Sky Sports loses rights to US PGA Championship

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Sky Sports has lost the rights to the US PGA Championship, which takes place at Quail Hollow next month and is the fourth major of the year. 

The news comes just a week before The Open at Royal Birkdale, and just a day after the broadcaster announced the launch of a dedicated golf channel.

Only last year, Sky became the live broadcaster of all four majors having secured rights for The Open over the BBC - but that will now end as with just a month to go the fourth major of the year no longer has a home on British television. 

According to the report in the Guardian, the PGA of America confirmed that Sky’s deal – which had run for a decade – has not been renewed because a completely different media model is being pursued. While the details of that are unknown, there could still be an element of live broadcast, via another outlet.

“We had a good partnership with Sky but the 2017 US PGA Championship will not be on Sky,” said the PGA of America’s chief commercial officer, Jeff Price.

“It was a multi-year deal that was up. Ultimately one of the key things for us is scale of distribution and obviously with all the new platforms that consumers are engaging with, we want to make sure we reach all of them.”

“Broad distribution, multi-platform distribution is the key objective for us,” he said. “I’m not in a position yet to share all the details but we want the ability to engage golf fans of all ages across all platforms.

“We want the broadest distribution we can possibly have and are very excited about the plan we have in place.”

At this stage there can only be speculation about what that plan is, but with more and more golf being streamed online - including feature groups on the PGA Tour, it is hard to imagine that social media and live streaming will not play a part.