Golf Returns to terrestrial TV at Glasgow 2018
This week’s inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles not only represents history with men and women playing together in a unique format for equal prize money – it also sees the return of live UK golf to free-to-air TV.
The Championships, which will comprise Men’s and Women’s Team events as well as a revolutionary Mixed Team format, will be screened live across the BBC network in addition to significant radio and online coverage. Fronted by Eilidh Barbour, the BBC’s golf coverage from Gleneagles will see live action across Friday, Saturday and Sunday with highlights from the first two days of play.
It also marks the return of golf to a multi-sports environment for the first time since the Rio Olympics in 2016 with the BBC also providing extensive coverage of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, featuring Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon in addition to Athletics from Berlin.
Eilidh, who took over from Hazel Irvine as the BBC’s golf anchor in 2017, said:
There’s no better place for a team competition on British soil than to go back to the scene of Europe’s last Ryder Cup victory - the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.
“Coming from Perthshire, I’m thrilled that once again it will be playing host to a huge international event and pictures of its beauty will be beamed all over the continent.
“What sets golf apart from every other sport is that men and women of all ages and abilities can play and compete together and it’s great to see mixed gender golf taking place in such a huge international event. I look forward to seeing it unfold and hope it can be something that is developed further in the future.”
The European Championships will be broadcast across the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the umbrella body for European free-to-air channels, with a potential audience of 1.03 billion.
Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director said: “We are delighted that the inaugural European Golf Team Championships will be accessible via free-to–air television allowing many people to watch this exciting and innovative format. It will be an historic occasion when the men and women tee it up together at Gleneagles showcasing their skills which in turn will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of golfers watching across the BBC network.”
Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman of the Ladies European Tour, said: “As Europe’s only team sport, it is fantastic for golf to have been included in the inaugural European Championships. And the team format means that the players have the rare opportunity to represent their countries and compete for gold medals as part of a multi-sport platform.
“Playing alongside the other sports with live television and digital coverage across the entire continent of Europe, means that many people will be able to see the incredibly talented players and personalities that we have in European women’s golf for the first time. We await with anticipation to see who will be crowned the Champions of Europe.”
Players from 15 nations will compete for medals in the European Golf Team Championships across five days of competition from 8-12 August.
The Championships will feature a 50/50 gender split in the field with male and female professionals competing for equal prize money in both a Men’s and Women’s Team match play Championship, as well as an 18-hole foursomes stroke play Mixed Team Championship.
Players will represent their countries with 16 teams of two players competing in the Men’s and Women’s Team events, before combining to form teams of four (two men and two women) in the Mixed Team Championship.