Golf Channel Posts Four Best Years in Network History with Highest-Rated and Second Most-Watched Year Ever

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJanuary 6, 2015, 2:15 pm

Golf Channel Is No. 1 Most-Affluent Ad-Supported Network

in All of Television for Both Total Day and Primetime


Golf Channel Digital Scores Best Year Ever Across All Platforms

Including, Golf Live Extra Streaming,

Mobile Apps and Social Media 


Golf Channel Engages Record Number of Golfers through Suite

of Digital Lifestyle Brands, Encouraging More Golfers to Play More Golf

Since joining NBC Sports Group in 2011, Golf Channel has scored its four best years ever and has increased ratings +57% and total-day average viewership +40% over that span. In 2014, Golf Channel matched its highest-rated year (.11 HH Cvg Rtg, 24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM), and posted its second most-watched year (98,000 average viewers, 24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM), surpassed only by 2013. Additionally in 2014, Golf Channel was the No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network in both total day and primetime, with both the highest median income and percentage of audience earning more than $100k, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

In 2014, NBC Sports Group reached an unmatched 79 million viewers via Golf Channel on NBC broadcasts and Golf Channel, which provided more live tournament golf coverage than all other U.S. television networks combined and garnered the most Sports Emmy nominations in network history. Additionally, more than 54 million golf fans visited Golf Channel Digital platforms, which saw best-ever results in key metrics for traffic, Golf Live Extra streaming, mobile app usage and social media followers. Golf Channel also helped connect more golfers to the game via its suite of digital lifestyle brands such as GolfNow, which utilizes technology to encourage more golfers to play more golf.

Golf Channel, which was co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 as the first single-sport cable network, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on January 17. Over that span, Golf Channel has experienced tremendous growth, which has increased significantly since the network joined NBC Sports Group in 2011.



Household Cvg Rating


% vs. ’10

Average Viewers


% vs. ’10





























In 2010, Golf Channel posted a .07 household coverage rating and averaged 70,000 viewers.

“Golf Channel features high-quality golf content – from showcasing the world’s best competing around the globe to improving the experience of golfers at their local course. Over the past four years, Golf Channel has built viewership momentum with a focus on unprecedented live tournament coverage and daily news and analysis, as well as a primetime lineup featuring award-winning original and instructional programming,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “The loyal Golf Channel audience also extends to other platforms, propelling Golf Channel Digital to its best year ever in 2014 for online, mobile, streaming and social media. We are pleased to continue to engage with the golfer beyond traditional media, using technology like GolfNow, which helps golf course operators run their businesses more efficiently and aids golfers to better enjoy the game.”


  • Highest-Rated and Second Most-Watched Year Ever (24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM):
    • Tied highest-rated year ever with .11 household coverage rating, sixth for sports networks
    • Second most-watched year ever by averaging 98,000 viewers, sixth for sports networks
    • Most-Affluent Audience in All of Ad-Supported Television for Total Day and Primetime:
      • Total Day: No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network for median household income and percentage of $100k+ household income audience delivery ($75.5k; 38%)
      • Primetime: No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network for median household income and percentage of $100k+ household income audience delivery ($81.6k; 44%)
      • Growth for All Programming Genres vs. Same Time Period in 2010:


Coverage   Rating

Average   Viewers

Tournament   Coverage



Golf   Central



Morning   Drive



Instructional   Programming



Original   Programming



  • Most Sports Emmy-Award Nominations in Network History:

Adding to NBC Sports Group’s legacy of high-quality storytelling, Golf Channel garnered the most Sports Emmy-Award nominations in the network’s 20-year history:

  • Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host: David Feherty
  • Outstanding Sports Journalism: In Play with Jimmy Roberts
  • Outstanding Technical Team Remote: Golf Channel on NBC (THE PLAYERS)
  • Outstanding Editing: PGA TOUR Teases
  • Ryder Cup Friday – Second Best Day In Network History: Nearly 20 million viewers watched Golf Channel and NBC’s 2014 Ryder Cup coverage from Scotland, which was televised live in its entirety for the first time ever from a European venue. On Friday, Sept. 26, Golf Channel’s first-ever live coverage of the Ryder Cup matches resulted in the network’s most-watched day (476,000 average viewers) and highest-rated day (.53 HH Cvg Rtg) in 2014. Despite the overnight telecast (2:30 a.m.–1 p.m. ET), Friday’s live coverage marked the second most-watched and highest-rated day in Golf Channel history behind Friday’s coverage of the 2011 Presidents Cup from Australia (589,000 average viewers, .56 HH Cvg Rtg).
  • Increased Live Hours for LPGA Tour: More than 17.2 million viewers tuned in to the LPGA Tour on Golf Channel and NBC in 2014. With +30% more dedicated tournament coverage, including +22% more live hours on Golf Channel, LPGA Tour’s average viewership and ratings were even YOY.
  • New Programming Initiatives:
    • Morning Drive, Golf Channel’s daily morning show, had its first full year featuring a seven-days-a-week schedule and was +14% for average viewership YOY, and has nearly tripled the comparable timeslot since launching in January 2011. Establishing itself as the place where golfers begin their day, Morning Drive has found its voice by featuring interviews with the industry’s top newsmakers and greatest players, as well as covering all aspects of the game.
    • Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals reached nearly 2.1 million viewers and averaged 315,000 viewers with its inaugural telecast on Golf Channel. A joint initiative founded by the Masters Tournament Foundation, PGA of America and United States Golf Association, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is a free nationwide junior golf development competition that concludes at Augusta National Golf Club on the Sunday prior to the Masters.
    • Arnie garnered nearly 2 million viewers during the week this three-night television event premiered, which helped contribute to Golf Channel’s most-watched April since Arnold Palmer launched the network 20 years ago. The premiere of Arnie was Golf Channel’s most-watched and highest-rated original production ever (471,000 average viewers, .39 HH Cvg Rtg).
    • 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship reached more than 2.2 million viewers and averaged 250,000 viewers, which is +50% vs. same time periods YOY. After the network’s inaugural coverage of the event in 2014, Golf Channel will expand in May 2015 to include both the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships.
    • Big Break Invitational reached more than 2.5 million viewers and averaged 171,000 viewers in October, which is +20% vs. same time periods YOY. Built upon 21 seasons of Golf Channel’s competition reality series Big Break, the inaugural tournament featured 40 of the top alumni competing in a live televised tournament setting. Additionally, season 21 of Big Break Florida featured Golf Channel’s most-watched and highest-rated original series episode premiere with the series’ third installment in March (441,000 average viewers, .38 HH Cvg Rtg).


  • Golf Channel Digital Posts Best Year Ever: Both and Golf Channel Mobile App posted their best year ever in video starts and page views, as well as uniques and visits for, with the following YOY gains:
    • video starts +103%, visits +56%, uniques +38%, page views +30%
    • Golf Channel Mobile App: video starts +23%, page views +16%
    • Live Streaming: Golf Live Extra drew 92.5 million total minutes streamed and was +20% for live streaming starts YOY.
      • Since Golf Live Extra launched in 2013, 183 million minutes of golf programming have been streamed
      • In 2014, Golf Live Extra’s top streamed event was the Ryder Cup with nearly 12 million minutes streamed
      • Golf Channel’s Mobile Apps Expand Reach with More Than 6 Million Downloads:
        • In 2014, Golf Channel’s suite of four mobile apps posted +28% in unique visitors YOY.
        • Both upgraded with new designs and functionality in 2014, Golf Channel Mobile (golf news, analysis, results) has 3.5 million downloads and GolfNow (tee time booking, on-course GPS, in-round scoring, performance tracking) has 1.9 million downloads.
        • Golf Live Extra (live streaming): 665K downloads, +91% YOY
        • Golf Channel Academy (comprehensive instructional video library): 344K downloads, +38% YOY
        • Social Media Presence: Golf Channel Social Media is +63% YOY with more than 4 million followers on platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
        • Leading Golf Course Review Resource: Launched in 2014, is now home to more than 325,000 reviews by golfers, for golfers, providing authentic insight on 9,000 courses in 29 countries around the globe.


  • “Go Play!” Golf Participation: GolfNow, the world’s leading online tee time booking platform, helped golfers book more than 13.4 million rounds of golf in 2014 at nearly 6,000 golf courses worldwide.
  • Golf Course Technology: GolfNow Solutions aided more than 8,100 golf courses to more efficiently run their businesses via a suite of specifically designed software, including online booking engines, tee sheet management, point-of-sale accounting and comprehensive golf course marketing and operations applications.
  • On-Course Experience: GolfNow Mobile App launched a premium version in October 2014, now providing more than a convenient platform for golfers to book a tee time. The premium version of the GolfNow Mobile App includes on-course GPS range-finding, in-round scoring and performance tracking, making the GolfNow app the most comprehensive mobile source for before, during and after your round.
  • High-Quality Instruction: As a cornerstone of Golf Channel since its launch in 1995, instructional content continues to evolve including in 2014 with Golf Channel Academy App delivering nearly 2 million video starts from Golf Channel’s robust library of instructional content. And in 2015, the Golf Channel Academy brand is expanding beyond television and the mobile app to also include Golf Channel Academy, a network of top-tier coaches and academies at premier golf locations across North America that are dedicated to growing the game by developing a player-coach culture focused on sustained improvement and enjoyment.
  • Largest Amateur Tour in All of Golf: The 2014 Golf Channel Amateur Tour featured more than 6,500 avid amateur golfers logging 55,500 competitive rounds at more than 700 tournaments held in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, culminating in the most ever golfers (1,235) playing in the 2014 National Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz. at Grayhawk and Talking Stick Golf Clubs.


Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, headed by, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Live Extra and select programming is simulcast via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital services including Golf Channel Mobile; GolfNow, the world’s largest online booking platform;, a golf course ratings and review portal; the interactive Golf Channel Academy instructional app; and the Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit

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Wie has hand surgery, out for rest of 2018

By Randall MellOctober 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Michelle Wie will miss the rest of this season after undergoing surgery Thursday to fix injuries that have plagued her right hand in the second half of this year.

Wie announced in an Instagram post that three ailments have been causing the pain in her hand: an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment.

An avulsion fracture is an injury to the bone where it attaches to a ligament or tendon.

View this post on Instagram

I think John Mayer once said, “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” A lot of people have been asking me what’s been going on with my hand and I haven’t shared much, because I wasn’t sure what was going on myself. After countless MRI’s, X-rays, CT scans, and doctor consultations, I was diagnosed with having a small Avulsion Fracture, bone spurring, and nerve entrapment in my right hand. After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through. So I made the decision after Hana Bank to withdraw from the rest of the season, come back to the states, and get surgery to fix these issues. It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year but hopefully I am finally on the path to being and STAYING pain free! Happy to announce that surgery was a success today and I cannot wait to start my rehab so that I can come back stronger and healthier than ever. Huge thank you to Dr. Weiland’s team at HSS for taking great care of me throughout this process and to all my fans for your unwavering support. It truly means the world to me. I’ll be back soon guys!!!! Promise

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Dr. Andrew Weiland, an attending orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed the procedure.

“It’s been disheartening dealing with pain in my hand all year, but, hopefully, I am finally on the path to being and staying pain free,” Wie wrote.

Wie withdrew during the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open with the hand injury on Aug. 2 and didn’t play again until teeing it up at the UL International Crown two weeks ago and the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week. She played those events with what she hoped was a new “pain-free swing,” one modeled after Steve Stricker, with more passive hands and wrists. She went 1-3 at the UL Crown and tied for 59th in the limited field Hana Bank.

“After 3 cortisone injections and some rest following the British Open, we were hoping it was going to be enough to grind through the rest of the season, but it just wasn’t enough to get me through,” she wrote.

Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos

Wie, who just turned 29 last week, started the year saying her top goal was to try to stay injury free. She won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March, but her goal seemed doomed with a diagnosis of arthritis in both wrists before the year even started.

Over the last few years, Wie has dealt with neck, back, hip, knee and ankle injuries. Plus, there was an emergency appendectomy that knocked her out of action for more than a month late last season. Her wrists have been an issue going back to early in her career.

“I don’t think there is one joint or bone in her body that hasn’t had some sort of injury or issue,” Wie’s long-time swing coach, David Leadbetter, said earlier this year.

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Woods receives his Tour Championship trophy

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 18, 2018, 8:57 pm

We all know the feeling of giddily anticipating something in the mail. But it's doubtful that any of us ever received anything as cool as what recently showed up at Tiger Woods' Florida digs.

This was Woods' prize for winning the Tour Championship. It's a replica of "Calamity Jane," Bobby Jones' famous putter. Do we even need to point out that the Tour Championship is played at East Lake, the Atlanta course where Jones was introduced to the game.

Woods broke a victory drought of more than five years by winning the Tour Championhip. It was his 80th PGA Tour win, leaving him just two shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.

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Garcia 2 back in storm-halted Andalucia Masters

By Associated PressOctober 18, 2018, 7:08 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Ashley Chesters was leading on 5-under 66 at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters when play was suspended because of darkness with 60 golfers yet to complete their weather-hit first rounds on Thursday.

More than four hours was lost as play was twice suspended because of stormy conditions and the threat of lightning at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain.

Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters

English journeyman Chesters collected six birdies and one bogey to take a one-shot lead over Gregory Bourdy of France. Tournament host and defending champion Sergio Garcia was on 68 along with fellow Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Australia's Jason Scrivener.

''It's a shame I can't keep going because the last few holes were the best I played all day. Considering all the delays and everything, I'm very happy with 5 under,'' Chesters said. ''The forecast for the rest of the week is not very good either so I thought I'll just make as many birdies as I can and get in.''

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Caddies drop lawsuit; Tour increases healthcare stipend

By Rex HoggardOctober 18, 2018, 3:33 pm

After nearly four years of litigation, a group of PGA Tour caddies have dropped their lawsuit against the circuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California in early 2015, centered on the bibs caddies wear during tournaments and ongoing attempts by the caddies to improve their healthcare and retirement options.

The caddies lost their class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court and an appeal this year.

Separately, the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, which was not involved in the lawsuit but represents the caddies to the Tour, began negotiating with the circuit last year.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the APTC.

In January 2017, Jay Monahan took over as commissioner of the Tour and began working with the APTC to find a solution to the healthcare issue. Sajtinac said the Tour has agreed to increase the stipend it gives caddies for healthcare beginning next year.

“It took a year and a half, but it turned out to be a good result,” Sajtinac said. “Our goal is to close that window for the guys because healthcare is such a massive chunk of our income.”

In a statement released by the Tour, officials pointed out the lawsuit and the “potential increase to the longtime caddie healthcare subsidy” are two separate issues.

“Although these two items have been reported together, they are not connected. The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

Caddies have received a stipend from the Tour for healthcare for some time, and although Sajtinac wouldn’t give the exact increase, he said it was over 300 percent. Along with the APTC’s ability to now negotiate healthcare plans as a group, the new stipend should dramatically reduce healthcare costs for caddies.

“It’s been really good,” said Sajtinac, who did add that there are currently no talks with the Tour to created a retirement program for caddies. “Everybody is really excited about this.”