many fans are unhappy with the loss of rights and in an ideal world the BBC would still be the home of live coverage of The Open," added Slater.

"The BBC is faced with some challenging financial savings targets. Sport on the BBC is not immune to those pressures and they are compounded by the highly inflationary nature of the rights market."

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: "The relationship between the R&A and the BBC spans more than 60 years and we understand the challenging circumstances that the BBC is currently presented with."

BBC Blogs: Read Barbara Slater's full statement

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