FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
NBC SPORTS GROUP KICKS OFF 2017 LPGA SEASON THIS WEEK WITH THE PURE SILK-BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC
33 LPGA Events to Air on Golf Channel in 2017, Most in Network History
Live Coverage of Seven LPGA Events on Golf Channel in Next 10 Weeks Heading into Golf’s First Major of 2017, the ANA Inspiration
Nearly 22 Million Unique Viewers Watched Women’s Golf Coverage in ‘16, Contributing to Golf Channel on NBC Drawing the Largest U.S. Broadcast Golf Audience
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 24, 2017 – Following a 2016 season where Golf Channel and NBC combined to air 628 hours of LPGA Tour coverage – the most ever in a single year and featuring more than 148 hours of major championship coverage – NBC Sports Group will continue to ride the wave of momentum as the 2017 LPGA season begins this week with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, airing live on Golf Channel Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 26-29.
This year, NBC Sports Group will televise 33 LPGA Tour events in the season-long Race to the CME Globe – the highest number of Golf Channel televised events in LPGA history – featuring coverage of four of the five women’s major championships and the biennial Solheim Cup, which returns to the U.S. in August in Des Moines, Iowa following the thrilling finish in Germany in 2015 when the U.S. Team won in dramatic come-from-behind fashion.
Highlighted by golf’s return to the Olympic Games, nearly 22 million viewers watched women’s golf coverage on Golf Channel and NBC in 2016 (+41% from 2015), contributing to Golf Channel on NBC drawing the largest U.S. broadcast golf audience in 2016.
Additional highlights include:
- 614 hours of LPGA coverage on Golf Channel in 2016, the most ever on Golf Channel.
- Coverage of North American events on Golf Channel and NBC +8% year over year (YOY).
- 16 North American events on Golf Channel and NBC saw average viewership increases of +11% YOY.
- Golf Channel Digital LPGA Tour scoring page views +16% YOY.
- Golf Channel Mobile LPGA Tour scoring page views +40% YOY.
“Golf Channel’s coverage of the LPGA Tour last year was fueled by the most live hours ever and showcasing the game’s emerging and established stars through storytelling via our news, live tournaments and digital platforms,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel executive producer. “With the highly anticipated Solheim Cup returning to U.S. soil in August and coverage of four of the five major championships, we will continue to build on this momentum in 2017 with 10 months of coverage and our most number of LPGA events in history.”
“We’re thrilled with the promotion and production value on Golf Channel,” said Brian Carroll, LPGA Senior Vice President of TV and New Media. “2017 will be exciting with young players Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko, as well as established American players such as Lexi Thompson, Gerina Piller, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang.”
PURE SILK-BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC: The event begins a series of seven LPGA tournaments airing live on Golf Channel over the next 10 weeks leading into golf’s first major championship of 2017, the ANA Inspiration. World No.2 and reigning Race to the CME Globe winner Ariya Jutanugarn headlines an international field in the Bahamas that also includes Paula Creamer, Brooke Henderson, Sei Young Kim, Gerina Piller, Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie.
Live coverage of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will air on Golf Channel Thursday and Friday (Jan. 26-27) from 11:30 am-2:30 p.m. ET, and will continue on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 28-29) from 3-5 p.m. ET.
Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin returns as lead analyst for NBC Sports Group’s LPGA tournament coverage in 2017, and will be joined by Whit Watson as play-by-play host for the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Tom Abbott will serve as a hole announcer with Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples reporting from the course. Lisa Cornwell will conduct post-round interviews and provide reports for Golf Central.
ANA INSPIRATION, GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF 2017: Following the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, the LPGA Tour will travel to Australia, Thailand and Singapore for a three-week stretch before returning to the U.S. in March for three weeks, concluding with the ANA Inspiration, golf’s first major championship of 2017 (Thursday-Sunday, March 30-April 2). Taking place at historic Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Golf Channel will air comprehensive news and tournament coverage, headlined by 20 hours of live tournament action.
NBC SPORTS GROUP’S 2017 MARQUEE LPGA EVENTS: Golf Channel will have coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2017, with three majors airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial Solheim Cup returns to U.S. soil in 2017, taking place in August in Des Moines, Iowa, with complete coverage on Golf Channel.
About the LPGA
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.
About Golf Channel
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available in more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world. Golf Channel features more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, including tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, The Open, Olympics, and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel Digital delivers unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Channel Mobile and the NBC Sports App, both powered by Playmaker Media. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking; GolfAdvisor.com, the world’s largest golf course ratings and review resource for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.
-NBC Sports Group-