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BBC drops live coverage of The Open one year early

The BBC announces that it is pulling live coverage of The Open one year early due to "challenging financial savings targets".

The BBC has announced that it will no longer broadcast live coverage of The Open, despite having the rights for one more year.

The original deal would have seen Sky Sports show the golf championship live from 2017, but the BBC has opted to speed up the exchange.

In 2016, instead of live action, the BBC will broadcast extended TV highlights of the tournament, as well as live radio updates and online coverage.

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said in a statement: "We know that many fans are unhappy with the loss of rights and in an ideal world the BBC would still be the home of live coverage of The Open.

"The BBC is faced with some challenging financial savings targets. Sport on the BBC is not immune to those pressures and they are compounded by the highly inflationary nature of the rights market."

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: "The relationship between the R&A and the BBC spans more than 60 years and we understand the challenging circumstances that the BBC is currently presented with."

It has been confirmed that commentator Peter Alliss will stay on as part of the BBC's team for The Open.

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