Television

ESPN renews rights to golf's oldest tournament British Open

MUMBAI: ESPN which claims to be the worldwide leader in sports has announced that it has reached a new multi-year agreement for significant international rights for the British Open, the oldest golf championship in the world. The new terms ensure that ESPN International will continue to televise the event through 2006.

An official release informs that the broadcaster will be the exclusive cable and satellite broadcaster of the British Open for 65 countries and territories throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North Africa. ESPN International will begin televising the 131st edition of the event in these regions on 17 July . Coverage will continue through the final round on 20 July.

In addition to securing exclusive cable and satellite television rights for the British Open, the terms also grant ESPN the same broadcast rights for the Senior British Open and the Women's British Open, along with a variety of retrospective programs including The Official Films of the British Open and Golden Moments of the British Open. ESPNdeportes.com, the company's Spanish-language website, will also be allowed to stream up to two minutes of highlights per day during these events.

The 2003 British Open will be held at the Royal St. George Golf Club in Sandwich, England. Last year's winner Ernie Els will attempt to defend his title against opposition from 21 countries, which includes 14 former Open champions and 48 of the current top 50 players in the world. Greg Norman and Sandy Lyle, the last two winners at St. George's, together with Tiger Woods and this year's Masters champion Mike Weir, are among those competing against Els. More than US$6.3 million in prize money will be distributed, including more than US$ one million to the champion.

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