Sky Sports will televise next year’s Open Championship after the BBC ended its deal a year early.
Following an announcement earlier this year that Sky Sports would become the new home of the competition from 2017, in a five year deal, the pay-TV broadcaster will now start its exclusive coverage from 2016.
This follows a request to tournament organisers, the R&A, from the BBC to be released from its contract.
The BBC will still show highlights of the event, taking place at Royal Troon next July.
The agreement means that next year, Sky Sports will have live rights to all four Majors, the Ryder Cup, The European Tour and PGA Tour.
Barney Francis, Sky Sports managing director, said: “We’re pleased to begin our commitment to The Open a year early and look forward to bringing unprecedented coverage of this wonderful Championship. We have exciting plans to take coverage of The Open to the next level across our TV, mobile and digital outlets.”
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, added: "We are looking forward to world-class coverage of The Open from our partners at Sky Sports and are grateful that they have stepped in a year early.
"It is sad to see the BBC's live coverage of The Open end and I know some fans will be disappointed. 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.
"I know the BBC will produce compelling highlights, which will be enjoyed by a large prime-time audience.
"We are committed to delivering a spectacular edition of The Open next year at Royal Troon and working with both Sky Sports and the BBC we will ensure compelling coverage for millions of fans throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland."
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