The R&A has announced that, in 2011, The Open Championship will showcase ‘@TheOpen LIVE’, a live online channel that will broadcast from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 July. The channel will be streamed live on Opengolf.com, Facebook and LiveStream.com, and on The Open’s iPhone and Android apps. The channel will give viewers the chance to instantly interact with presenters and guests, as they go behind the scenes of golf’s oldest Major.
Up to five hours of live coverage will be broadcast daily, by a team of presenters that includes Dominic Holyer and Georgie Bingham, bringing viewers the unique atmosphere of The Open, wherever they are in the world, as well as coverage of post-round press conferences, exclusive interviews and highlights of play.
“@TheOpen LIVE is an exciting new development in the way we present the Championship,” said R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson. “Although coverage of the golf is broadcast all over the world, we have never previously provided viewers with an intimate experience of the unique atmosphere that The Open creates for spectators. With its behind-the-scenes access and interaction with fans, this live channel will do that.”
The Open Championship App is available on iPhone and, for the first time, Android handsets. The App will broadcast @TheOpen LIVE, as well as offering live coverage from the 14th, 15th and 16th holes, video highlights, access to Radio Opengolf and news stories, plus real-time scoring updates and bulletins reporting on the action. The App will be available from iTunes and the Android Marketplace in the coming days.
Social media activity, this year, will revolve around Facebook (Facebook.com/The-Open-Championship), Twitter (Twitter.com/The_Open_Champ) and Youtube (Youtube.com/OpenChampionship). Users will be able to use Facebook and Twitter to interact with @TheOpen LIVE’s presenters, while the channel is on the air.
The 2011 Virtual Open Championship, a free, online game produced by World Golf Tour, is running alongside The Open, this year, with both the nine-hole skills challenge and the 18-hole qualifying round ending on 17 July. This year’s Virtual Open Champion will win a trip for two to the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes, including travel, accommodation, tickets to the venue for the week and exclusive R&A Club Marquee access.
The award-winning Opengolf.com will be accompanied by ‘Score Centre+’: A live desktop console, providing fans of The Open with information about the current venue, up-to-date news and video coverage of the build up to the four Championship days in July.