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BBC secure new 5 year Open deal

The BBC and R&A have agreed a new multi-million pound deal to televise the Open championship for the next five years.

Last month's Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes, won by David Duval, marked the end of the previous five-year contract.

That deal was believed to be worth £10million and although no figures have been disclosed for the new agreement, it is believed the BBC could have had to pay up to three times that amount to secure the rights.

Peter Dawson, secretary of the R&A, said: "For reasons of confidentiality, financial and other contractual details cannot be disclosed but both BBC Sport and ourselves are satisfied that a sensible, yet commercial agreement has been reached which will enable the R&A to continue to fund the development of golf throughout the world.

"The R&A is delighted to have reached a further five-year agreement with the BBC which ensures that the Open championship will remain on terrestrial television.

"We have the best possible relationship with the BBC and this new contract ensures that the widest possible audience will continue to be able to watch golf's oldest major championships."

Dominic Coles, BBC Sport director of rights and finance added: "The R&A recognises that BBC Sport not only brings sport to audiences but audiences to sport.

"Nearly six million viewers watched David Duval's victory on the final day of this year's championship and we are delighted to be able to bring the most prestigious golf championship in the world to sports fans, free to air."

The agreement covers the years 2002-2006 and also includes live coverage of home Walker Cup ties and edited highlights of the Amateur and Boys' championships and the St Andrews Trophy.

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