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Golf Channel Follows Best Year with Most-Watched Quarter in History

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ORLANDO, Fla. (March 28, 2012) – Coming off its best year ever, Golf Channel’s momentum continues in the new year with the network reporting its most-watched quarter in the network’s 17-year history, reaching more than 25 million unique viewers from January through March, according to data released by Nielsen Research.

“We’re off to a tremendous start building on the momentum from last year,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley, having recently celebrated 2011 as the most-watched year in Golf Channel history.  “With compelling storylines on the golf course, quality programs and seemingly new ratings milestones every week, our strategy to feature more live and event programming is working, and the best is yet to come.”

Some of Golf Channel’s viewership milestones during the early part of 2012 include:

PGA TOUR Ratings Remain Strong:  PGA TOUR ratings are up 16 percent year over year and 83 percent higher than 2010 (through Arnold Palmer Invitational):
• Nine of 14 tournaments are up over 2011.
• 2012 started with the best PGA TOUR Opening Day ever on Golf Channel at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and a first-time scheduled Monday finish led to the highest event delivery there since 2008.
• Golf Channel’s final round coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was the most-watched PGA TOUR round during the FedExCup season in the 17-year history of the network, beating the previously held mark by 25 percent.
• Ratings records have been set at seven of the 14 PGA TOUR events so far in 2012 (Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Northern Trust Open, The Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational).
• Nine of 18 PGA TOUR rounds of weekend lead-in coverage have hit a 1.0 rating or higher, compared with only two last year at this time.

Original Series Solidify Mondays in Primetime:
• Golf Channel’s Monday primetime lineup in the first quarter, featuring new and expanded seasons of The Haney Project and Feherty, is up 21 percent over the same time period last year.

News Shows Continue Momentum:
• Golf Channel’s signature news program, Golf Central, is up 23 percent versus the same time period in 2011, and up 129% over 2010.  The show scored record ratings (1.7/1,929,000) for its Feb. 12 telecast leading into CBS’ final round coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, making it the most-watched Golf Central telecast in Golf Channel history.
• Morning Drive so far in 2012 is up 77 percent over 2011 and up 179 percent versus its regular time slot during the first quarter of 2010.

Instruction Bolsters Early Week Programming:
• Instructional programming, which includes The Golf Fix, School of Golf, and Golf Channel Academy is up nine percent overall versus 2011, and 23 percent over 2010.
• Early indications for the new Wednesday night series, On the Range, are positive with ratings for the show up 16 percent versus the same timeslot in 2011.

-NBC Sports Group-