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Sky secures Masters rights from 2011

By
Putter

© Rex Features

Sky has agreed a deal with the Augusta National Golf Club to join the BBC as an official UK broadcast partner for the Masters from next year.

Under the agreement, Sky Sports will show coverage of all four days of the 2011 tournament at the Augusta National in standard and high definition.

During the week of April 4 to 10, Sky will air live coverage of the Par 3 Contest on the Wednesday and the four tournament rounds from Thursday to Sunday.

The BBC has covered the last 24 Masters from Augusta in a relationship stretching back decades, but its latest three-year rights contract expired in April.

It had been feared that the corporation could lose the tournament rights to Sky, but the satcaster has simply joined as an additional broadcast partner.

Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, said: "Since our first telecast of the Masters in 1956, we have carefully maintained a tradition of high-quality programming within an appropriate broadcast window. This addition will be consistent with those efforts and exciting for the millions of golf fans who enjoy viewing the Masters each April.

"We consider ourselves fortunate to have two committed television partners who are able to reach both new and established audiences throughout the United Kingdom. This agreement was successful in both preserving a long-term partnership and adding a new dimension to our coverage in the UK."

Sky will also air the Masters on its new Sky 3D channel, which launches on October 1 with coverage of the Ryder Cup tournament.

"3D coverage of the Masters will give a unique view of the Masters and really capture the contours of the stunning Augusta National course," said Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis.

"We are also delighted that coverage from the host broadcasters at Augusta National will start one hour earlier than ever before.

"Sky Sports has enjoyed a great partnership with golf for nearly two decades. We follow a hundred different tournaments each year, from five different continents, and are excited that The Masters is now at the heart of this calendar."

The Masters coverage will also be available on Sky Player and via Sky Mobile TV to Sky Sports subscribers.

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