FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 25th, 2018
NBC Sports Group Kicks Off 2018 LPGA Season Today with Worldwide Coverage of Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic
33 LPGA Events to Air on Golf Channel in 2018, Most in Network History
Live Coverage of Seven LPGA Events on Golf Channel in Next 10 Weeks Heading into Golf’s First Major of 2018, the ANA Inspiration
Nearly 22 Million Viewers Tuned in to Golf Channel and NBC Sports’ LPGA Coverage in 2017, Most-Viewed Season Ever for NBC Sports
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 25, 2018 – Following a 2017 season where NBC Sports Group recorded its most viewed LPGA Tour season ever, Golf Channel will continue to ride the wave of momentum as the 2018 LPGA season begins today with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, airing live today-Sunday, Jan. 25-28.
33 LPGA EVENTS ON GOLF CHANNEL IN 2018, MOST IN HISTORY: Golf Channel will televise 33 LPGA Tour events – the highest ever on Golf Channel in a single year – taking place in North America and 14 countries around the world in the season-long Race to the CME Globe. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2018 LPGA season also will feature coverage of four of the five women’s major championships and the UL International Crown, a biennial team competition featuring the top-eight countries from around the globe, taking place outside of the U.S. for the first time at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea in October.
Nearly 22 million viewers tuned in to LPGA Tour coverage across Golf Channel and NBC in 2017, the most-viewed LPGA Tour season since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011. Additionally, 2017 tied 2013 as the LPGA Tour’s most-watched year across NBC Sports since 2011. Coverage drew an average of 221,000 viewers per telecast in 2017 (+24% vs. 2016), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.
“We are excited to kick off our 2018 LPGA season with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic and continue our long-standing and successful partnership with Golf Channel,” said Brian Carroll, the LPGA’s senior vice president of television and new media. “As our devoted fans know, LPGA players are among the most accessible and dedicated athletes in the world, and our friends at Golf Channel do a fantastic job of bringing their stories and our tournaments to viewers around the country.”
“Golf Channel’s LPGA Tour coverage last year was fueled by the most 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 vice president of content and executive producer. “With coverage of four of the five major championships, we will continue to build on this momentum in 2018 with 10 months of coverage and our most number of LPGA events in history.”
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 2018, the ANA Inspiration. World No. 1 Shanshan Feng, reigning Race to the CME Globe winner Lexi Thompson and defending champion Brittany Lincicome headline an international field that also includes So Yeon Ryu, I.K. Kim, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, Danielle Kang and Michelle Wie.
Live coverage of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will air on Golf Channel today and Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET, and will continue on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET and Sunday from 3-5 p.m. ET.
Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin returns as lead analyst for NBC Sports Group’s LPGA tournament coverage in 2018, and will be joined by Grant Boone 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. Chantel McCabe will conduct post-round interviews and provide reports for Golf Central.
ANA INSPIRATION, GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF 2018: 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 2018 (Thursday-Sunday, March 29-April 1). 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 2018 MARQUEE LPGA EVENTS: Golf Channel will have coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2018, with three majors airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Ricoh Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial UL International Crown, taking place in October in South Korea, will have complete coverage on Golf Channel.
About the LPGA
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 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 the Symetra Tour, the official development and qualifying tour of the LPGA, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Additionally, LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management.
The LPGA demonstrates its dedication to the development of the game through The LPGA Foundation. Since 1991, this charitable organization has been committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental and humanitarian golf initiatives, such as LPGA*USGA Girls Golf.
Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via www.LPGA.com. Join the social conversation at www.facebook.com/lpga, www.twitter.com/lpga and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo, and on Instagram and Snapchat at @lpga_tour.
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 to nearly 500 million viewers in 78 countries and nine 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. Delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Channel Digital and the NBC Sports App, 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; Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf ; 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; and as the Official Media Partner of St. Andrews Links, the Home of Golf.
-NBC Sports Group-