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What they said, what they meant: Peter Dawson's R&A press conference edition

By Geoff Shackelford

loop-peter-dawson-what-he-said-518.jpgHOYLAKE, England -- The transcript did not tell the full story from the annual R&A pre-tournament press conference Wednesday at Royal Liverpool. Particularly when the topic pivoted to the R&A's pending television renewal with the BBC, a story downplayed by most of the local media except for the Daily Mail.

This is what R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson said when asked about a possible change from 59-year-partner BBC, whose contract runs out in 2016, to Rupert Murdoch's Sky Sports.

"Well, we have had an extremely long relationship with the BBC and a very happy one. I think it's now 59 years since the Open Championship was first televised in 1955 on the BBC. Our current contract runs through the 2016 Open. And what will happen thereafter remains to be seen. Being a rights holder we obviously have to balance that long-term relationship and the high viewership of the BBC against commercial considerations. The value of golf rights has accelerated dramatically, particularly in the United States just in the last 12 months. And that's perhaps a bigger item in the equation than it might otherwise have been, that's for sure. But it's massively premature to speculate on what might occur." 

Here's where you picture our exclusive algorithm translating that statement…and the result:

"Well, we have had an extremely long relationship with the BBC and a very happy one, except on occasion when Peter Alliss has taken a jab at us. I'm going to say I think it's now 59 years since the Open Championship was first televised in 1955 on the BBC even though I know full well how bloody long it's been. Our current contract runs through the 2016 Open. And what will happen thereafter remains to be seen, though I have a pretty good idea we're going to cash in, baby! Being a rights holder we obviously have to balance that long-term relationship and the high viewership of the BBC against commercial considerations. For at least a good hour or two. The value of golf rights has accelerated dramatically, particularly in the United States just in the last 12 months where our friends at the USGA have ensured we can suitably cash in, too! And that's perhaps a bigger item in the equation than it might otherwise have been, that's for sure, I mean, who'd a thunk Rupert Murdoch would pay that much cash for golf! Still it's massively premature to speculate on what might occur, at least publicly, but you can bet we're already counting the massive infusion of money that'll start coming in around 2017 when Sky takes over!"

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