NBC Sports to air Open Champ. beginning in 2017

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Royal Birkdale (Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Royal & Ancient announced Monday that it has entered into a 12-year agreement with the NBC Sports Group to broadcast the Open Championship in the United States beginning in 2017 at Royal Birkdale. 

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson and NBC Sports Group president Mark Lazarus made the joint announcement.

“They have unparalleled experience in golf and have demonstrated a genuine desire to showcase and promote The Open and the R&A’s elite championships through their extensive range of channels and digital platforms,” Dawson said. “The United States is home to millions of fans of The Open and we know that through NBC Sports Group they will enjoy world-class coverage of the championship.”

Said Lazarus: “The R&A is synonymous with the traditions and history of golf, and The Open is golf’s original championship."

The partnership includes coverage of the Open, Senior Open, Amateur Championship and Ricoh Women’s British Open, which is run by the Ladies’ Golf Union. The Walker Cup and Curtis Cup will also be aired by the NBC Sports Group in years when those events are hosted by the R&A and LGU.

Other items of note regarding the agreement: The Open Championship and Women’s British Open will return to U.S. broadcast television for the first time in eight years; It will mark the first time Golf Channel will air live coverage of a men’s major championship; The Women’s British Open will be the fourth women’s major on Golf Channel.

This year’s Open will be held July 16-19 at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Next year it returns to Royal Troon for the first time since Todd Hamilton won in 2004.