THE Scottish Open will be the first regular European Tour event shown live on a major network in America after a deal was struck with NBC to screen this year’s tournament at Castle Stuart and also its first staging at Royal Aberdeen in 2014.
The ground-breaking agreement, which complements existing coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event on the Golf Channel, will see NBC broadcast two-and-a-half hours of live coverage on each of the final two days’ play.
“Following the vision and leadership of the Golf Channel, we are delighted to enter into this historic new agreement with NBC for live coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the next two years,” said European Tour chief executive George O’Grady.
“It speaks volumes for the quality of the European Tour product, and specifically the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, that one of our most prestigious championships will be shown to a new audience on one of the prime TV networks in the United States in conjunction with our already outstanding coverage on the Golf Channel.”
The agreement, which was brokered during last year’s dramatic Ryder Cup victory for Europe in Chicago, has also been welcomed by First Minister Alex Salmond and Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.
“It is a fantastic boost for Scottish golf and an incredible opportunity for Scotland to showcase the magnificent scenery of the Highlands and the fantastic golf on offer at Castle Stuart and across the country to tens of millions of US viewers,” said Salmond. “US golf fans have an incredible affinity for Scotland as the undisputed home of golf. This deal will help feed the appetite for coverage of Scottish events across the Atlantic and cement the reputation of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open as one of the jewels in the crown of the European Tour schedule.”
Gilbert, who was instrumental in Aberdeen Asset Management taking over as the event’s title sponsor last year, said: “The US is one of our most important markets and therefore we are very supportive of this new agreement. The opportunities for us to promote the Aberdeen brand in the US are fantastic It’s a very effective way for us to reach a mass audience and showcase not only our commitment to [Scottish] golf and to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open but also raise our profile as a leading global financial institution.”
Ironically, NBC will start covering the event live in the year that only highlights will be shown on the BBC.