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The Open 2010: BBC signs Open coverage deal until 2016

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website, with updates on BBC Radio 5 live Full coverage details

Tom Watson plays a practice round at the Old Course ahead of The Open
This year's Open will be the first to be broadcast in HD

The Open will be shown on the BBC until at least 2016 after a new deal was agreed between BBC Sport and the R&A.

The new contract means the BBC will continue as exclusive live television broadcaster, and also covers radio, online, interactive and iPlayer.

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater described the Open as "one of our most important crown jewel events".

This year's event begins on Thursday and will be the first to be broadcast in high definition.

The new contract also covers further developments in technology, such as 3D.


"On 3D, all we're going to be doing there is watching developments in that market," said R&A chief executive Peter Dawson.

"I personally doubt that you're going to see general coverage of events in 3D in that time scale, but I might be wrong. It's not a big priority for us."

Dawson admitted selling the rights to a satellite broadcaster probably would have proved more lucrative.

Dawson hopeful over Open weather

But he added: "We all know the financial pressures that the BBC is under, but I'm very pleased we've been able to come to a commercially satisfactory settlement while at the same time bringing the championship to its widest audience.

"When you're spending a large amount of the commercial success in the Open in developing the game, it's hardly consistent, is it, to then show it to a restricted audience?"

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