Golf Channel

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Golf Channel
Golf Channel Logo.png
Launched January 17, 1995 (1995-01-17)
Owned by NBCUniversal
(Comcast)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV feed
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area United States
Canada
Asia
Latin America
Headquarters Orlando, Florida
Formerly called The Golf Channel
(1995–2007)[1]
Sister channel(s) NBCSN
Comcast SportsNet
Website GolfChannel.com
NBCSports.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV 218
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
Cable
Available on most U.S. and Canadian cable systems Consult your local cable provider for channels
Verizon FiOS 593
93 (SD)
StarHub TV (Singapore) 213 (SD)
UPC Czech Republic Check local listings for channels
IPTV
Bell Fibe TV (Canada)TELUS TV (Canada) 1415 (HD)
416 (SD)116 (SD)
668 (HD)
656 (3D)
AT&T U-verse (U.S.) 1641
641 (SD)
VMedia (Canada) 76 (HD)
Sling TV Internet Protocol television

Golf Channel (originally "The Golf Channel" from 1995 to 2007)[1] 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,[2] 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.

As of February 2015, Golf Channel is available to approximately 79,250,000 pay television households (68.1% of households with television) in the United States.[3]

History[edit]

Former logo, from 2011 until May 2014;
Comcast Peacock logo added in 2011.
The "G" was originally shieldless.[4]

The network was launched in 1995, with a ceremonial flip of the switch by co-founder Arnold Palmer on January 17.[5][6][7] The idea of a 24-hour golf network came from media entrepreneur Joseph E. Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama,[8] who first thought of such a concept in 1991.[9] 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,[10][11][12] the launch date was targeted for May 1994;[2] 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,[13] it retooled in September 1995 to be part of basic cable to reach more viewers and ratings rapidly increased.[14] Co-founder Gibbs stepped down at the end of 2001.[9]

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.[15]

In March 2008, Comcast acquired the online golf reservation platform GolfNow. It was re-located to Golf Channel's headquarters in Orlando.[16][17]

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.[18][19]

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.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

High definition[edit]

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.[23]

Programming[edit]

Event coverage[edit]

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[edit]

Factual and reality[edit]

Instruction[edit]

  • Golf Channel Academy
  • PGA Tour Champions Learning Center
  • Playing Lessons
  • School Of Golf
  • The Golf Fix

On-air staff[edit]

Viewership[edit]

For the month of October 2013, Golf Channel averaged a daily viewership of 84,000.[24]

International version[edit]

Golf Channel UK[edit]

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[edit]

The Latin American version of the Golf Channel was launched in 2006, as a joint venture between DirecTV and Paraguayan businessman Carlos Ávila.[25] 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Awtrey, Stan (January 10, 2007). "Tour tees up era on Golf Channel". Times-News (Hendersonville, NC). Cox News Service. p. 5E. 
  2. ^ a b "Cable golf channel on par with times". Victoria Advocate (Victoria, TX). June 29, 1993. p. 2B. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Golf Channel". Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY). (advertisement). January 31, 1995. p. A8. 
  5. ^ "Palmer introduces all-golf network". Gainesville Sun. January 18, 1995. p. 3C. 
  6. ^ "The Golf Channel hits the air". Eugene Register-Guard. wire services. January 27, 1995. p. 2F. 
  7. ^ Winfrey, Lee. "Golf Channel tees off Tuesday, joining History Channel as new cable fare", Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, January 16, 1995. Retrieved February 28, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  8. ^ Newberry, Paul (June 28, 1993). "Birmingham man plans 24-hour golf channel". Gadsden Times (Gadsden, AL). Associated Press. p. B1. 
  9. ^ a b "Golf Channel co-founder resigns". Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL). Associated Press. October 17, 2001. p. 7D. 
  10. ^ Estes, Cary (June 13, 1993). "Can Golf Channel really work?". Sunday Telegraph (Nashua, NH). Scripps Howard News Service. p. C7. 
  11. ^ "Palmer to start golf channel". The Telegraph (Nashua, NH). Associated Press. February 11, 1993. p. 13. 
  12. ^ Winfrey, Lee (May 13, 1993). "Around-the-clock golf coming to cable soon". The News (Boca Raton, FL). Knight-Ridder Newspapers. p. 3C. 
  13. ^ "Struggling golf channel slashes price structure". Toledo Blade. September 5, 1995. p. 32. 
  14. ^ Sirak, Ron (February 29, 1996). "The Golf Channel might be here to stay". Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ). Associated Press. p. 10A. 
  15. ^ "PGA Tour Announces New TV Rights Package With CBS, NBC, TGC". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  16. ^ Peter Kafka (3 March 2008). "Comcast Buying GolfNow.com". Business Insider. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Golf Channel Invests $1.9 Million To Expand Its Orlando, Florida, Headquarters". Area Development. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Renyolds, Mike. "McCarley To Head Golf Channel, Davis Out At Versus In NBC Sports Group Reorg: Sources". Multichannel News. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ Williams, Jim. "Jim Williams: Golf coverage has new look". Washington Examiner. 
  20. ^ "NBCU’s Golf Channel Unveils New Logo". Deadline.com. December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  21. ^ "NBC, Golf Channel ending ABC/ESPN British Open reign". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  22. ^ Baker, Liana (3 May 2016). "Golf Channel unveils Olympics plans; NBC says 'no shows' to have regrets". Reuters. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  23. ^ Moss, Linda. "Comcast To Launch Three HD Nets, Including E!". Multichannel News. Retrieved August 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/10/30/nbcsn-golf-channel-sunday-night-football-lead-major-october-surge-for-nbc-sports-group-viewership/212620/
  25. ^ Fanáticos del golf contarán un canal dedicado sólo a este deporte - El Mercurio, October 12, 2006 (in Spanish)

External links[edit]