BBC presenter under fire for Sky Sports Golf criticism

Clare Balding

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. 

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.

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.

• OPINION - Hall snub exposes sad hypocrisy of #SPOTY

But back to the tweets…

Some, though, did agree with Balding.

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.

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