Golf Channel Posts Most-Watched July Ever

By Golf Channel Public RelationsAugust 4, 2016, 5:10 pm

Golf Channel’s Coverage of The Open Drives Record Viewership and Builds Upon 5 Straight Quarters of Year-over-Year Growth

Golf Channel Digital Streamed 58 Million Minutes during The Open,  More Than Any Previous Quarter

The momentum Golf Channel has generated in 2016 continues with its most-watched July in the network’s 21-year history. July saw Golf Channel post its most-watched day ever and place as the No. 1 sports network during the network’s inaugural coverage of The Open, overall building upon five straight quarters of year-over-year growth. Ultimately, Golf Channel drew more than 16 million unique viewers in July (+17% vs. July ’15) – most-viewed month year-to-date – and had 17 programs average more than a half million viewers (+31% vs. July ’15, 116 programs +500k viewers YTD, +29% vs 2015 YTD). And Golf Channel continues to deliver the most-affluent audience in television in Total Day and Primetime, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

“This surge in viewership is a result of investment in high-quality programming to reach more viewers across all platforms,” said Mike McCarley, president, golf, NBC Sports Group. “We look for this momentum to continue with the unprecedented slate of upcoming events, including golf’s return to the Olympics, the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs and a Ryder Cup hosted in the U.S.”

Golf Channel Viewership: Most-Watched July Ever

For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 136,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel during July, a +21% increase vs. July 2015, and second-most-watched month this year. Highlights driving this growth include:

  • The Open, Golf Channel’s first coverage of a men’s major championship (July 14-17):
    • Most-watched day in Golf Channel history on Friday, July 15 (638,000 average viewers per min)
    • Golf Channel ranked as No. 1 Sports Network on both Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 for Total Day, as well as during the network’s coverage on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17
    • Golf Central’s Live From The Open platform was most-watched for this event on record (2006-2016)
    • The Senior Open presented by Rolex (July 21-24):
      • Golf Channel and NBC’s coverage +90% vs. 2015, most-watched since 2009
      • Golf Channel’s coverage of the Final Round was the most-watched for a senior golf event year-to-date (602,000, +72% vs. 2015 on ESPN 2) and most-watched final round at this event since 2011 on ESPN
      • Ricoh Women’s British Open (July 28-31)
        • Golf Channel and NBC’s coverage +79% vs. 2015, most-watched since 2009
        • Final Round on NBC is second most-watched Final Round of an LPGA major this year (858,000)
        • Final Round on NBC is most-watched at this event since 2009 on ABC (997,000)

Additional Golf Channel Viewership Highlights for July:

  • PGA TOUR:                                                   +9% YOY
  • European Tour:                                            +25% YOY
  • PGA TOUR Champions:                                +15% YOY, excludes The Senior Open
  • LPGA Tour:                                                  +9% YOY, excludes Women’s British Open
  • Millennial Viewership (P25-34):                   +67% YOY

Golf Channel Digital: Video and Streaming Fueling Growth

  • Best month on record for minutes streamed and total page views
  • During the four days of NBC Sports’ coverage of The Open, 58 million minutes were streamed via Golf Channel Digital. This is more than any previous quarter in Golf Channel’s history.
  • Total minutes streamed reached 71M; +550% from July 2015
  • Video starts reached 6.0M; +30% from July 2015
  • Page views reached 116M; +8% from July 2015
  • Total monthly uniques reached 6.8M: +6% from July 2015
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.