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Golf Channel Celebrates Best January Ever

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ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2011) – Golf Channel just completed its best January in the network’s 16-year history, attracting more than 15 million total viewers for the month.  The number represents over 1 million more viewers than any previous January and a gain of nearly 3 million more viewers over the past five years.

Both tournaments and Golf Channel original programming have started the year with record ratings, creating unprecedented momentum for the network across its entire programming schedule.

“This is an impressive start to what should be a great year, and evidence of the tremendous amount of momentum at Golf Channel,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. “It’s also a real testament to the great work not only being done by Tom Stathakes and his production and programming team, but also by all areas of the network, as well.”

Last week, Golf Channel posted an impressive 117 percent increase year over year for the Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR.  This was preceded earlier in the month with a 38 percent overall tournament increase year over year for the 2011 season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a 60 percent increase in ratings for the Bob Hope Classic.  To date, combined ratings for the first four events of the 2011 PGA TOUR season represent a 48 percent gain over last year.

Tournaments are not the only programming on the Golf Channel schedule attracting record viewers.  The network’s slate of Tuesday night, prime-time original programming has garnered positive numbers, with ratings up 100 percent versus January 2010.  The season premiere of the third season of The Haney Project, Golf Channel’s hit series featuring swing guru Hank Haney and his current “project” Rush Limbaugh, was the most-watched season premiere (0.3 /310,000 average total viewers) of any Golf Channel original series since Charles Barkley originally launched The Haney Project in March 2009.  Ratings for the docu-reality series, Pipe Dream, chronicling the life of homeless golfer Mark Burk, increased 35 percent from week one to week two.

Instruction and News also are up.  Instruction, under the Golf Channel Academy brand, is building momentum with The Golf Fix and the network’s newest offering, School of Golf, leading the way to a 75 percent increase in delivery over Academy programming last January.  Golf Central, the network’s daily news program, on Sunday garnered its highest ratings year to date (2:30 p.m. ET, 0.7 household rating / 764,000 average total viewers), and ratings overall in January are up 67 percent versus January 2010.

  

Golf Channel Unique Viewers in January

2007                            12,664,000

2008                            13,361,000

2009                            13,445,000

2010                            14,155,000

2011                            15,342,000

  

Sources:  The Nielsen Company, 2007-2011 Nielsen January Trend; Live+SD Reach (000); P2+; Mon-Sun 6a-6a; Subject to qualifications available on request.