BBC One has ended its 56 year association with the The Masters golf tournament, according to reports.
The Masters is one of the most iconic tournaments in professional golf and it is the first of the four major tournaments taking place in 2023. The BBC first broadcast The Masters in 1967 and the channel has shown every edition of the tournament in one way or another since 1986.
The reports will come as a huge blow to avid golf fans around the UK. But when is The Masters tournament taking place and why is the BBC no longer providing coverage?
Here is everything you need to know.
What is The Masters?
The Masters is one of the four biggest annual tournaments in golf. The Masters was established in 1934 and the competition is held at the same location each year, which is the Augusta National Golf Club.
Over the years, the competition has been won by Golf Icons such as Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus.
Why is the BBC no longer covering The Masters?
The BBC has axed its coverage of The Masters as part of the company's cost-cutting measures, say reports. The BBC’s existing deal with Augusta National Golf Club expired after the tournament last year and the broadcasting giants have reportedly given up any hopes of signing a new deal to broadcast The Masters, according to the Telegraph.
Earlier this year Rory Mcllroy admitted that it would be “unfortunate” if The Masters was no longer shown on the BBC. He said: “I think if you’re thinking nostalgically, yes, it is, growing up watching The Masters and The Open on BBC.
“I just think the landscape of sports and media and entertainment has changed so much in the last 10 years that it’s not the model anymore. It’s either Sky in the UK or its streaming services.”
When is The Masters 2023?
This year’s Masters is played from Thursday 6 April until Sunday 9 April.
Who enters The Masters?
Participation in the Masters is decided by invitation only and the tournament has the smallest field of all the majors.
Invitations for the competition are awarded to previous winners, recent major champions, leading finishers at previous majors and high ranking players at the PGA tour during the previous season and leading players in the Official World Golf Rankings.
How to watch The Masters 2023
In 2011, Sky Sports won the rights to broadcast live coverage of all four days of the tournament, meanwhile the BBC had only acquired the right to show footage of the final two rounds.
In 2020, Sky Sports gained exclusive rights to all the live broadcasting and the BBC was reduced to having a highlights programme.
You can watch all the footage of this year’s tournament on Sky Sports Golf Channel and Main Event. While you can also stream all the action as it happens through the SkyGo app which is available to download on your mobile phone.
If you are not already an existing Sky Sports member you can purchase it for £25 a month.