Georgia Hall has expressed her disappointment at seeing the BBC push back its highlights of the AIG Women’s Open into the “graveyard shift” following an interview with Telegraph Sport.
Hall, who won the Women’s Open in 2018, is shocked that the BBC will not be screening highlights of this week’s tournament until 10.30pm on the red button and iPlayer. In 2020 and 2021, this particular service was available from 8pm.
Their highlights program doesn’t even come onto the main BBC channel until well after 11pm, and so the winning putt from Muirfield this weekend will therefore not be shown by the BBC until 12.45am on Monday morning.
This is a time when youngsters, and the majority of UK golf fans for that matter, will be tucked up in bed.
Okay Sky Sports Golf is showing full live coverage of the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield as it continues its outstanding coverage of women’s sport, but not everyone out there has the luxury of such a subscription especially during a cost of living and inflation crisis right now.
Hall is saddened about it all, especially as the British players this week want to build on the great success of England Women’s victorious Euros team from last weekend.
“It is a shame and we’ve had this before. I remember at Troon [in 2020] and hoped they would fix after that reaction,” Hall told Telegraph Sport.
“We want it to be on earlier so more people can and will watch. You can’t expect people to be staying up past midnight, especially the kids and that is who we are trying to inspire aren’t we?
“After what the Lionnesses did on Sunday women’s sport is on the up – the BBC got 17m or something for the final – and this is disappointing. All we can do is try to play as well as we can and hope that people tune in, if they haven’t got Sky. But no, it doesn’t help that it’s on even later than before.”
The world’s best women golfers are playing for a record prize fund at the AIG Women’s Open this week.
According to the BBC, the push back of the Women’s Open highlights has been a result of the Commonwealth Games coverage that is ongoing in Birmingham.
As Telegraph Sports point out though, the Women’s Open was still “demoted on the schedule for the World Seniors Snooker Championship” two years ago… something which likely tells you all you need to know about how the BBC views not just women’s golf but golf at large these days.
PGA Tour pro Tommy Fleetwood feels the pain of Hall, when he told Telegraph Sport: “I was surprised and a bit disappointed when I looked this morning and saw the Women’s Open highlights weren’t on until after 11pm.
“Sky is great but not everyone has a subscription and this should be great exposure for the women golfers playing on one of the best links. It doesn’t seem fair, really.
“What’s the point of the BBC owning the highlights rights and then burying the coverage. Don’t get it. You’d think they would read the room better after the women have just won the Euros.”