NEW YORK (AP) British Open broadcasts on NBC will start a year early, debuting in 2016.
In June, NBC Sports Group announced a 12-year deal with the R&A for U.S. television coverage starting in 2017. ESPN was scheduled to air the tournament next July to complete an eight-year contract, but NBC said Monday it had negotiated with the R&A and ESPN to take over in '16. The original agreement will still go through 2028.
NBC and partner Golf Channel will now be able to use next year's British Open to promote its coverage later in the summer of golf's return to the Olympics.
NBC lost its U.S. Open rights when the USGA agreed to a 12-year contract with Fox that started this past June. Its deal with the R&A also includes the Women's British Open.