|Launched||January 17, 1995|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
Downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV feed
|Broadcast area||United States
|Formerly called||The Golf Channel
|Dish Network (U.S.)||401|
|Astro (Malaysia)||835 (HD)|
|SKY México (Mexico)||528 (SD)|
|SKY Brasil||32 (SD)|
|Transvision (Indonesia)||900 (HD)|
|TrueVisions (Thailand)||675 (HD)|
|Shaw Direct (Canada)||409 SD/ 266 HD|
|Available on most U.S. and Canadian cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channels|
|StarHub TV (Singapore)||213 (SD)|
|UPC Czech Republic||Check local listings for channels|
|Bell Fibe TV (Canada)TELUS TV (Canada)||1415 (HD)
416 (SD)116 (SD)
|AT&T U-verse (U.S.)||1641
|VMedia (Canada)||76 (HD)|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
Golf Channel (originally "The Golf Channel" from 1995 to 2007) is an American cable and satellite television network owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal. The channel focuses on coverage of the sport of golf, including live coverage of tournaments, as well as factual and instructional programming . Founded in Birmingham, Alabama, the channel's headquarters and studios are currently located in Orlando, Florida. Golf Channel is available in the United States, Canada and a few nations in Asia and Latin America through cable, satellite and wireless transmissions.
The network was launched in 1995, with a ceremonial flip of the switch by co-founder Arnold Palmer on January 17. The idea of a 24-hour golf network came from media entrepreneur Joseph E. Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama, who first thought of such a concept in 1991. Gibbs felt there was enough interest in golf among the public to support such a network, and commissioned a Gallup Poll to see if his instincts were correct. With the support of the polling behind him, Gibbs and legendary golfer Palmer then secured $80 million in financing to launch the network, which was among the first cable networks developed to cover one singular sport. Announced in February 1993, the launch date was targeted for May 1994; it went on the air in early 1995. The first live tournament the channel televised was the Dubai Desert Classic, held January 19–22. Originally a premium channel on cable with limited subscribers, it retooled in September 1995 to be part of basic cable to reach more viewers and ratings rapidly increased. Co-founder Gibbs stepped down at the end of 2001.
In December 2006, it was announced that Golf Channel had acquired cable television rights to the PGA Tour as part of a new 15-year contract. The contract included early-round coverage of all official money events, as well as full rights to early-season and Fall Series events.
In January 2011, Comcast acquired a 51% majority stake in NBC Universal from General Electric. As a result of the re-alignment of Comcast's existing properties into NBC Universal, control of Golf Channel and sister sports network Versus was transferred to a restructured NBC Sports division. On-air synergies between NBC's existing production unit began to take effect in February 2011 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, when golf telecasts on NBC took on Golf Channel's production and branding as "Golf Channel on NBC", in a similar manner to ESPN's co-branding of sports output on ABC. NBC Sports personalities could now appear on Golf Channel, and former NBC Sports senior vice president Mike McCarley took over as the network's new head. The network also adopted an amended logo featuring the NBC peacock.
In December 2013, Golf Channel unveiled a new logo, implemented in May 2014 to coincide with the 2014 Players Championship. The new logo replaces the "swinging G" emblem that had been used since the network's launch with a wordmark alongside the NBC peacock. The new logo was meant to provide a unified brand to be used across Golf Channel's associated properties and services.
On June 8, 2015, it was announced that NBC Sports had acquired rights to The Open Championship beginning in 2016 (originally 2017) under a 12-year deal. Early round coverage is aired by Golf Channel, marking the first time ever that Golf Channel has ever broadcast one of the four Men's major golf championships. On May 3, 2016, NBC announced that Golf Channel would air the bulk of the men's and women's golf tournaments for the 2016 Summer Olympics, covering up to 300 hours of the tourney, with 130 of those hours live.
In January 2007, Comcast originally launched Versus/Golf HD, a 1080i high definition channel featuring programming from both Golf Channel and sister network Versus. Golf Channel programming was broadcast during the daytime hours, and Versus programming was broadcast during the evening and primetime hours. The shared channel was replaced by the current individual HD feeds for both networks in December 2008.
Golf Channel is the cable rightsholder of the PGA Tour, broadcasting live coverage of early rounds, and early window coverage of weekend rounds prior to network television coverage. Some events (particularly, early-season events such as the former Fall Series, and alternate events held against majors) are broadcast in their entirety by Golf Channel. The network broadcasts primetime encores of the day's coverage, including network television broadcasts from NBC or CBS where applicable. Golf Channel also broadcasts coverage of the PGA Tour's Champions and Web.com Tour events. Outside of events organized by the PGA Tour, Golf Channel also carries coverage of the European Tour and LPGA Tour.
Golf Channel has also carried coverage of the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup alongside NBC, and the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's golf championships. It formerly served as a secondary cable partner of the United States Golf Association, broadcasting coverage of its amateur tournaments (cable rights to the USGA's Open tournaments were owned by ESPN, but Golf Channel-produced coverage of these events were carried by its main rightsholder NBC until their acquisition by Fox Sports in 2015). Beginning in 2016, Golf Channel broadcasts early-round coverage of The Open Championship.
News and analysis
Factual and reality
- Golf Channel Academy
- PGA Tour Champions Learning Center
- Playing Lessons
- School Of Golf
- The Golf Fix
For the month of October 2013, Golf Channel averaged a daily viewership of 84,000.
Golf Channel UK
A British version of the channel called Golf Channel UK was operated by sporting goods retailer JJB Sports, and was available on the BSkyB satellite service. It broadcast many of the programs seen on the U.S. channel, but was unable to attract a viable audience as it offered few live golf tournaments; the channel shut down on December 31, 2007. All the major tours have most of their main broadcasting contracts in UK with Sky Sports. Setanta Golf also held rights before its closure and BBC Sport also covers major tournaments each year.
Golf Channel Latin America
The Latin American version of the Golf Channel was launched in 2006, as a joint venture between DirecTV and Paraguayan businessman Carlos Ávila. The channel broadcasts professional tournaments from the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamérica and European Tour with Spanish-speaking journalists, as well as Golf Central and other English-language shows.
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- Fanáticos del golf contarán un canal dedicado sólo a este deporte - El Mercurio, October 12, 2006 (in Spanish)