The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, which returns to Castle Stuart near Inverness for a third time in 2013, will break new ground in July when it becomes the first regular European Tour event to be shown live on a major US television network.

The agreement with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) will complement the existing coverage on the Golf Channel and will mean NBC broadcast two and a half hours of live coverage of the closing two days' play in the Highlands.

Until now, only major championships, world golf championships and leading team events connected to the European Tour have been shown live on the American networks. This new, two-year deal, which will also take in the 2014 Scottish Open when it moves to Royal Aberdeen, is a coup for the domestic showpiece.

AAM, which is a major supporter of Scottish golf at all levels, and the Scottish Government are the two principal backers of the Scottish Open, which boasts a prize fund of £3m and will be held in the prime slot  the week before the Open Championship. With the Ryder Cup heading to Scotland in 20 months’ time, the opportunity to showcase the home of golf to a vast American market is being eagerly anticipated.

“This is an agreement brokered on the course at  the recent Ryder Cup in Medinah, and I know that US golf fans have an affinity for Scotland as the home of golf,” said First Minister, Alex Salmond. “This deal will help feed the appetite for coverage of Scottish events across the Atlantic and cement the reputation of the Scottish Open as one of the jewels in the crown of the European Tour schedule.”