The NBC Sports Group will begin coverage of the Open Championship one year early, in 2016, it was announced Monday.
NBC’s long-term media agreement with the Royal and Ancient will begin with the 2016 Open at Royal Troon and continue with the Senior Open Championship and Ricoh Women’s British Open. The original 12-year agreement was announced in June.
ESPN’s contract with the R&A was set to expire at the end of 2016. A similar move was made across the pond, with the BBC deciding to step away a year early in favor of Sky Sports.
The NBC Sports Group will also carry golf’s return to the Olympics.
“First and foremost, we want to congratulate ESPN for their company’s successful stewardship of the Open for the last several decades, and we want to thank them for allowing us to start our partnership with the R&A one year early,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group. “2016 promises to be an exciting year for all of golf, as the Open kicks off a historic stretch, including the Rio Olympics, the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs and Ryder Cup on Golf Channel and NBC.”