ORLANDO, Fla. -- For the third consecutive year, Golf Channel posted the most-watched year in the 19-year history of the network in 2013 with 14% year-over-year increase in total day average viewership, according to data released by The Nielsen Company (24-hour Total Day 6AM-6AM). This milestone was built upon the momentum of most-watched years in 2011 and 2012, and has resulted in a 54% increase in total-day average viewership over the three-year span since Golf Channel joined the NBC Sports Group.
“Golf Channel is committed to quality programming and our increasingly loyal audience continues to respond by watching in record numbers,” said Mike McCarley, President of Golf Channel. “For fans of golf much of Golf Channel’s programming has become indispensable, whether it is extensive coverage of golf’s marquee events and tournaments from around the globe or our everyday focus on topics that resonate with avid golfers, the audience is consuming more and more of Golf Channel’s content on all platforms.”
2013 VIEWERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
Golf Channel’s record viewership averaged 108,000 viewers per minute in total day for 2013, which places it fifth among sports networks. Additionally, Golf Channel ranked third, behind ESPN and ESPN2, for nearly one quarter of the year (79 days).
Golf Channel set records throughout the year with first, second and third quarter all setting “most-watched” milestones, as well as seven different monthly “most-watched” marks, including January, February, March, April, May, August and October.
Golf Channel is the fastest-growing cable network since 2011 when it became a part of the NBC Sports Group (networks in 80+ million homes).
Additionally, Golf Channel’s viewership saw significant increases in all key demos, including Men 25-54 up 13% YOY (+30% over 3-yr span), Adults 25-54 up 10% YOY (+32% over 3-yr span), Adults 35-64 up 6% YOY (+43% over 3-yr span) and Households up 15% YOY (+55% over 3-yr span).
A driving force behind Golf Channel’s success in 2013 was that every major tour saw year-over-year viewership increases.
PGA TOUR’s 2013 FedExCup Season was up 8% YOY (+81% over 3-yr span) and saw a record 19 events break 5 million unique viewers (up from 16 events in 2012), led by the Farmers Insurance Open with 9.3 million unique viewers.
PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs were the second most-watched in its seven-year history with 12.4 million unique viewers watching some or all of the action on Golf Channel.
LPGA Tour continued its surge in momentum with a 14% increase YOY (+46% over 3-yr span), making it the Tour’s second most-watched year ever.
Web.com Tour was up 34% YOY (+70% over 3-yr span), its most-watched year ever.
Champions Tour was up 17% YOY (+18% over 3-yr span), its most-watched year ever.
European Tour was up 1% YOY (+26% over 3-yr span), its most-watched year ever.
NEWS, ORIGINALS & INSTRUCTION
Golf Channel continued its commitment to producing high-quality programming, which resulted in record viewership, including:
Morning Drive up 26% YOY (+169% over 3-yr span, 2010 timeslot).
Golf Central up 17% YOY (+98% over 3-yr span).
Golf Central’s Live From coverage up 17% YOY (+30% over 3-yr span), including most-watched Masters Week, The Players Week, PGA Championship Week, U.S. Open Week from an East Coast venue and Open Championship Week since event was moved to cable in 2010.
Instructional programming up 14% YOY (+33% over 3-yr span), posting its most-watched year ever.
Original Series (Feherty, In Play with Jimmy Roberts, Big Break) up 2% YOY (+18% over 3-yr span), contributing to Golf Channel’s Monday primetime delivering its most-watched year ever.
GOLF CHANNEL DIGITAL PLATFORMS POST BEST YEAR EVER
Golf Channel fans also came in record numbers to GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel Mobile, as well as to Golf Live Extra, live streaming launched in 2013.
GolfChannel.com unique users were up 32% YOY, along with page views (45%) and video starts (25%).
GolfChannel.com delivered more than 3 million uniques for the first time ever in March and continued that streak for six consecutive months through August.
Golf Channel Mobile unique users grew 49% YOY, driving page views (78%) and video starts (59%) to even larger increases.
Golf Channel Digital broke its best quarter ever mark in first, second and third quarter.
Golf Channel Digital scored record weeks during all four of golf’s majors, as well as for THE PLAYERS, FedExCup Playoffs and Presidents Cup.
Golf Live Extra streaming delivered 4.6 million live starts and more than 90 million minutes watched in the authenticated service’s inaugural year.
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, led by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel programming also is available via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio.
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.
PGA TOUR event and PGA TOUR Playoffs Reach claim based upon P2+ LSD Cume w/6-min qualifier for all PGA TOUR events and PGA TOUR Playoffs telecasts on Golf Channel 2007-2013.
Fastest-Growing Network claim based upon Nielsen; Avg of 2013 (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 in 2013 and 2010; Mon-Sun 6a-6a; Subject to qualifications.
Digital: Omniture via Adobe Reports and Analytics