Golf Channel Posts Most-Watched Second Quarter Ever

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 29, 2016, 4:00 pm

Most-Watched June Ever Helps Drive Second Quarter to Record Viewership

Golf Channel Digital Garners Sixth Straight Quarter of Year-over-Year Gains

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 29, 2016) – Golf Channel’s momentum in 2016 continues to build with the network’s most-watched second quarter in the 21-year history of the network. For posting year-over-year gains, this represents the fifth straight quarter and the 16th of past 22 quarters since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011. Ultimately, Golf Channel drew more than 24 million unique viewers in second quarter (+3% vs. 2Q ’15; +9% vs. 1Q’16), and had 51 programs average more than a half million viewers (+31% vs. 2Q ’15), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

“We take great pride in Golf Channel’s continued momentum, and it demonstrates that the investment in high-quality programming is recognized by more and more loyal viewers,” said Mike McCarley, president, golf, NBC Sports Group. “Our comprehensive coverage of our upcoming slate of marquee events will position Golf Channel to set yet another viewership record in third quarter and carry this momentum forward.”

Golf Channel’s & NBC Sports’ Unprecedented 12-Week Stretch

  • The Open, Golf Channel’s first coverage of a men’s major championship (July 14-17)
  • Golf’s return to the Olympics with full coverage of both the men’s and women’s competitions in Rio (August 5-21)
  • The conclusion of the PGA Tour’s season with the FedExCup Playoffs (August 25-Sept. 25)
  • 2016 Ryder Cup outside Minneapolis to cap this stretch (Sept. 30-Oct. 2)

Golf Channel Viewership: Most-Watched Second Quarter Ever

For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 125,000 average viewers per minute were tuned in to Golf Channel during second quarter, a +1% increase vs. 2Q 2015. This growth was driven by the most-watched April and June ever, along with these year-over-year gains:

  • PGA TOUR: +5%
  • PGA TOUR Champions: +20%
  • European Tour: +8%
  • LPGA Tour: +6%
  • Millennials (P25-34): +29%
  • Prime viewership (8P-11P): +7%
  • Retained No. 1 ranking for quarter, delivering most-affluent audience in television in Total Day and Primetime

Golf Channel Digital: Video and Streaming Fueling Growth

  • Pacing to post its best quarter on record for minutes streamed, video starts and average monthly unique devices (Month and Quarter end officially on June 30)
  • This will be the 6th straight quarter of growth for live streaming
  • Total minutes streamed reached 53M; +19% from 2Q15, and +2% from 1Q16
  • Video starts reached 16M; +37% from 2Q15, and +56% vs. 1Q16
  • Average monthly uniques for 2Q are 6.0M; +3% vs 2Q15, and +38% vs. 1Q16

NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships:

  • Live Coverage of the Men’s Championship (218,000 average viewers) is +70% vs. 2015.
  • Live coverage of the Men’s Wednesday night final match delivered 325,000 viewers per minute (+139% year over year).
  • Live Coverage of the Women’s Championship (152,000 average viewers) is +12% compared to 2015.
  • Live coverage of the Women’s Wednesday night final match delivered 249,000 viewers per minute (+25% from last year).

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Second Most-Viewed Women’s Golf Event since June 2014:

  • The 2016 KMPG Women’s PGA Championship aired across Golf Channel and NBC for the 2nd year and was seen by 6.1 million unique viewers. That’s the second largest audience for a women’s golf event since NBC/ESPN’s coverage of the US Women’s Open in 2014 (9.8 mm) and the first time since 2010 that any LPGA Tour major other than US Women’s Open was seen by more than 6 million viewers.

ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available in more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world. Golf Channel features more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, including tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, The Open Championship, Olympics, and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, headed by GolfChannel.com, deliver unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Live Extra and NBC Sports Live Extra and select programming is simulcast via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking; GolfAdvisor.com, the world’s largest golf course ratings and review resource for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.

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Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.


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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x