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Sky seals exclusive live Masters deal in blow to BBC

Pay-television broadcaster Sky has secured exclusive live rights in the UK to the Masters after extending its deal with the US golf major’s organiser, Augusta National.

The new agreement, which begins with the 2020 tournament from April 9-12, extends the partnership into its second decade with Sky having first offered live coverage in 2011.

All four days of tournament action from Augusta will be broadcast live on Sky Sports’ dedicated golf channel, with associated coverage on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports’ social and digital platforms.

It was reported earlier this year that Sky would secure live exclusivity from 2020 onwards, leaving public-service broadcaster the BBC with just highlights.

Sky last extended its deal with Augusta in January 2018 and its latest agreement is set to bring to a close the long-running live coverage on the BBC. The BBC’s previous contract was for two years, 2018 and 2019, with an option for a third, 2020.

The BBC had broadcast live coverage on Saturdays and Sundays, along with highlights from Thursdays and Fridays. The public broadcaster first broadcast the Masters in 1963.

Sky Sports’ live coverage will also include the Par 3 Contest, as well as a daily practice range show featuring interviews and analysis from the Tournament Practice Area. Sky will offer supplementary coverage via the ‘Featured Groups’ along with ‘Amen Corner’ and ‘15 and 16’ live feeds, airing Thursday through Sunday.

Commenting on the new deal, Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster said: “The Masters has provided some spectacular moments on Sky Sports – not least Tiger Woods’ unforgettable comeback this year – and we look forward to broadcasting many more at one of the most iconic global sporting events.

“We are proud of our 10-year association with Augusta National, and our golf team does a great job sharing the magic of the Masters with our viewers.”