Now entering its ninth year on the air, the pacesetter for niche sports networks ' The Golf Channel ' will debut its new studio featuring all-new sets Jan. 13 with the 2003 premiere of its acclaimed news program, Golf Central, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The network also will roll out a new lineup of shows, further cementing its place among viewers as the leader in golf programming.
Four months in the making, The Golf Channel studio make-over will be complete when Golf Central hits the air on that date. From a blank page on a designers tablet has evolved a contemporary, energetic newsplex environment, which will captivate the viewers eye and allow much more flexibility for all kinds of programming.
A concept led by The Golf Channels creative team and New York-based Tim Hunter Design, the studio will feature new sets for Golf Central and Golf Talk (formerly Golf Talk Live), and a showpiece set for new shows titled The Golf Channel Pre-Game Show and The Golf Channel Post-Game Show.
Subtle golf themes are carried throughout the entire studio, with each individual set incorporating its own signature look. Recognized for its concepts showcased in EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Hunters seven-person team was able to incorporate high technological concepts along with the traditions of the sport.
The Golf Channel will televise more than 110 live tournaments in 2003 ' the most ever ' with coverage from a minimum of eight major tours from around the world. As the exclusive television home of the European Tour and the Nationwide Tour, the network also will carry full-round coverage of more than half of the 2003 Champions Tour events, including Friday coverage of an additional nine events.
On Jan. 31, The Golf Channel will kick off the first of 17 Champions Tour events when Tom Kite defends his title at the MasterCard Championship from Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii. All three rounds will air live in prime time, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The Champions Tour lineup also includes the JELD-WEN Tradition, Aug. 28-31, the first major championship in the history of The Golf Channel.
A new prime-time lineup will include new shows, most notably The Golf Channel Pre-Game Show and The Golf Channel Post-Game Show. An action-packed preview hour each Wednesday night will be personality-driven and designed to provide viewers with a comprehensive look at all the major tournament action for the upcoming week in golf. Relying heavily on analysts to break down trends and statistics ' using devices like the telestrator ' live interviews, news conferences and feature stories with players from tournament venues will highlight the shows. Similar to its companion program, The Golf Channel Post-Game Show will break down all the tournament action on Sundays in prime time.
Other new programs on tap include College Central, a weekly news show debuting in February covering mens and womens collegiate golf competition; Inside the Nationwide Tour, an in-depth look at the competition and life of players on the Nationwide Tour; Golf With Style, a look at the lifestyle of golf, from travel to apparel to club living; Whats in the Bag?, a series focusing on golf equipment and accessories; and PGA Tour New Classics, which will celebrate each weeks competition on the PGA Tour by recalling classic showdowns from the same tournaments past.
An already stellar cast of Golf Channel anchors and reporters will be complemented by several new faces in 2003.
Following an acclaimed career as a sports host for various Turner networks ' best known as an award-winning anchor for CNN Sports ' Vince Cellini will make his Golf Channel hosting debut Jan. 13 when he welcomes Arnold Palmer to the new set of Golf Talk. In addition to being the primary host of Golf Talk, Cellinis other duties will include co-anchoring Golf Central, as well as special field assignments.
Working as The Golf Channel Insider for The Golf Channel Pre/Post Game Show and Golf Central will be newcomer Brian Hewitt. Formerly a reporter for Golfweek magazine, Hewitt also will report for TheGolfChannel.com.
Brian Anderson, host and sideline reporter for Fox Sports Net telecasts of the San Antonio Spurs, will join The Golf Channels live tournament team as host of Nationwide Tour and Canadian Tour telecasts.