Golf Channel Posts 2nd Most-Watched Third Quarter Ever, Trailing Only Olympics-Fueled 2016

By Golf Channel Public RelationsSeptember 28, 2017, 12:35 pm

Golf Channel Digital Records Highest Quarter of Streaming Consumption Ever, Marking 11th Straight Quarter of Year-Over-Year Growth 

Golf Channel Continues to Rank as No. 1 Most-Affluent Audience in All of Television in Total Day and Primetime

The Open, Slate of Women’s Golf Events, FedExCup Playoffs and World Long Drive Highlight 3rd Quarter Viewership

 ORLANDO, Fla. (September 28, 2017) – Golf Channel posted its 2nd most-watched third quarter on record after drawing 116,000 average viewers in Total Day, up 2% vs. 2015. Trailing 2016 with golf’s inclusion in the Rio Olympics, 2017’s third quarter was down 3% YOY and up 5% YOY when excluding Olympic content. This record viewership in a non-Olympic year was driven in part by The Open, a slate of premier women’s golf events, and the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. Golf Channel also continued the network’s run in drawing the most-affluent audience in all of television in both Total Day and Primetime, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

GOLF CHANNEL THIRD QUARTER VIEWERSHIP SINCE JOINING NBC SPORTS GROUP IN 2011:

2017                116,000

2016                120,000                       -3% (+5% excluding Rio Olympics content)

2015                114,000                       +2%

2014                106,000                       +9%

2013                112,000                       +4%

2012                102,000                       +14%

2011                85,000                         +36%

2010                74,000                         +57%

GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL POSTS RECORD STREAMING CONSUMPTION

Golf Channel Digital already has posted its highest quarter of streaming consumption ever with third quarter through Wed., Sept. 27 drawing a total of 171.2 million minutes (with an additional three days of streaming the 2017 Presidents Cup still to come in Golf Channel Digital’s third quarter). Third quarter is currently up 16% vs. 2016 third quarter in total live minutes streamed, which includes 2016 Rio Olympics content (up 58% vs. 2016 excluding Olympic content).

ADDITIONAL VIEWERSHIP NOTES FOR THIRD QUARTER, 2017

  • 2017 FedExCup Playoffs: Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for Golf Channel on NBC’s coverage of the last three FedExCup Playoff events was 2.137 million viewers, up 13% vs. 2016. And Golf Channel’s TAD for live early-round coverage of all four FedExCup Playoff events delivered 615k average viewers, up 27% vs. 2016.
  • The Open: This is the second year of NBC Sports’ coverage of The Open.
    • The final round’s TAD for Golf Channel on NBC was 4.97 million average viewers, up 1% vs. 2016.
    • Golf Channel on NBC’s linear broadcasts household rating (3.23) was the second highest for golf’s 2017 major championship final rounds: PGA Championship (3.22) and U.S. Open (3.12).
    • NBC Sports’ Digital platforms delivered 100.8 million live minutes streamed (+96% YOY), 917k unique devices (+51% YOY), and 34k average minute audience (+92% YOY). Golf Channel Digital for The Open week totaled 42 million page views (+12% YOY), the most for any week on record, and 8.9 million total visits (+18% YOY)
    • Women’s Golf:
      • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Seen by a total audience of 6.58 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, it marks the largest total audience for the event on record and second largest for women’s majors in 2017. Final round coverage on NBC posted a .6 US household rating (+18% YOY) and 840k average viewers (+21% YOY), making it the most-watched telecast in the event’s history (2006-2017), both ranking 2nd for women’s majors in 2017.
      • RICOH Women’s British Open: Seen by a total audience of 7.01 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the RICOH Women’s British Open posted its largest total audience since 2005 (7.12 million), and was the largest total audience for the 2017 women’s majors. Final round coverage on NBC posted a .78 U.S. household rating (+22% YOY) and 1.1 million average viewers (+28% YOY), both ranking 1st for women’s majors in 2017, despite its morning/early afternoon timeslot.
      • 2017 Women’s Major Championships:
        • RICOH Women’s British Open (NBC): Final Round: .78 rating, 1.1 million avg. viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 7.01 million
        • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (NBC): Final Round .60 rating, 840k avg. viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 6.58 million
        • U.S. Women’s Open (FOX): Final Round .56 rating, 790k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 5.98 million
        • ANA Inspiration (Golf Channel): Final Round .35 rating, 551k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 3.62 million
        • The Evian Championship (Golf Channel): Final Round .13 rating, 181k viewers; Four-Day Total Viewers: 3.13 million
    • Solheim Cup: Seen by a total audience of 7.3 million viewers across Golf Channel and NBC, the Solheim Cup posted the largest total audience for women’s golf since the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on ESPN/NBC. Golf Channel’s live coverage of the final day drew 795k average viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s golf event on cable in the last eight years, since the final day of the 2009 Solheim Cup
  • FEHERTY 7th SEASON:
    • Became the most-watched season to date for both Live+Same Day (202k average viewers) and Live+3 Days (298k average viewers) for premiere episodes.
    • Feherty’s 100th Episode (July 24) was the 5th most-watched premiere episode of all time, trailing only both weeks of season premieres with Jordan Spieth (March 2016) and Phil Mickelson (March 2017).
    • The season finale with reigning PGA champion and eventual FedExCup champion Justin Thomas (263k average viewers-Live+3, Sept 4) became the 5th most-watched premiere in season 7, behind both season premieres with Phil Mickelson (640k average viewers-Live+3, 616k average viewers-Live+3), the April premiere with Matthew McConaughey (299k average viewers-Live+3) and the 100th Episode in July (421k average viewers-Live+3).
  • World Long Drive Association: Golf Channel expanded its schedule to feature three televised events in 2017, including the Clash in the Canyon (June 6, Mesquite, Nev.), Mile High Showdown (July 25, Denver, Colo.) and the Volvik World Long Drive Championship (Sept 5-6, Thackerville, Okla.).

    • Clash in the Canyon: 1.05 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week of the newly televised event. (2nd Quarter)
    • Mile High Showdown: 1.34 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week of the newly televised event.
    • Volvik World Long Drive Championship: 2.15 million unique viewers across all telecasts during premiere week, up 32% vs. 2016’s World Championship and the most-viewed World Long Drive Championship week in its five-year history on Golf Channel.

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship


There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''