Is ESPN Looking To Poach The British Open Away From TNT?


TNT currently has the opening two rounds of the British Open but according to Ron Sirak of Golf Digest (via Sports Business Daily), ESPN is interested in aquiring the rights when they’re up in 2009.

GOLF WORLD’s Ron Sirak cites sources as saying that discussions are “under way for ESPN to take over” broadcast rights for the British Open in 2010 when the tournament returns to the Old Course at St. Andrews. TNT currently has a contract to broadcast the Open through the ’09 event. Sirak writes ESPN, which currently has weekday coverage of The Masters and the U.S. Open and is “involved with NBC” in Ryder Cup coverage, “seems to be developing a ‘big event’ strategy when it comes to golf.”

If this goes down this would be the only major which would be aired on the Disney family of networks. ABC has the final two rounds and making the move to pick up the first two makes a great deal of sense. Obviously it’s good that Tiger’s knee will be healed by 2010 and that the Tournament will be heading back to the Old Course at St. Andrews for the first time since 2005.

ESPN/ABC would also become the only solo network/entity to air coverage for a Major Tournament in its entirety over the four day period.

Media Notes (Sports Business Daily)

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