Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Golf Channel Posts Four Best Years in Network History

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 
GolfChannel.com, 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

ORLANDO, Fla.  – 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 GolfChannel.com 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 20thanniversary 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.

TOP FOUR YEARS IN GOLF CHANNEL HISTORY SINCE JOINING NBC SPORTS GROUP:
Household Cvg Rating % YOY % vs. ’10 Average Viewers % YOY % vs. ’10
2014 0.11 Even +57% 98k -9% +40%
2013 0.11 +10% +57% 108k +14% +54%
2012 0.10 +11% +43% 95k +6% +36%
2011 0.09 +28% +28% 90k +29% +29%

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.”

2014 GOLF CHANNEL VIEWERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS:
  • 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:
HouseholdCoverage Rating Average Viewers
Tournament Coverage +22% +16%
Golf Central +83% +76%
Morning Drive +229% +227%
Instructional Programming +50% +37%
Original Programming +17% +9%
  • 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).
RECORD GROWTH FOR GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL
  • Golf Channel Digital Posts Best Year Ever: Both GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel Mobile Appposted their best year ever in video starts and page views, as well as uniques and visits for GolfChannel.com, with the following YOY gains:
    • GolfChannel.com: video starts +103%, visits +56%, uniques +38%, page views +30%
    • Golf Channel Mobile App: video starts +23%, page views +16%
    • Live Streaming: Golf Live Extradrew 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, GolfAdvisor.com 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.
GOLF CHANNEL’S LIFESTYLE FOR A LIFETIME PORTFOLIO – HELPING TO GROW THE GAME:
  • “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.
ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL
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 GolfChannel.com, 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; GolfAdvisor.com, 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.