The Royal & Ancient has finally sold out to Sky TV in a total betrayal to all true golf fans (your report, 2 January). The Open is now limited to a minority of the viewers in our country.
Attendance at the Open is also limited due to the high cost of entry (£75-95) and car parking (£15-20 with no concessions).
The cost of food and drink on the course is double the normal price. It is now purely a money-making exercise.
All the old traditions of the Open will now be lost. It will be just another tournament on the Sky circuit.
The BBC also has questions to answer. It has virtually given up on golf but has paid more than £300 million for the rights to screening football’s Match of the Day.
This cannot be the best use of TV viewers’ licence fees.
I would like to add to the criticism of the probable loss of the Open golf championship to terrestrial TV. I have read several articles in the past couple of days extolling the virtues of Sky putting so much into sport.
However, in reality, it is not Sky that puts the money in but the subscribers to Sky, and if they like sport they have less and less choice in the matter.
Sky, of course, creams off its whack before using the rest to further its aims as a monopoly. There has been some criticism from “top” sportspersons but not much, probably because the Sky arrangement bolsters their already bloated incomes.
We are already obliged to pay a licence fee to operate a TV and this polarisation of sport under the Sky umbrella is effectively a top-up of that if you want to view sport.
It would be a pleasant change and probably a vote-catching move in the run-up to May to see a party or government take steps to limit the power of Sky in eventually hijacking all sport.
K R Murdoch