Open Championship expected to move on from ESPN

US pay-television broadcaster ESPN is not expected to retain rights for British golf major the Open beyond 2017, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The report said that the IMG agency is in talks over a 10-year rights deal, from 2018 to 2027, on behalf of the R&A, which operates the tournament.

The newspaper said that a possible renewal for ESPN was a “long shot” due to the broadcaster switching its attention to other sports.

Peter Dawson, the outgoing chief executive of the R&A, held talks with interested parties in New York three weeks ago.

A new deal is expected to be confirmed before this year’s championship in July, with the Fox Sports division of the Fox network and the NBC network, which operates pay-television service, Golf Channel, among the interested parties.