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Golf Channel Scores Most-Watched Year Ever

In 2012, Golf Channel scored its most-watched year ever in the near 18-year history of the network. This marked the second consecutive most-watched year after a record-breaking 2011. This continued surge in viewership since joining the NBC Sports Group early in 2011 has retained Golf Channel’s status as the fastest-growing network on U.S. television (among networks serving 80 million or more homes throughout that span), according to data released today by The Nielsen Company.

“We share in celebrating this milestone with our partners and most importantly, with our increasingly loyal family of viewers who have watched in record numbers to help us achieve these consecutive record-breaking years,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley.  “While we’re grateful for this recent success, we continue to set our goals high and are committed to serving our passionate fans with more and more high-quality golf content in the New Year and years to come.”

Golf Channel averaged 95,000 viewers in 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM) during 2012, an increase of six percent more than a record-breaking 2011 (90,000) and 36 percent more than 2010 (70,000). Contributing to a banner 2012 were seven PGA TOUR events on Golf Channel reaching audiences in excess of 7 million unique viewers, led by the BMW Championship with 8.4 million unique viewers. Additionally, an unprecedented 14 million Golf Channel viewers watched some or all of the PGA TOUR Playoffs, which was the most-watched ever in the PGA TOUR Playoffs’ six-year history.

2012 now represents Golf Channel’s most-watched year ever in its near 18-year history. Contributing to this milestone were the following achievements:
• Three quarters in 2012 were most-watched quarters ever
• Seven months in 2012 were most-watched months ever
• 100 days in 2012 were most-watched days ever
• 33 rounds or telecasts exceeded one million average viewers
• 115 additional rounds or telecasts exceeded a half million average viewers including coverage of PGA TOUR, European Tour, Champions Tour and LPGA Tour as well as several airings of Golf Channel’s signature news programming Golf Central and Live From.
Golf Channel continues to be the ‘fastest-growing network’ on television among all widely distributed networks (available in more than 80 million U.S. homes during that span) since joining the NBC Sports Group. Golf Channel in 2012 is up 36% vs. 2010 for average audience delivery.

Mirroring Golf Channel’s success on-air, GolfChannel.com saw tremendous growth in 2012, setting best year ever marks for unique visitors (20.5 million, +60% vs. 2011), visits (41 million, +47% vs. 2011), and video starts (11 million, +45% vs. 2011). Golf Channel’s Apps garnered a 113% increase vs. 2011 with 145 million page views.

The momentum for Golf Channel has been building since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group in January 2011. A wide spectrum of tournament coverage, news and original programming has contributed to this success including:

Most-Watched Ever on Golf Channel:  vs. 2011 vs. 2010
Masters Week                                                +40%     +22%
PLAYERS Week                                             +42%      +13%
U.S. Open Week                                            +31%      +40%
PGA TOUR Playoffs                                        +84%     +63%
Ryder Cup Week                                                          +33%

High-Quality News and Original Programming: vs. 2011 vs. 2010
Monday Primetime                                                        +23%    +26%
(includes Feherty, Haney Project and Big Break)
Golf Central
                                                                  +17%    +69%
Morning Drive                                                               +12%    +77%
On The Range                                                               +45%    + 7%
War By The Shore            Most-watched documentary in network history (241,000 average viewers)

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