Why Is The Masters Not On BBC?

The BBC has been left with highlights-only TV coverage after Sky Sports signed an exclusive rights deal

Masters Not On BBC
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The BBC has been left with highlights-only TV coverage for the 2021 Masters after Sky Sports signed an exclusive rights deal

Why Is The Masters Not On BBC?

Sadly for terrestrial TV golf fans, the BBC's golfing days are numbered if not gone forever.

Last year marked the first time since 1955 that the BBC showed precisely zero live Major championship golf on our television screens.

Related: How Can I Play Augusta National?

The corporation had still been due to air Olympic golf from Japan. But with the event postponed as a result of coronavirus, terrestrial TV golf viewers were left completely bereft of big event coverage in 2020.

The good old days

Viewers of a particular vintage will fondly remember Steve Rider’s hair blowing about in the wind in the BBC’s open-sided Augusta booth, with Peter Alliss deliciously describing iconic moments like Sandy Lyle’s 7-iron in 1988 as the ball trundled back down the slope to makeable range – “this could spin; this could go”.

Why Is The Masters Not On BBC?

The 1990s BBC golf dream team - Alex Hay, Peter Alliss & Steve Rider (Photo: Getty Images)

Even in 2019, there was sufficient live coverage over the weekend for non-Sky customers to get a more than healthy fix of Tiger’s remarkable victory.

But in 2020 and 2021, nothing, I’m afraid.

So, why is the Masters not on BBC this year?

The Radio Times website simply says: “There will be no live coverage of the tournament on BBC after Sky signed an exclusive deal with tournament officials."

Why Is The Masters Not On BBC?

Gary Lineker was the BBC's live Masters anchor for a short spell (Photo: Getty Images)

So this year, if you want to watch live coverage of The Masters in the UK, it will only be via Sky Sports.

It will be showing live coverage of all four days on its Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Main Event Golf channels.

If you don’t have Sky, don’t despair - a Now TV Sky Sports Pass is an excellent alternative for those who don’t want to commit to a long-term contract.

You can get a day or month pass giving you access to all 11 Sky Sports Channels, which will stream on pretty much every modern device.

At the time of writing, the prices were £9.98 for a day pass or £24.99 per month for a three month pass (auto-renews so you must cancel in time).

BBC TV highlights and live radio

BBC will still offer TV highlights packages, however.

These will be anchored by Scot, Eilidh Barbour, and go out at the following times on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and mobile app:

Thursday 8th - Round One highlights 12.30am - 2.00am

Friday 9th - Round Two highlights 12.50am - 2.20am

Saturday 10th - Round Three highlights 12.05am - 1.30am

Sunday 11th -  Final Round highlights 12.00am - 1.30am

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