Golf Channel continues to build upon its momentum with four consecutive quarters posting year-over-year growth. Golf Channel’s first quarter in 2016 was up +15% vs. 2015 for viewership, building upon last year’s increasing growth in second quarter of +3%, third quarter of +8%, and fourth quarter of +13%. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 110,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in the first quarter, representing the 15% year-over-year increase, as well as a 19% increase with people 25-54 (31,000), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
NBC’s PGA TOUR coverage is off to a strong start in 2016 with average viewership +32% and people 25-54 +31%. Through 12 broadcasts, NBC is averaging 2.64 million average viewers and 657,000 people 25-54.*
Golf Channel’s first quarter highlights include:
- Golf Channel’s live golf coverage peaked in first quarter with 1.8 million average viewers on Sunday afternoon during the semifinals of the WGC-Dell Match Play and coverage averaged 1.1 million viewers, the best at this event since 2008.
- PGA TOUR live coverage on Golf Channel is +4% YOY (483,000 average viewers), +9% with P25-54 (101,000 average viewers)
- Golf Channel’s primetime is +27% (151,000 average viewers), driven in part by the sixth season premiere of Feherty interviewing Jordan Spieth, which is now the most-watched episode of the critically acclaimed series (436,000 average viewers, Live+3 Day).
- Live coverage of the European Tour was up 65% and LPGA Tour was up 3%.
- Golf Central saw its strongest first quarter since 2013, up 29% with average viewers and 30% for people 25-54 vs. last year.
- Morning Drive was up 27% with people 25-54 vs. 2015.
UPCOMING LIVE EVENTS ON GOLF CHANNEL AND NBC
Golf Channel will carry momentum of this record viewership into the beginning of second quarter with a slate of live golf coverage and in-depth news and analysis, including:
- ANA Inspiration, LPGA Tour’s first major championship – Coverage is on Golf Channel this Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 3. In 2016, Golf Channel and NBC have coverage of four of five women’s major championships, UL International Crown, and the Olympics.
- Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals – On Sunday, April 3, 80 junior golfers from across the U.S. and Canada will gather at Augusta National Golf Club to kick off Masters week with the 2016 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, airing live on Golf Channel beginning at 8 a.m. ET. In partnership with the Masters Tournament, the USGA and the PGA of America, the youth golf initiative highlights the 40 boys and 40 girls who have emerged from this past year’s more than 300 qualifying events.
- Golf Central Live From The Masters– Beginning on Monday, April 4, Golf Central Live From the Masters will help prepare viewers for the first men’s major championship of the year with nearly 60 live hours throughout the week focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews. Guests scheduled to appear throughout the week are former Masters champions Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw and Raymond Floyd.
- ‘86 – Premiering on Tuesday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET, Golf Channel Films will present ’86, chronicling Jack Nicklaus’ come-from-behind victory to secure his record 18th and final major in the 1986 Masters, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The documentary will feature interviews with Nicklaus, his wife Barbara, their son Steve, daughter Nan, and oldest son, Jack II – who caddied for his father that week in 1986, – members of the broadcast team, fellow professionals, caddies, media members, volunteers and patrons present on that memorable Sunday.