Building Upon Four Straight Quarters of Viewership Momentum, April Shows Growth Across Live Tournament and Programming Slate
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 28, 2016) – As golf’s traditional season heats up, Golf Channel’s momentum in 2016 continues to build with the network’s most-watched April ever. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 137,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in April, the most-watched April in the 21-year history of the network and a +4% increase vs. 2015 (132,000). Ultimately, Golf Channel drew nearly 15.8 million unique viewers in the month of April, according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
“Golf Channel’s most-watched April ever is a clear indication that there is interest in the young, energizing stars of the game and the result of our investments in live, exclusive quality programming. Those investments will continue to pay dividends as the year progresses,” said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. “The viewership increases across tournaments, news, instruction and entertainment programming is evidence that our loyal audience is turning to Golf Channel in record numbers.”
The month saw significant viewership growth across tournament coverage of all the major tours and the network’s diverse programming slate, including the following year-over-year gains:
- Tournament Coverage: +10%
- PGA TOUR: +2%
- LPGA Tour: +14%
- European Tour: +43%
- PGA TOUR Champions: +18%
- Year-to-date, Golf Channel and NBC increases in PGA TOUR coverage:
- NBC: +20% in 2016
- Golf Channel: +13% in 2016
- Golf Channel’s Masters Week coverage: third most-watched ever
- Golf Central: +18%
- Instruction: +8%
- Original Programming:
- Feherty: Jason Day (premiered Monday, March 28) is fifth most-watched episode ever for the series (372,000 average viewers per minute, Live+3)
- ’86 (premiered Tuesday, April 3) is the most-watched Golf Channel Films project since Arnie in 2014 (370,000 average viewers per minute, Live+3)
- Millennial Viewership: Persons 25-34 +50%
- And as the calendar month ends, similar growth is anticipated for Golf Channel Digital platforms and Golf Channel’s portfolio of golf lifestyle brands serving golfers on and off the course
Golf Channel’s record April comes after the network posted four consecutive quarters of 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%.
UPCOMING LIVE EVENTS ON GOLF CHANNEL AND NBC
Golf Channel will carry momentum of this record viewership into an unprecedented slate of live golf coverage and in-depth news and analysis this year, including:
- The Players (May 12-15): The PGA TOUR’s annual flagship event, THE PLAYERS Championship will see NBC Sports Group dedicate more than 20 hours to live tournament competition across Golf Channel and NBC. The 2015 Players arguably became golf’s most exciting tournament all year, where Rickie Fowler staged a heroic final round charge to ultimately outlast Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner to win in a memorable four-hole playoff. The Players always commands one of the strongest fields of the season and features the famed three-hole finishing stretch, including the iconic par-3 17th island green.
- NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf National Championships (May 20-June 1): Contested in back-to-back weeks, the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships will feature the game’s top collegiate golfers and universities vying for individual and team championship honors. Golf Channel will originate more than 100 hours of comprehensive news and tournament coverage from Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Oregon.
- KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June 9-12): Staged at Sahalee Country Club just outside of Seattle, Golf Channel and NBC will air nearly 40 hours of news and tournament programming dedicated to the second women’s major championship of 2016, featuring a world-class international field.
- Golf Channel & NBC Sports Group’s Unmatched 12-Week Stretch (July – October): Beginning in July, Golf Channel and NBC Sports will embark on an unprecedented 12-week stretch of marquee events, beginning with the network’s inaugural coverage of The Open, being contested at Royal Troon in Scotland; golf’s return to the Olympics with full coverage of both the men’s and women’s competitions in Rio; the conclusion of the PGA Tour’s season with the FedExCup Playoffs; and culminating with the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine outside Minneapolis. Additionally, Golf Channel and NBC Sports will carry exclusive, live coverage of several major championships and prominent events, including: its first coverage of The Senior Open and RICOH Women’s British Open; the LPGA Tour’s UL International Crown and final major, Evian Championship; comprehensive news and analysis with Golf Central’s Live From the PGA Championship; in addition to coverage of regular season events on the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, European Tour, PGA TOUR Champions, and Web.com Tour.