Report: BBC Confirms Decision To Stop Showing Masters Highlights

The Telegraph is reporting that BBC executives have now made the decision to walk away from talks over new Masters rights

The 13th green at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The BBC have walked away from talks over extending the rights to show highlights from The Masters as the corporation’s 56-year association with Augusta National seems set to end, according to the latest Telegraph report.

The same newspaper reported in January that BBC executives were pondering not renewing the rights deal with Augusta National to show highlights from The Masters, with Sky Sports continuing to have live rights.

First shown back in 1967 on the BBC, The Masters is the most revered tournament in golf and had been shown continually on BBC channels since 1986.

That run now looks like ending with the Telegraph reporting that the fee for highlights in excess of £1 million has been deemed too high for the BBC, who are walking away from a deal in a bid to cut overall running costs.

Sky Sports secured rights to live coverage from all four days back in 2011, with the BBC having live footage from the weekend at Augusta until 2020, when it was reduced down to just highlights.

If confirmed, the news will be a big blow to those who feel terrestrial TV exposure is crucial for golf, but others, including Rory McIlroy, feel that golf is being consumed in a different way these days.

McIlroy was asked about the possibility of the BBC losing Masters right when the first Telegraph story emerged, answering: “I think if you’re thinking nostalgically, yes, it is, growing up watching the Masters and The Open on BBC.

“I just think the landscape of sports and media and entertainment has changed so much over the last 10 years that it’s not the model anymore. It’s either Sky in the UK or it’s streaming services.

“And the rights to these sporting events have just become so expensive that it’s just not feasible for companies like the BBC to pay that sort of money.

“Is it unfortunate? Yes, but I’d say that the majority of the households in the UK have Sky and people are still able to watch.”

Any hope of terrestrial TV viewers still having access to The Masters has been dashed with with neither ITV or Channel 4 said to be interested in picking up the rights from the BBC.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV