Thursday, February 28th, 2013


11% Increase in Viewership Versus 2012 Start

Nearly 16 Million Unique Viewers Tuned Into Golf Channel in February 2013, Including 5 PGA TOUR Rounds with Million-Plus Audiences

Morning Drive Scores Best Weekday Average, 30% More Than Week Prior to Morning Show’s Re-Launch

Series Premieres of The Haney Project: Michael Phelps and Feherty Post 153% and 48% Increases in Viewership Versus 2012 Series Premieres

ORLANDO, Fla. (February 28, 2013) – Coming off 2012 as the most-watched year in its 18-year history, Golf Channel has carried the momentum into 2013 with its best start to a year with January and February combining for record numbers.

For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 123,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in January and February, representing a 11% year-over-year increase compared to the same time period in 2012 (111,000), and 8% vs. January and February 2008 (114,000), which was the previous record holder.

February 2013 matched the network’s most-watched February mark set in 2012 with 141,000 average viewers per minute for 24-hour Total Day (6 AM-6 AM). And across the month, Golf Channel served 15.96 million unique viewers, which included 5 PGA TOUR rounds with million-plus audiences, according to data released today by the Nielsen Company.

“With rising stars, compelling competition and dramatic storylines emerging each week in both the men’s and women’s game, golf is off to a tremendous start in 2013. Our investment in high-quality programming with the recent launches of Morning Drive 7 days a week and our Monday primetime lineup featuring Michael Phelps and David Feherty is paying off as our increasingly loyal viewers are responding in record numbers,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley “We are looking forward to continuing this momentum into the spring, starting in March with the debut of In Play with Jimmy Roberts and some of the most anticipated PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour events of the year on both Golf Channel and NBC.”

The record numbers in January and February 2013 are built off Golf Channel’s viewership momentum in 2012, which marked the network’s most-watched year ever and drove Golf Channel’s status as the fastest-growing network on U.S. television since joining the NBC Sports Group (among networks serving 80 million or more homes throughout that span).


On Monday, Feb. 4, Morning Drive started in its new studio for its new 7 days a week at 7 a.m. ET schedule. Last week, during the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the weekday average was 52,000, which was 30% more than the week prior to launch in late January 2013. Additionally, this past Saturday saw Morning Drive’s most-watched hour this year with 119,000 average viewers from 10-11 a.m. ET, helping garner 750,000 unique viewers for Morning Drive across the week of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (Mon-Sun).


Golf Channel’s high-quality original programming got off to a “golden” start with season premieres featuring 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and the “Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus.

The Haney Project: Michael Phelps, which features famed golf coach Hank Haney helping Michael Phelps with his next goal of learning to play golf, scored 205,000 average viewers for its fifth season premiere, a 153% increase over The Haney Project’s 2012 premiere featuring a celebrity foursome including Adam Levine, Sugar Ray Leonard, Angie Everhart and Mario Batali.

Feherty, which features David Feherty’s interviews with icons from sports, pop culture and business, welcomed Hall-of-Famer Jack Nicklaus for the series’ third season premiere, which drew 194,000 average viewers, a 48% increase over the series’ 2012 premiere with Sergio Garcia.

“Golf Channel’s original programming is a testament to our laser focus on quality and The Haney Project and Feherty series premieres got the network off to a great start,” said McCarley. “Our Monday night line-up of original shows is a destination for the biggest names in sports, evident by Michael Phelps sharing his next chapter in life as he strives to master golf, and the irreverent and insightful David Feherty sitting down with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers to ever play.”

As the fastest-growing network on television, Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.


David Schaefer
Vice President of Communications


– NBC Sports Group –



Ratings: Nielsen National Ratings MIT using StarTrak (Live+Same Day HH Cvg Rtg and P2+ 000s unless otherwise indicated) vs. comparable time periods/programs/telecasts in prior years. Details available.

January and February unique viewers based upon P2+ LSD Cume w/6-min qualifier for 12/31/12-1/27/13 and 1/28/13-2/24/13.

Fastest-Growing Network claim based upon Nielsen; Avg of 2012 (latest year) vs. 2010 (last year prior to merger with NBC Sports Group) using Live+Same Day P2+ (000)s among broadcast networks and cable networks in greater than 80 million homes; Mon-Sun 6a-6a; Subject to qualifications.