No live 2011 British Open free to air television coverage

SADLY, it seems free to air coverage of the British Open golf in Australia is now officially extinct.

In recent years the coverage has been a travesty, with Channel 9 showing a one day delayed one hour highlights package in the wee small hours (2010 Briitsh Open TV coverage – an entire hour right after the midnight Skippy repeat)

In 2011 things have gone backwards, with not even any delayed highlights packages scheduled.

If Channel Nine still has the rights – as they have had since the 80’s when Greg Norman was world No.1 and the late Kerry Packer was keen as mustard to broadcast the lot – then maybe they just haven’t realised the Open is on yet.

After all, we’re writing this Monday morning and the Open doesn’t start till way over on Thursday evening. That’s three and a half days away as the crow flies. They might have just overlooked it.

Last year we rang Channel Nine in Sydney a couple of days out from golf’s most hallowed championship and they had to check with Melbourne to try and find out what their final schedule might be (see Skippy story as above).

We also asked for some comment on what their whole overall contemporary British Open television broadcasting strategy was.

Strangely, we’re still waiting for the call back.

If Channel 9 no longer has anything to do with the rights and they’ve all been handed over to pay tv under the latest anti-siphoning laws, we’re sorry we said all this.  We apologise and admit we might be behavng like a grumpy old elephant who never forgets a slight. We are thinking of making a new phone call but we didn’t want to appear over anxious by calling (back) too soon.

If the Nine Network still has the rights, then the best non Fox Sport subscribers can hope is that some highlights packages will suddenly appear in the schedule. (Skippy is on 1.30am on Friday morning but that’s to soon for a delayed package.)

Even better, if Jason Day or Adam Scott is a few strokes ahead of the pack as we head into the final round on Sunday evening, then around 11pm the British Open golf could suddenly appear on free to air screens. That’s probably being over optimistic.

If you are one of us lucky ones who do have Fox Sports you’re laughing – you can watch more of the 2011 British Open than might be medically advisable.

You can watch the first round live on Thursday from 6pm to 4am, then backup and watch the 1st round replay on Friday from 9am to 3pm – and continue much the same for the four days of the tournament.

If you aren’t a pay tv subscriber, and don’t have a very understanding mate who is, you can always watch the Open at your local club till midnight-ish, then go home and try one of the many internet live streaming services that are likely to be available.  Try something like MyP2P golf.

The Open will have its own new-fangled website this year that will over extensive live streaming of the event but is questionable if this service will be accessible from an Australian ISP address. But maybe so, the Open site is here.

As we said, if you are a Foxtel or Austar subscriber you’re laughing. As well as the live and replay schedule below, there’s also a swag of British Open “official films” this week and preview shows.

2011 British Open Fox Sports Schedule Australia.

1st Round

Live: Thursday 6pm to 4am. Replay: Friday 9am to 3pm

2nd Round

Live: Friday 6pm to 4am. (No Replay Saturday)

3rd Round

Live: Saturday 7pm to 4am. Replay: Sunday 9am to 12.30pm; 4.30 to 8pm.

4th Round

Live: 8pm to 4am. Replay: Monday 9am to 1pm.

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Brian is a former Sydney journalist who didn’t have a skerrick of interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded Australian Senior Golfer in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Over from Ireland for a year, been here for 6 months just long enough to guess that The Open would not be on free to air tv and even if it was it would be in between Harvey Norman ads

  2. 2010 contacted Channel 9 programming, sent letter, contacted ombudsman, said there is nothing they can do – contact Channel 9, re-contacted Channel 9, it’s 14/07/2011, still awaiting a reply …. 2011 Royal St George website – got excited…
    live video!!! …. but …. amazing viewing … on the spot live interviews of spectators !!
    … cross to indoor studio … ‘unfortunately, we cannot give you LIVE coverage of any
    golf … it’s not what we are about … but we will keep you up to date verbally with
    what’s going on’ … well, goody, goody, gumdrops !!!
    BRICKBATS TO CHANNEL 9 AND EVERYONE CONCERNED !!!

  3. Lets make a new show
    ” Skippy covers the British open ”
    tu tu tu whats that skip ? eagle on the 4th!
    Win win

  4. This is an email sent to FREE TV a toothless tiger!!

    This is the only web based way to make a complaint about coverage so Im using it.
    The British Golf Open is a major worldwide sports event and not one free to air channel is showing it!!!
    We dont have foxtel or anyother pay tv service.
    Channel 1 or 9 previously had the rights to show this event live.
    1 has decided to show a second rate Indonesian open…who cares!!!
    Are the execs of these channels so short sighted that they cant see the profit potential in having the rights to show this event.
    As far as I can see promoting your Free-Tv is a total waste of money if you cant provide the goods.
    Thanks Steve

  5. One of the global sport highlights of the year and wonderful TV, good work free to air!! I just hope one of the Aussies is in the mix on day 4.

  6. We get two U.S. Majors.It’s time to boycott channel 9 and fox until our rights as viewers are returned.

  7. Just one more reason not to watch TV, I’m not going to pay some channel to watch ads. Things have got so bad that I basically only watch news 24, and that’s only occasionally, I tried to watch a documentary, on channel 9; I think, only watched the first bit then there were so many ads I turned it off, downloaded it from the web and watched it without any ads.

  8. what is our anti-siphoning Minister doing about this? Thanks for looking after people who cannot afford pay tv

  9. This is simply an ABSOLUTE JOKE ! Golf right now needs every dam viewer It can get ..Not the other way around . I would NEVER subscribe to Pay TV as a point of principle . The last time I didnt watch the British Open , was when it WAS NOT telecast live ..when Watson beat Newton at Carnouste . The British Open will sadly LOOSE its standing if it IS NOT run on FTAir …..A DISGRACE .

  10. The trouble is the coverage in europe is as boring as bat shit.The commentators are droll and putting seems to be all you see.Maybe they should take a leaf out of the yanks book and put a bit of zing in it,then you might get viewers of all ages watching it.Thats the only way TV networks will sit up and take notice.

  11. it is ridiculous,. so much other cr@p but not this. particularly when australians starting to look competitive. Read the interviews from some of the young pros and they talk about the British Open being the one major to win as they watched it when goring up. What will they say now? don’t understand why they show all 3 US majors but not this.

  12. Yeah that’s ridiculous!? Got up early this morning to find there’s no coverage anywhere… very disappointing.

  13. Channel 9 has now scheduled a one hour highlights package of the 2011 British Open at midnight on Monday. This proves they do still have the rights to The Open and also shows their total contempt for the Australian golfing public.
    Three digital channels available to them now and they didn’t even show/find space for the nightly 1 hour highlights package – let alone any of the final round. I think the event got about 30 seconds on the Sunday 6pm news.

  14. It is an absolute disgrace that Channel 9 have the free-to-air Tv rights and refuse to show the Open. They have a couple of digital channels to use and it would not interfere with their prime time shows. I cannot see the logic of having paid for the TV rights but not broadcast the golf, unless of course, Channel 9 has a vested interest in Pay TV. Lets hope they lose the rights soon and it goes to One HD.

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