Robust Schedule, Higher Ratings Lead to Most Televised Hours in LPGA History
Golf Channel Coverage Kicks Off Wednesday at Coates Golf Championship
Nearly 400 Hours of Tournament Coverage on Golf Channel and NBC Combined
Judy Rankin Continues as Golf Channel Lead Analyst for LPGA Coverage, Reaching a New Multi-Year Agreement
With a 2015 tournament schedule that features 34 events around the world highlighted by exciting enhancements with two majors, the ANA Inspiration and the inaugural KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and the return of the biennial Solheim Cup, the LPGA Tour is riding a wave of momentum as the 2015 season kicks off this week. Following a 2014 season that saw an 18 percent increase in viewership of North American events Golf Channel and NBC, the momentum continues with the unveiling of Golf Channel and NBC's 2015 LPGA television schedule, featuring nearly 400 hours of coverage, the most televised hours in LPGA history.
Golf Channel kicks off its 2015 LPGA tournament coverage Wednesday at the season-opening Coates Golf Championship Presented by R&L Carriers, taking place at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in Ocala, Fla. Live coverage will kick off Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. ET, and will continue on Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET. Friday’s coverage will air in prime time from 8-10 p.m. ET and conclude on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. ET.
“Golf Channel’s increased television coverage will give fans the opportunity to follow what promises to be an exciting 2015 LPGA season,” said LPGA Sr. VP of Television & New Media Brian Carroll. “Our strong relationship with Golf Channel has provided us the opportunity to showcase the LPGA through live telecasts, increases in telecast hours and personality features across many different programs.”
Golf Channel’s coverage consists of 31 official LPGA tournaments in 2015, including the 2015 Solheim Cup. Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin, who recently signed a multi-year contract extension with Golf Channel, will return as lead analyst, joining one of three play-by-play hosts that includes Terry Gannon, Whit Watson and LPGA mainstay Tom Abbott, who will serve as a hole announcer when not calling play by play. Major Champion Karen Stupples will rotate with Rankin as lead analyst in 2015 and also will report from the course. Joining Stupples on the course-reporting team will be Jerry Foltz and Kay Cockerill. Curt Byrum, Jim Gallagher, Jr. and Jane Crafter also will join for Golf Channel’s LPGA broadcast team at select events in 2015.
Highlights of Golf Channel’s 2015 television schedule include:
- A 10 percent increase in hours of tournament coverage over 2014, totaling more than 390 hours for the 2015 season.
- Golf Channel will provide complete live coverage of the 2015 Solheim Cup in Germany (Sept. 18-20), totaling nearly 30 hours of event coverage.
- Golf Channel and NBC will provide robust tournament coverage of three LPGA Major Championships: the ANA Inspiration (Apr. 2-5), the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (June. 11-14), and the Evian Championship (Sept. 10-13), combining for nearly 50 hours of Golf Channel coverage. Final round coverage of the Evian Championship and weekend coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship also will air on NBC in 2015.
- Golf Channel will provide live coverage for all U.S. tournaments in 2015.
- Expanded Morning Drive news coverage in 2015, including on-site coverage from Media Day at select tournaments, including the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Meijer LPGA Classic and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.