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Golf Channel Completes HD Transition with New Studio Makeover Revealed Jan 4

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2009) – With the year’s first telecast of Golf Central on Jan. 4, GOLF CHANNEL not only will reveal the network’s first major studio makeover since 2003, it will launch its high-definition production capabilities for all its studio programming.

The new-look GOLF CHANNEL studios in Orlando, Fla., will be a departure from its understated look of the past, with a complete overhaul featuring high-tech elements and contemporary stylings.  The new sets will live in the same 4,700-square-foot space but now will include four, separate “environments,” from which various studio shows will originate.

“This spectacular new studio – as well as new graphics and music for Golf Central – show our continued commitment to updating and improving our channel,” said GOLF CHANNEL President Page Thompson.  Commenting on the show’s reach into 82 million homes in the United States and 40 million elsewhere around the world, Thompson continued, “Golf Central is the leading news program for the sport, and now we have a new studio that truly reflects the passion and dedication we have to this great game.”

Anchoring the studio will be the set of Golf Central, which is situated in the very center to provide greater depth of field for the viewer and a desk that pivots 180 degrees to showcase different backgrounds.

A dedicated analyst area will feature a desk with integrated telestrators that will allow each analyst to “telestrate” on demand.  Adjacent, a large, multi-touch screen allows them to interact with video and graphics for demonstrations.  The desk also is fronted by two, scrolling tickers at the base of the desk that will offer tournament leaderboard information and other golf news as it happens.  The appearance of a new interview set will be consistent with the rest of the studio’s high-tech feel, but also will incorporate materials and colors traditional to the game of golf.

 Additionally, the studio will feature a myriad of monitors of all sizes that will be used for graphic treatments, as well as stand-up stations for the network talent.  And, demonstration areas – including a putting green, a sand trap and a tee box with an added two cuts of rough – will be used for a variety of purposes.

“In addition to providing a contemporary and visually stunning set for our studio programming, this design utilizes technology to provide Golf Channel anchors, analysts and instructors with an advanced state-of-the-art tool set,” said Dan Overleese, GOLF CHANNEL vice president of operations.  “From swing breakdowns and statistical analysis to simulated reenactments and instruction, our studio shows will be visually more compelling and entertaining.”


New Simulator Makes Instruction, Shot Re-Creation Come to Life


Dominating the back studio wall and facing the tee box area is a 23 feet by 13 feet video screen.  In addition to showcasing logos and graphics, the screen also will function as the display for a high-tech golf simulator.

GOLF CHANNEL has partnered with Ohio-based aboutGolf, which has installed a highly customized PGA TOUR Simulator that will be utilized by GOLF CHANNEL analysts for real-to-life demonstrations – like shot re-creation – and for shows like The Golf Fix, the popular, high-energy instructional show hosted by Michael Breed.

 “The Golf Channel strives to deliver relevant news, analysis and instruction, so reliable and definitive data is critical,” said Chuck Faust, president of aboutGolf.  “Not only does the PGA TOUR Simulator apply stereoscopic, high-speed photography technology, it’s used with a proprietary methodology that allows it to achieve an even higher level of accuracy and produce a realistic golf experience.”

The PGA TOUR Simulator is powered by aboutGolf's proprietary 3Trak technology, which precisely measures and displays club performance and true ball flight including spin, velocity and trajectory.  aboutGolf also will have high-definition, 3-D renderings of the 18th hole at each of the 2010 PGA TOUR scheduled courses on GOLF CHANNEL’s PGA TOUR Simulator.

The studio makeover began in March 2009, when the GOLF CHANNEL operations team began the process of upgrading its entire studio operations and backstage technical areas to accommodate HD production.  Other updates include new lighting – which has been designed to reduce the studio’s overall energy consumption by more than 30 percent – and other infrastructure.

 The studio design was completed by Jack Morton/PDG, which has earned recognition for studio design work for NBC, CBS and ESPN, among others.  Construction was handled by Massachusetts-based Mystic Scenic Studios Inc.