Sky grabs share of golf’s Masters in 3D

Sky Sports has acquired the rights to share coverage of the Masters Golf Tournament, ending the BBC’s 25-year domination of the championship’s coverage.

The sports channel will broadcast live coverage of all four rounds of the Masters, plus the Par-3 contest, in high definition and in 3D from 2011.

The news comes ahead of the launch of Sky’s 3D channel on 1 October, beginning with its golf coverage of the Ryder Cup.

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis says: “3D coverage of the Masters will give a unique view of the Masters and really capture the contours of the stunning Augusta National course.”

The first two days of the Masters will also include an extra hour of live coverage when it begins on Thursday 7 April 2011.

The BBC, which has shown the tournament since 1986, will continue to deliver live coverage of the tournament over the weekend for the final two rounds.

Earlier this year US network CBS broadcast the Masters in 3D in the US for the first time. It has been shown in HD there since 1993.

Sponsors IBM, AT&T and ExxonMobil pay for exclusive rights to the TV advertising during the coverage. It is unclear whether similar deals will be replicated for Sky’s coverage in 2011.
Among the other golf tournaments Sky acquired coverage rights of the Ryder Cup in 2003, and BBC Sport and Sky Sports have shared live coverage of golf’s BMW PGA Championship and The Barclays Scottish Open since 2009.

Sky has been marketing its sports channel heavily over the last few months.

Last month it launched a press campaign promoting its Sky Sports News channel’s new HD and widescreen format, and in July it launched an Eric Cantona fronted campaign highlighting the variety of its sports service.

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