Sky extends Open deal, NBC Sports signs Ryder Cup partnership

10 Jul 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Sky has agreed a three-year extension to its rights deal for The Open, while the NBC Sports Group division of US media company NBCUniversal has agreed a global digital media partnership for the Ryder Cup.

Sky’s new contract with The R&A covers the 2022, 2023 and 2024 editions of golf’s only men’s major played outside of the United States.

Sky Sports first broadcast The Open in 2016 from Royal Troon, winning a BAFTA for its coverage across a dedicated channel which included the first tee shot live for the first time and the Open Zone, delivering insight from the world’s top players on the practice ground.

R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said: “Our partnership with Sky has helped us deliver BAFTA-winning coverage of The Open and present the drama and excitement of the championship from the opening shot to the closing putt in a dynamic and entertaining way. We look forward to working with them to continue to improve and elevate the coverage of The Open in the years to come.”

Sky Sports Managing Director, Rob Webster, added: “We respect the history and traditions of The Open but know that together we can keep finding new and innovative ways to help tell its stories.”

Meanwhile, NBC Sports’ Ryder Cup partnership has been struck with the PGA of America and European Tour. The long-term relationship will begin ahead of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, which takes place from 25th to 27th September, 2020.

NBC Sports, which holds US rights to the Ryder Cup through to 2030, will develop a multi-platform Ryder Cup presence, including a website that serves fans of both the US and European teams and a new app that will aim to enhance both the onsite and overall viewing experience.

The PGA of America and European Tour will lead the sales process through their Global Partner Program, and NBC Sports will develop and execute customised digital activations for partners. Digital content for these Ryder Cup platforms will be provided by all three organisations, as well as the Ryder Cup’s UK rights-holder Sky Sports. Both NBCU and Sky are owned by telco conglomerate Comcast.

Rufus Hack, Chief Content Officer for the European Tour, said: “The 2018 Ryder Cup in France saw more than 22 billion social media impressions across the week – the highest in the event’s history – and this exciting partnership with two of our key partners will allow us to expand the reach of our award-winning social and digital content to even greater numbers. It is fantastic news for fans who follow the contest avidly and also for the many global brands who are associated with one of the world’s greatest sporting occasions.”

Jeff Price, Chief Commercial Officer for the PGA of America, added: “This is an important next step in expanding the global reach of The Ryder Cup. This relationship will allow us to deliver the best possible digital, social and emerging technology experiences to fans around the globe. It will also add significant value for global brands that want to participate in this iconic sporting event as part of their marketing mix.”