When this year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles is broadcast on Sky Sports next week, it will signal the tenth time the biennial match has been screened on Sky, as part of its 20 year partnership with the European Tour.
In honour of the occasion, the European Tour presented Sky Sports with a replica Ryder Cup trophy and two signed team golf bags from the 2012 European and USA teams.
Sky’s first live Ryder Cup was held at Oak Hill Country Club, 1995, in New York where the European team, captained by Bernard Gallacher, won by a one point margin to win back the cup.
Since then Sky has followed every historic moment, from Paul McGinley’s triumphant dive into the lake at The Belfry in 2002, to Darren Clarke’s emotional walk to the first tee in 2006.
The live broadcast has changed almost beyond recognition since 1995, as new technology introduced has improved coverage year by year.
Progression of Sky Sports Ryder Cup coverage
1995 - shown live in the UK throughout all three days for the first time
1999 - an interactive option, giving viewers an English or American commentary feed
2002 - up to nine interactive options including 'Star Match,' 'Live Scoreboard,' and 'Off Course' option
2006 – broadcast live in HD and available on a range of platforms
2010 – screened live in 3D
2012 - live multi-platform coverage, through Sky Go, a new Ryder Cup companion player on the iPad and a dedicated microsite
2014 – 4k test to better understand the technology
Jeremy Darroch, chief executive, of BSkyB, is glad the organisations have been able to keep the Ryder Cup at the top of the sporting ladder, and says he can’t wait to do it all again this year.
“We’re incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with the European Tour,” said Darroch.
"we’re all counting down the days until the excitement starts once again.” - Jeremy Darroch
“Our strong relationship has enabled us to deliver innovations over the last two decades that have kept the Ryder Cup at the forefront of sports broadcasting.
“It’s a globally prestigious event that never fails to grip the nation and inspire new fans to the game.
“For all of the technological advances in the world, some things never change and that’s the determination to win that is on show every two years as the teams go head to head for the much coveted cup.
“The replica trophy will take pride of place at Sky where we’re all counting down the days until the excitement starts once again.”
George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, was delighted to mark the tenth anniversary with the signed memorabilia.
“It is a great pleasure to hand over to Jeremy the two signed team golf bags and replica trophy which will be a feature in the state-of-the-art Sky hub,” he said.
O’Grady is just as excited for Gleneagles 2014, however, he already has one eye on the next two Ryder Cups, too.
“We look forward to Sky Sports bringing all the drama and excitement in glorious High Definition from Gleneagles, as well as the next two editions in Minnesota and Paris.”
For the first time, Sky Sports 4 will become ‘Sky Sports Ryder Cup’, showing over 330 hours of golf across 14 days, including 36 hours of live coverage from Gleneagles.
The channel goes live at 6am on Thursday, September 18 and continues until 6am on Thursday, October 2.