Golf Channel Continues To Set Viewership Records As Net Becomes More Mainstream
Golf Channel is on an "unprecedented roll, setting viewership marks with each passing week," and it has become "such an integral part of professional golf it’s hard to recall the landscape without it," according to Tod Leonard of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. It is the "network of record for the sport, every golf fan knows it, and they are watching in record numbers." Golf Channel's 25.5 million unique viewers for Q1 was "the most-watched quarter ever" for the net. April and The Masters "arrived with more record numbers as viewership was up" 11% from '12. The "momentum would indicate that Golf Channel likely will set a yearlong viewership record for a third straight time." This week's Players Championship is the PGA Tour's "most favored child, its biggest production." If it is "important to the tour, it most certainly is to Golf Channel, and this year the coverage will be wall to wall, more extensive than ever." NBC Sports Group will "offer 22 hours of live tournament coverage and another 57 hours of news and talk." More than 400 people combined between NBC and Golf Channel "will work on the broadcasts." Through its TV rights agreement with the PGA Tour, Golf Channel has "many weeks of Thursday-Friday tournament coverage in partnership" with CBS, NBC and ESPN. On an "NBC week, there are 30-minute 'Live From' preview shows" on the net. From a "credibility standpoint, and however subtle, having viewers see the Golf Channel logo with the familiar peacock NBC flag on a microphone is enormous." Golf Channel host Rich Lerner said, “We have more horsepower now. We’re more polished now. But I think what remains the same is our passion for the game" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/7).