THE BBC HAVE been warned that they risk losing their coverage of The Open Championship unless they start showing a lot more golf on its channels.
Peter Dawson, the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, issued the stark warning when speaking at Royal Lytham and St Annes, where this year’s tournament is due to take place.
When asked if he was concerned by the fact that the corporation no longer shows tournaments like the Scottish Open and the BMW PGA Championship, Dawson was emphatic.
“We have had that conversation with the BBC. They know we have got our eye on them. It hasn’t just been in golf but with the likes of tennis as well. You have to stay in practice and keep up with advances in technology. You need to be in practice to do it well. We obviously want the Open Championship to be seen by as many people as we can.”
The BBC’s current deal runs until 2016 with the next raft of negotiations expected to take place at the end of 2014.
However, Dawson intimated that these talks will not be the formality of recent years.
“The BBC know they need to get off the financial plateau they are on with the Open Championship by the next time it comes around,” he said. “Who knows who will be on the scene then?”
Dawson also took issue with the BBC”s tendency to use retired sportspeople from other areas, such as Gary Lineker and Michael Vaughan, to present its golf coverage.