Broadcaster Clare Balding has come in for heavy criticism on Twitter after criticising Sky Sport’s coverage of the AIG Women’s British Open.
Balding, who regularly presents for the BBC, Channel 4 and BT Sport, took aim at Sky for closing off coverage of the final women’s major of the season before the leaders had finished their round.
With all the interest and improved investment in women’s sport, it’s a real shame not to be able to watch the last hour of play @WoburnGC in the AIG Women’s British Open. The leader is still on the course, other players fighting to make the cut. It seems really odd @SkySportsGolf— Clare Balding (@clarebalding) August 2, 2019
However, if the 48-year-old was expecting support for her observation, she would have been disappointed as many Twitter users rounded on her, using the BBC’s recent track record for covering golf to illustrate the irony in Balding’s remarks.
Just me looking for BBC golf coverage pic.twitter.com/4nC36KTNIS— Chris Lee (@missyrupert) August 3, 2019
Strange criticising Sky for their golf coverage when the BBC have reversed out of the sport big time.— Colin Anderson (@ColinAnderson65) August 3, 2019
Jeez.......remind me how many hours live coverage the bbc provided so far.— George Gardner (@Oldtimeaccie) August 3, 2019
You gave 10 seconds coverage to Georgia hall on SPOTY last year
Bit hypocritical for you to criticise Sky now is it not
This is an excellent point. During last year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards show, hosted by Balding, just ten seconds of the two-hour programme was devoted to the 2018 Women’s British Open… despite it being won by a British golfer, Georgia Hall, who was neither shortlisted for the main award nor interviewed during the show.
But back to the tweets…
Perhaps the BBC could spend less on overrated presenters and shocking programming and more on securing sporting events of their own?— Matt Connell (@mattconnell84) August 3, 2019
Remember when the BBC showed Homes Under The Hammer instead of the start of the final round of The Open when it ran on until Monday? Great times.— Jon Chalk (@Jon_Chalk1) August 3, 2019
Some, though, did agree with Balding.
It's a disgrace, we've been watching all afternoon, then gone grrr— Lee (@kermitgage) August 2, 2019
Totally agree, it's wonderful out there and done great golf and stories still to unfold .— Alison Perkins (@alisonpgapro) August 2, 2019
Sky has exclusive live broadcast rights for the tournament in the UK, a deal that was extended until at least 2024 just last month.
The BBC is showing highlights of the championship. Tonight and tomorrow, there will be a one-hour package on the red button at 9.30pm and another hour-long show on BBC 2 at 11.15pm.
South African golfer Ashleigh Buhai currently leads the tournament at Woburn by three shots from Japan’s Hinako Shibuno.