Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012


Third Quarter Scores Fourth Consecutive Record Quarter


Seven of Nine Months in 2012 Achieve Record Viewership


Golf Channel on NBC’s Sunday Ryder Cup Coverage is Most-Watched in Years


PGA TOUR Playoffs Set All-Time Record on Golf Channel Reaching 14 Million Viewers

ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct 3, 2012) – Golf Channel scored its most-watched September ever, capping the most-watched third quarter in the network’s 17-year history and the fourth consecutive quarter of record audience delivery. With surges in viewership across this past quarter, Golf Channel continues as the fastest-growing network on U.S. television (among networks serving 80 million or more homes), according to data released by The Nielsen Company.

“These business milestones are the product of fantastic golf that resulted in some of the most intense drama the game has ever seen,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “Years of planning and hard work by the Golf Channel and NBC Sports team went into capturing this drama in more compelling ways than ever before including live golf coverage, news, specials and documentaries.”

The most-watched September in Golf Channel history is the seventh of nine months in 2012 to reach this milestone, and the ninth of eleven months to be most-watched dating back to November 2011. Golf Channel averaged 120,000 viewers during September, which represents an increase of 58 percent over last year and 90 percent over 2010. Third quarter averaged 102,000 viewers for Golf Channel and topped the past two years by 20 percent and 38 percent, respectively. Through September, average viewers (111,000) are up 22 percent over the same period last year (91,000) and an impressive 46 percent over 2010 (76,000).

                                                                        % Increase        % Increase

       vs. 2011            vs. 2010

Third Quarter              Most-Watched Ever        20%                   38%

September 2012    Most-Watched Ever        58%                    90%

July 2012                Most-Watched Ever        36%                    32%

Second Quarter           Most-Watched Ever        29%                   34%

June 2012               Most-Watched Ever        39%                    43%

May 2012               Most-Watched Ever        33%                    26%

April 2012              Most-Watched Ever        13%                    33%

First Quarter                Most-Watched Ever        17%                   72%

March 2012            Most-Watched Ever        28%                    105%

February 2012       Most-Watched Ever        19%                    70%


Golf Channel continues to be the ‘fastest-growing network’ on television among all widely distributed networks (available in more than 80 million U.S. homes). Q1 through Q3’12, Golf Channel is up 20% vs. prior year. For the seven quarters since becoming a part of the NBC Sports Group (Q1’11-Q3’12) vs. the prior seven quarters (Q2’09-Q4’10), Golf Channel is up 31%.



Mirroring Golf Channel’s success on-air, and the network’s mobile platforms saw tremendous growth in third quarter with 63 million website page views (+89% YOY) and 52 million mobile page views (+166% YOY). This represents’s Best September Ever, as well as its strongest month of 2012.



Golf Channel on NBC presented more than 17 hours of Ryder Cup coverage from Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill., over the past weekend, and delivered television audiences that the event hasn’t seen in 13 years.

Sunday’s matches, which saw the European team come back from a 10-6 deficit to retain the Ryder Cup by defeating the U.S. team, 14½-13½, garnered the largest audience (5.5 million viewers, Noon-6:33 p.m. ET) for the final day of the Ryder Cup since 1999, which featured the U.S. team’s stirring comeback to defeat the Europeans and win the Ryder Cup in Brookline, Mass., (6.9 million viewers). Audience levels peaked Sunday afternoon from 5:30-6p at 8.9 million viewers watching with the outcome still in question.

Golf Channel on NBC’s delivery of 5.5 million viewers for Sunday’s final day was 88 percent higher than the last Ryder Cup (2.9 million viewers in 2010 from Newport, Wales, Day 2 coverage due to rain delays), and 30 percent higher than the last Ryder Cup contested in the U.S. (4.2 million viewers in 2008 from Louisville, Ky.)


Ryder Cup Final Day Coverage since 1999 on NBC:

2012     5.5 million        Medinah, Ill.

2010     2.9 million        Newport, Wales (Day 2 coverage, rain delays)

2008     4.2 million        Louisville, Ky.

2006     3.5 million        Kildare, Ireland

2004     4.0 million        Detroit, Mich.

2002     5.0 million        Belfry, England

1999     6.9 million        Brookline, Mass.



Golf Channel also has excelled with news coverage during the biggest weeks on the golf calendar, which normally provide the network with the best opportunities of the year to attract casual fans to the sport. In third quarter, Golf Channel posted most-watched ever weeks for the Ryder Cup, as well as all four weeks of the FedEx Cup playoffs.


Event                                                                                       % Increase

Ryder Cup Week 2012         Most-Watched Ever                  33% (2010)

                                                                                                42% (2008)

PGA TOUR Playoffs 2012     Most-Watched Ever                 84% (2011)

U.S. Open Week 2012          Most-Watched Ever                 31% (2011)

PLAYERS Week 2012            Most-Watched Ever                 42% (2011)

Masters Week 2012             Most-Watched Ever                 40% (2011)




Golf Channel’s Ryder Cup Week programming slate included a wide spectrum of shows that posted record audiences:

  • War By The Shore, Tuesday, Sept 25, 9-10 p.m. ET

Most-watched documentary special in Golf Channel history with 241,000 viewers per minute delivery.

  • Feherty Live, Wednesday, Sept 26, 9-10 p.m. ET

Feherty Live from the Ryder Cup featured Michael Jordan surprising Michael Phelps, as well as interviews with a roster of former Ryder Cup captains and delivered 277,000 viewers per minute in its premiere, a 55 percent increase over the original Feherty Live special featuring Tim Tebow from the Super Bowl in February 2012.

  • Ryder Cup Opening Ceremonies, Thursday, Sept 27, 5-6 p.m. ET

Most-watched Opening Ceremony on Golf Channel (367,000 viewers per minute)

  • Live From The Ryder Cup, Sunday from 9 a.m.-Noon ET

Sunday morning’s telecast of Live From The Ryder Cup was the network’s most-watched news coverage during the week with 442,000 viewers per minute. This program led into Golf Channel on NBC’s most-watched Sunday coverage of the Ryder Cup since 1999 with nearly 5.5 million viewers.

  •’s Ryder Cup Week

Ryder Cup Week was’s most-trafficked event all year, with over 10 million page views (+62% vs. Wales ’10)



Leading into the network’s coverage of the Ryder Cup were four PGA TOUR Playoff events. An unprecedented 14 million viewers watched some or all of the coverage on Golf Channel, and Golf Channel’s 2012 early round coverage was the most-watched ever in the PGA TOUR Playoffs’ five-year history. The eight days of live playoff golf coverage drew 1.239 million average viewers per minute, almost doubling Golf Channel’s 2011 delivery (630K) and surpassing 2009 and 2007 by more than 15% (1.072 million and 991.7 million viewers, respectively). This drives Golf Channel’s PGA TOUR coverage to date for 2012 to 23% over 2011 and 51% over 2010.



The momentum for Golf Channel has been building since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group in January 2011. A sampling of Golf Channel achievements in that time include:

  • 2011 was the most-watched year in Golf Channel’s 17-year history
  • Four of seven most-watched quarters
  • Eleven most-watched months
  • Highest-rated and most-watched Opening Day of the PGA TOUR ever (first round of Hyundai Tournament of Champions)
  • Most-watched PGA TOUR round ever on Golf Channel (final round of AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am).
  • Every PGA TOUR event in 2012 increased digital traffic vs. 2011
  • Monday primetime lineup in 2012, featuring new seasons of Feherty, The Haney Project and Big Break, are up 41% over Monday nights in 2011
  • Golf Central up 28% YOY
  • Morning Drive up 27% YOY and +100% versus its 2010 timeslot.
  • New Wednesday primetime series, On the Range, up 35% versus same timeslot in 2011.


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.


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.


Playoffs Reach claim based upon P2+ LSD Cume w/6-min qualifier for all PGA TOUR Playoffs telecasts on Golf Channel 2007-2012.


Fastest-Growing Network claim based upon Nielsen; Avg of 2Q09-4Q10 vs. 1Q11-3Q12 (seven quarters since merger) AND ALSO 1Q12-3Q12 vs. 1Q11-3Q11 (Year over Year); Live  HH (000) among broadcast networks and cable networks in greater than 80 million homes; Mon-Sun 6a-6a; Subject to qualifications.


Digital: Omniture SiteCatalyst



David Schaefer, VP of Communications, 407-355-4542

Dan Higgins, Sr. Director of Communications, 407-355-4018


– NBC Sports Group –