The final round of The Open had its worst television viewing numbers in recent memory

Sky Sports are the new live broadcasters of the event

BY Daniel Kelly 09:42 Tuesday 19 July 2016, 9:42 19 Jul 2016

Picture by: Matt Dunham / AP/Press Association Images

It was one of the best Open Championships in recent memory, but very few people got to watch Henrik Stenson's battle with Phil Mickelson over the final two rounds at Royal Troon.

Although the tournament was available to watch for Irish viewers on eir Sports. British viewing numbers massively decreased as Sky Sports broadcast the tournament exclusively live for the first time ever. The BBC, who previously showed live coverage of the event up until last year's tournament.

According to The Guardian, viewing figures were 75% less than they were for Zach Johnson's win at St Andrews in 2015. That tournament finished on a Monday.

1.1million people watched the "Duel at Troon" on Sky Sports, compared to 4.7million last year on the BBC as Johnson won in a playoff. Rory McIlroy's win in 2014 was seen by 5.5million viewers.

In what will be a further embarrassment to the satellite provider, the BBC's highlights show on Sunday evening gained more viewers than Sky's peak audience during the live broadcast. 1.5million watched the two-hour show, hours after the action at Royal Troon ended.

Sky Sports have live coverage of the competition up to and including 2021. That will include when the event returns to Irish shores at Royal Portrush in 2019.


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