About NBC Sports Group’s GOLF Division
NBC Sports Group’s GOLF division delivers multimedia golf content, technology and services. Anchored by GOLF Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in – GOLF Channel content is available to nearly million viewers in nine languages across more than 70 countries around the world. GOLF features more live coverage of the sport than all other U.S. networks combined, including global tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, European Tour, NCAA, THE PLAYERS, The Open, Olympics, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Delivering unmatched coverage from the world of golf via GOLF Channel Digital, fans can access 24/7 live streaming through the NBC Sports App, as well as complementary coverage via PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold.
In addition, NBC Sports connects the world to golf through a wide array of technology and lifestyle services, including: GOLFNOW and TeeOff, the world’s largest online tee time booking platforms; GOLF Business Solutions, solving business needs through leading technology, marketing and services; GOLFPASS, an all-in-one digital membership delivering comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle; and GOLF Advisor, the ultimate digital destination for the traveling golfer, featuring the largest number of user-generated golf course ratings and reviews in the industry. GOLF’s global reach originates from its world headquarters in Orlando, Fla., and extends to its international office in Belfast, Northern Ireland; regional offices across North America, Europe and Australia; and also includes collaborations with Sky Sports and serving as the Official Media Partner of St Andrews Links.
Golf Channel ExecutivesSours: https://www.golfchannel.com/about/about-us/
Mike McCarley serves as President, Golf for NBC Sports Group, and has been at the helm of Golf Channel since February He oversees all of NBC Sports Group’s golf-related businesses and content, including Golf Channel, broadcast golf coverage on NBC, Golf Channel Digital, GolfNow, and the company’s portfolio of golf lifestyle brands.
Providing more live tournament golf coverage than all other U.S. television networks combined, NBC Sports Group's Golf Channel in matched its highest-rated year ever for the third consecutive year, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. Since McCarley’s tenure began as president in when the network became part of the NBC Sports Group, Golf Channel has scored its six best years ever and has increased ratings +60% and viewership +53% over that span through and the network has grown to become the No. 1 most-affluent ad-supported television network in both total day and primetime for three consecutive years.
Golf Channel is home to the PGA TOUR, The R&A, LPGA Tour, European Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Champions, IOC/Olympics, NCAA National Championships, as well as other worldwide tours. Golf Channel’s and NBC’s slate of marquee men’s events include, The Open, The Players, Olympics, FedExCup Playoffs, Ryder Cup & Presidents Cup. Beginning in , NBC Sports Group became the home for four of the five women’s and senior major championships, in addition to previously being the home of the Solheim Cup and International Crown.
Under McCarley’s leadership, Golf Channel has expanded its high-quality programming slate and increased viewership across all dayparts. Additionally, McCarley played a key role in NBC Sports Group’s television rights negotiations with the PGA TOUR, resulting in NBC extending its partnership and expanded Golf Channel opportunities through ; the PGA of America, which included signing the longest partnership in professional sports with NBC Sports gaining the rights to the Ryder Cup through ; and the R&A, with NBC Sports assuming the rights to The Open, The Senior Open, and the Women’s British Open, among other events. The partnership with the R&A marks Golf Channel’s first-time ever airing live coverage of a men’s major championship with their critically acclaimed coverage of The Open in
Prior to his current role overseeing golf for the NBC Sports Group, McCarley served as Senior Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Promotions, NBC Sports & Olympics since August He created the award-winning “Sunday Night is Football Night” campaign and was the architect of NBC Sports’ highly successful “Big Event Strategy,” which marshals all NBCUniversal assets to make the audiences for the biggest events in sports even bigger.
McCarley, an Emmy Award-winner, helped set two Guinness World Records and has won multiple ProMax Awards for Olympic and NFL campaigns. He joined NBC in February as the Communications Director for NBC’s Olympic division; was promoted to Director, Marketing and Communications in ; was promoted to Vice President in ; and in added oversight of all NBC Sports Advertising and Promotions. Prior to NBC, McCarley worked with USA Triathlon in association with the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Dallas Mavericks and the University of Arizona.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., and graduate of the University of Arizona, McCarley resides in the Orlando area with his wife and four children.
Arnold Palmer founded Golf Channel in Orlando and now, sadly, it’s leaving | Commentary
When mayor Buddy Dyer heard the news the other day that Golf Channel, an Orlando institution, is in the process of leaving sunny Central Florida for snowy Southwestern Connecticut, his first emotion was sadness, quickly followed by befuddlement.
Dyer, as he stood in the warming Florida sunshine on the driving range at Bay Hill earlier this week, said it made no sense that a TV network exclusively covering golf would move from the City Beautiful to Stamford, Conn.
“In my mind, the name Orlando screams golf,” Dyer said, shaking his head. “Stamford, Connecticut — not so much.”
No, it’s not devastating economic news that Golf Channel and its couple hundred employees are leaving our city, but it does make you wistfully nostalgic for those days when Orlando was the center of the golfing universe. Then Tiger moved away and Arnie passed away and now, regrettably, Golf Channel is going away.
And how sadly ironic that the news of Golf Channel’s imminent departure started leaking out as the world’s top golfers were making the pilgrimage to Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational?
It was 25 years ago when Arnie and media entrepreneur Joe Gibbs (no, not that Joe Gibbs) came up with the crazy concept for Golf Channel, secured the financing and launched the revolutionary network. When Arnie flipped the ceremonial switch on Jan. 17, , Golf Channel was seen in only 10, homes — but was lampooned by millions across the country.
The network was a punchline and the butt of endless jokes about how a hour golf-exclusive channel could possibly come up with programming to fill all of that air time. Right after the launch of the network, Rick Reilly, the iconic former Sports Illustrated columnist, came up with programming possibilities such as these:
• “Body by Jack,” a workout session with Jack Nicklaus in which he “takes you through a minute routine you can do without getting out of the cart.”
• ``Unplugged'': A review of the week’s embedded-ball rulings.
• ``Nick at Night'': Highlights of superstar Nick Faldo recleating his golf shoes in hotel rooms from Cairo to Tasmania.
• ``White Like Kite'': Tom Kite, the world’s whitest golfer, shows us how he has stayed completely tanless for more than 40 years.
Of course, we know now that Golf Channel got the last laugh, but not before nearly going bankrupt early in its existence. As Doug Ferguson, the legendary golf writer for the Associated Press wrote on the year anniversary of Golf Channel: “There was [a] turning point in the infancy of the network, a time when even Palmer had his doubts about the future. The question was whether it was prudent for Palmer and his investors to get out and cut their losses.
“We were questioning what we were doing and the viability of what was happening,” Palmer said. “And [investors] said, ‘How do you feel?’ I said, 'Let me say this to you: If I didn’t try to hit it through the trees a few times, none of us would be here.’ ”
That quote, Ferguson wrote, is on the wall at Golf Channel headquarters — “a daily reminder that when you hitch up your pants and go for broke, the reward can be immense.”
Here we are a quarter-century later and Golf Channel is now available to nearly million viewers in nine languages across more than 70 countries around the world. But with such massive growth comes the accompanying massive growing pains. Golf Channel was purchased by Comcast, the parent company of NBC, several years ago. And we all know what happens when mega-media corporations become involved. Decisions are made to appease stockholders and save money and not necessarily to better the product. It’s happened in newspapers, radio and even network TV.
With NBC, along with CBS, reportedly ready to ante up $ million per year for a new PGA Tour TV deal, it’s time for Comcast to cut costs elsewhere in the company in order to pay for these exorbitant rights fee. And that means moving Golf Channel to Comcast/NBC headquarters in Stamford. The reasoning is simple: Why have a separate operation in Orlando when you already have studios, infrastructure and production crews up in Connecticut. In a prepared statement, a network spokesperson calls the move “geographic consolidation” — a fancy, corporate way of saying “slashing costs.”
Sadly, lives will be uprooted, jobs will be lost and the product will suffer. Let’s be honest, from a viewer-enhancement standpoint, it makes no sense for Golf Channel to move out of Florida when the entire golf world is moving into Florida. Arnie started the migration to the Sunshine State when he bought Bay Hill in the early s. The PGA Tour then moved its headquarters to Florida. Legends like Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player moved here, too. And now Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and dozens of other PGA Tour stars live here as well.
Golf Channel will lose some of its identity, its tone and its character when it moves to Connecticut. In my mind, golf isn’t just a sport; it’s a quality of light and a way of life. It’s just not same when you’re talking about golf from a sanitized, snowed-in studio outside of New York City.
That said, I hope Golf Channel thrives in its new home.
It was born in Orlando, grew up in Orlando and blazed trails for other national sports channels (see NFL Network and NBA TV) while in Orlando.
Orlando is proud of you and we’re going to miss you.
Email me at [email protected]. Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on FM and AM
From humble beginnings, Golf Channel celebrates 25 years
Happy 25th birthday, Golf Channel.
On Jan. 17, , the first hour single-sport station launched in a mere 10, households, capitalizing on the cable-TV boom.
President George H.W. Bush spoke the network’s very first words, welcoming his fellow Americans and fellow golfers to this special occasion before handing off to hosts Lynda Cardwell and Brian Hammons, who took the reins for two hours of live programming, beginning at 7 p.m.
Golf Channel has changed the way golf fans consume the game and paved the way for the eventual creation of the NFL Network as well as MLB, NBA and NHL channels. It has grown from just 15 hours of live programming in the network’s first week (the Dubai Desert Classic was the first televised event) to more than live hours from three U.S. time zones and five countries this week.
A hour golf channel was the brainchild of Joe Gibbs, a Birmingham businessman who made his fortune in cable and cellular phones, and partnered with Arnold Palmer, who gave instant credibility to an idea that drew more than a few snickers. One writer called it “24 hours of chubby guys in bad clothes” and another claimed, “We’ve already got C-SPAN.”
“There were plenty of questions about who’s going to watch it?” recalled ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, who got his start in TV as a production associate working in Golf Channel’s video library. “We kind of figured it out as we went.”
Despite the skepticism and resistance from investors, Gibbs forged ahead in selling his vision. He touted an audience of 25 million golfers and conducted a national survey that suggested there were more than 44 million golf fans that would be interested in tuning in.
His biggest sales job may have been on Palmer himself. In what has become part of Golf Channel legend, Gibbs was in a meeting with Palmer and Palmer’s financial advisers, who had their doubts about the notion of a hour golf channel. Retaining Palmer’s involvement was critical to future success. When it was Palmer turn to speak, he said, Gentlemen, if I hadnt tried to hit it through the trees a few times in my life, none of us would be here.
Brandel Chamblee is one of Golf Channels most-opinionated commentators. (Photo courtesy Golf Channel)
That was the last time Gibbs worried about his co-founder’s participation. “It was almost like we were going to the party; it was just a question of what were we going to wear,” said Alistair Johnston, Palmer’s longtime manager with IMG, in the short film Day One: The Making of Golf Channel.
Another key moment that gave the start-up further legitimacy was securing a rights agreement with the PGA Tour. The contract was signed in during the Masters on the hood of a rental car.
Gibbs put together a consortium of six cable companies that together invested $60 million in Golf Channel. In short order, they assembled a state-of-the-art digital facility and hired a rag-tag crew, but they were still flying by the seat of their pants. Two weeks before launch, producer Dave Kamens turned to a colleague and said, “Why don’t we do 12 hours of golf and 12 hours of tennis per day. I mean, 24 hours of golf?”
“I had come from the launch of F/X seven months earlier where we put on eight live shows a day and still ran re-runs of the old Batman series,” he said. “The Golf Channel being ‘born’ as Tiger took hold of the game was mighty fortunate, but the secret sauce was Joe Gibbs’ visionary idea and the eventual viewership that scaled towards Cadillac buyers and Rolex-wearers.”
Producer Jeff Hymes remembers walking down a corridor of the gleaming new studio and Matt Scalici, vice president of network operations, was coming the other direction shortly before the networks big debut.
“He looked at me and I looked at him and it was dead quiet,” Hymes recounts in The Making of Golf Channel podcast. “I said, ‘Matt, stop and listen. It will never be like this again. Starting tomorrow there will never be a dull moment in this building.’ ”
A Golf Channel crew sets up for an early morning live shot at TPC San Antonio. Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports
Golf Channel has become part of the fabric of the game, with more live tournament coverage than all other U.S. networks combined. Over the past 25 years, it has become the place golf fans turn to watch everything from golf’s major professional circuits to NCAA Men’s and Women’s National Championships, Drive Chip and Putt Championship National Finals, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, golf’s return to the Olympics, documentaries like Arnie, original programming such as more than episodes of Feherty and more than episodes of School of Golf as part of its news, instruction and entertainment programming dedicated to showcasing the global sport in more than 70 countries and nine languages.
“It’s fun to know that the excitement that night and the hope of a group of people actually turned out to be well-founded,” Van Pelt said.
Longtime golf insider Tim Rosaforte to retire from Golf Channel at years end
Report: PGA Tour extends deals with NBC, CBS, Golf Channel
Presidents Cup TV viewership soars for Golf Channels drama-filled singles broadcast
Golf Channels Live From crew pays touching tribute to CBS-bound Frank Nobilo
Owner golf channel
End of the road: Golf Channel says goodbye to 'Morning Drive'
On Jan. 17, , the first hour single-sport station launched in a mere 10, households, capitalizing on the cable-TV boom.
Golf Channel changed the way golf fans consume the game and paved the way for the eventual creation of the NFL Network as well as MLB, NBA and NHL channels. It has grown from just 15 hours of live programming in the network’s first week—the Dubai Desert Classic was the first televised event—to more than live hours from three U.S. time zones and five countries this week.
But has been a year of transition for the network and on Sunday, Golf Channels long-running Morning Drive TV show came to the end of the road.
The Golf Channel, owned by NBCUniversal, had been based in Orlando since its launch in but is pulling up stakes.
“As we announced in February, Golf Channel will be moving its media operations primarily to NBC Sports’ headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, by year-end, while GOLFNOW and GOLFPASS will continue to operate from Orlando,” a Golf Channel spokesman said in a statement to Golfweek in June.
Some are making the move north, but many are not, including some associated with Morning Drive, like Gary Williams—who started as a co-host in —Robert Damron and Lauren Thompson.
This shot captures a familiar Morning Drive setting.
The long-running show eventually featured viewers-turned-crew-members.
Golf Channel, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in January, is carried in more than 70 countries and nine languages.
Golfweeks Eamon Lynch has been a contributor to the show, and on Saturday, he shared some shots from the studio.
Paige Mackenzie was a co-host who said via social media shell be heading west to Arizona. She will continue to be a part of the Golf Channel studio programs and tournaments. She was an analyst during NBCs U.S. Womens Open coverage and is expected to see her role on LPGA broadcasts grow in the future.
Williams future plans are unknown—other than that he will not be with the channel any longer—yet he wished those making the move to Connecticut all the best.
Damron said hell still be on PGA Tour Live broadcasts, but will also be enjoying life.
Damon Hack will be making the move, and showed his appreciation for Williams (and all his co-workers) while working an LPGA event this weekend.
The network recently announced the hiring of Shane Bacon, who will serve as a co-host for a new, live daily show, Golf Today. Hell be joined by Hack as well as Anna Whiteley and Jimmy Roberts.
Golf Channel says Golf Today harkens back to networks first year in , when a show with the same name was the network’s original live tournament pre-game show.
The new Golf Today is set to debut on Monday, Jan. 4.
Golfweeks Adam Schupak and Tim Schmitt contributed to this article.
Golf Channel on NBC
"NBC Golf" redirects here. For the television channel, see Golf Channel.
|Golf Channel on NBC|
|Also known as||PGA Tour on NBC (–)|
Golf on NBC (–present)
Golf Channel on NBC (–present)
NBC Golf (–present)
|Presented by||List of NBC Sports golf commentators|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||61|
|Production location||Various tournament sites|
|Running time||+ minutes or until tournament ends|
|Production company||NBC Sports|
|Related shows||PGA Tour on CBS|
Golf Channel on NBC (known as PGA Tour on NBC from to ) is the branding used for broadcasts of golf tournaments produced by NBC Sports in conjunction with Golf Channel, on the NBC television network in the United States. The network's coverage focuses mostly on the PGA Tour (NBC shares the broadcast rights for weekend rounds with CBS Sports), but also includes major events not sanctioned by the tour, such as the U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and the Ryder Cup. NBC also airs some tournaments from other tours to which NBC Sports Group holds the television rights, notably the European Tour.
While originally using generic branding based on the event or tour (such as The PGA Tour on NBC), after NBC's parent company NBC Universal was acquired by Comcast – owner of Golf Channel (which serves as the current cable partner of the PGA Tour) – in February , the channel's operations were merged directly into NBC Sports; subsequently, golf telecasts on NBC were rebranded under the Golf Channel on NBC banner.
NBC first began televising golf events after it was awarded the television rights to the U.S. Open in with Lindsey Nelson anchoring the coverage from the 18th hole tower. In , NBC provided the first ever telecast (airing two hours of highlights) of the Ryder Cup. The U.S. Open, marked the first time that NBC covered golf on a Sunday. The U.S. Open continued to air on the network through the event, however NBC rebuffed a long-term deal to broadcast the event when the United States Golf Association (USGA) decided on a true contract in
The network, however, did televise a handful of PGA Tour events over the following decades. For example, NBC's broadcast of the Tournament of Champions as the first color golf telecast. Five years later, NBC broadcast the Hawaiian Open Golf Tournament, which was the first live color sports transmission from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland.
In , NBC televised the first Skins Game ever held, with Vin Scully and Ben Crenshaw serving as announcers for the tournament broadcast. From to , Scully juggled duties for both golf and Major League Baseball telecasts for NBC, usually teaming with Lee Trevino. The only notable affiliate not to televise the first event was KYW-TV (now a CBSowned-and-operated station) in Philadelphia. In , coverage of the Skins Game moved to ABC Sports, after NBC obtained the rights to broadcast Notre Dame college football games.
After Vin Scully left NBC Sports following the network's loss of the Major League Baseball package to CBS, Bryant Gumbel, who was still co-hosting Today at the time, took over as NBC's primary golf anchor. In , Gumbel was replaced by Charlie Jones and subsequently, Dick Enberg and (after the former left NBC Sports for CBS in the year ) Dan Hicks.
The American Century Celebrity Golf Classic was held in  and sponsored by NBC, which broadcasts the second- and third-round coverage. The game NBC Sports Real Golf was unveiled at the 17th annual American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Event and promoted during NBC's broadcast of the event. NBC generally televised around five regular PGA Tour events per season at this time. In , the network acquired the broadcast rights to the Ryder Cup.
Acquisition of U.S. Open rights ()
In , NBC Sports acquired rights to the USGA championships, including the U.S. Open, from ESPN/ABC. ESPN retained rights to a portion of the weekday coverage, however NBC was the dominant rightsholder, including exclusive coverage of the weekend rounds. This took NBC's coverage to a new level, and marked the first time in the modern era of television that the network had televised a major championship. NBC, and its lead analyst Johnny Miller (who joined NBC in ), became synonymous with the U.S. Open, televising it for the next 20 years, through 
Expansion of PGA Tour rights ()
In January , the PGA Tour announced a new set of television deals covering to , increase the number of events covered by NBC Sports from five to ten. The deal also renewed broadcast deals for the Ryder Cup and the USGA Championships, including the U.S. Open. NBC is the only network which provide four days of major tournament coverage (CBS, which airs the Masters and the PGA Championship, only provides weekend coverage of its tournaments; starting in , the Open Championship would not be aired live on a major broadcast network at all, with all four rounds airing on ESPN and ABC providing only edited highlights of the event).
NBC carried the weekend coverage of the JELD-WEN Tradition in , and Golf Channel covered the early rounds (and all four rounds in while NBC carried the Summer Olympic Games from Beijing). NBC carried a tape delayed broadcast of the World Series of Golf, which was held from May 13 to 16, , on June 23 and 24 of that year; the event of the series, played from May 12 to 15, and was televised by CBS on June 28 and
In , The Shark Shootout was moved to December, and was broadcast live by both Golf Channel and NBC. The event was originally broadcast in the United States by sister cable channel USA Network, and CBS – with USA broadcasting the first round on a tape-delayed basis, and CBS handling the second round live. The final round was not broadcast live to the entire country, as CBS' commitment to the NFL only allowed the round as it took place to air in the Eastern and Central Time Zones, with the rest of the U.S. seeing the event beginning at p.m. Eastern Time.
Golf Channel re-branding ()
In January , Comcast, owners of Golf Channel, acquired a majority stake in the NBC network's parent company NBC Universal. Comcast's existing sports properties were merged into the NBC Sports division, allowing Golf Channel to pool its personalities and other personnel with NBC. As a result of this synergy, Golf Channel took over production of NBC's golf telecasts, which were now co-branded under the "Golf Channel on NBC" banner, beginning at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, with a co-branded logo adding the NBC peacock to Golf Channel's existing logo (the co-branded presentation would also migrate to Golf Channel proper shortly afterward).
While most golf broadcasts on NBC used Golf Channel's on-air branding as graphics packages as a result of the changes, the Players Championship, Ryder Cup and USGA tournaments maintain the distinctive theme music that NBC used prior to the rebranding (such as the theme from The Man from Snowy River for the Players, and Yanni's "In Celebration of Man" for the U.S. Open, which, with a rearrangement, was also temporarily used for the Open Championship).
In both and , NBC broadcast weekend coverage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open from Scotland. The event was played at Castle Stuart near Inverness, while the event was hosted by Royal Aberdeen, near Aberdeen. Coverage of the tournament during both years was anchored by Rich Lerner, and the action was called by lead European Tour announcer Dougie Donnelly and Golf Channel's lead PGA Tour analyst Frank Nobilo.
Loss of U.S. Open rights and acquiring The Open Championship (–)
In August , the USGA signed a broadcasting contract with Fox Sports, effective with the tournament season, ending NBC's relationship with the association after 20 years. Fox, which by the time of its first U.S. Open will have televised just two PGA Tour sanctioned events in its history (the unofficial CVS Caremark Charity Classic in and the unofficial Franklin Templeton Shootout in ), paid US$1 billion for the exclusive rights to all USGA championship events. Johnny Miller expressed disappointment at the loss, saying that he "had a feeling" NBC would not retain the rights, and that Fox would not be able to "fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open". The U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort was the network's 20th, and final, U.S. Open telecast in the modern era.
On June 8, , it was announced that NBC and Golf Channel had acquired rights to The Open Championship under a year deal, replacing ESPN. The R&A was, reportedly, won over by NBC's rights fee (which is approximately doubled in comparison to ESPN), and the performance of NBC's broadcasts of the Premier League, which air in a similar weekend morning time slot in the U.S.. The deal restored a men's major back to NBC for the first time since , gave Golf Channel coverage of its first-ever major, and returned the Open to broadcast network television. Originally stated to begin in , it was reported on October 12, that ESPN had opted out the final year of its contract to NBC, thus causing NBC coverage to begin in instead, mirroring a similar move by the BBC (who opted out to new rightsholder Sky Sports).
In January , former CBS analyst David Feherty joined NBC to become a full-time contributor for its coverage and Golf Channel. Feherty already hosted a self-titled interview series for Golf Channel. Long-time ESPN personality Mike Tirico made his on-air debut with NBC during the Open Championship.
NBC and Golf Channel broadcast the revived golf tournaments at the Summer Olympics, as part of NBC's coverage of the Games. NBC staff served as the host broadcaster for the golf events on behalf of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS).
PGA Tour renewal, regaining the U.S. Open (–present)
In , NBC renewed its rights to the PGA Tour through under an eight-year deal beginning in While NBC will still air an average of 8 tournaments per-year, coverage of the final three FedEx Cup playoff events will now alternate between CBS and NBC.
On June 29, , it was announced that Fox had withdrawn from its contract to carry USGA tournaments, and had sold the remaining seven years of the contract to NBC Sports through It was reported that the rescheduling of the majors caused by the COVID pandemic was a factor in the decision (Fox had reportedly proposed moving the U.S. Open exclusively to FS1 to overcome conflicts with weekend college football and the NFL), and that Fox had originally discussed working with NBC before negotiating the withdrawal instead. The first event televised under the new contract was the U.S. Women's Amateur.
- PGA Tour, annual coverage
- Tournaments alternated with CBS
- European Tour
- LPGA Tour
- Majors and special events
Main articles: List of NBC Golf commentators and List of Golf Channel personalities
- ^ Honda Classic Intro (Final Round) on YouTube
- ^ NBC golf credits) on YouTube
- ^Ed Sherman (September 27, ). "How the Ryder Cup went from nothing to coveted TV property for NBC". Sherman Report. Retrieved October 1,
- ^"Chronology of Ryder Cup coverage on American television". Classic Sports TV and Media. September 25, Retrieved October 1,
- ^"NBC broadcasts U.S. Open Golf again after 30 years". NBC Sports History Page.
- ^ NBC US Open Final Round Ending on YouTube
- ^"History of US Open golf TV coverage (present)". Classic Sports TV and Media. June 10, Retrieved June 10,
- ^Mike Reynolds. "McCarley To Head Golf Channel, Davis Out At Versus In NBC Sports Group Reorg: Sources". Multichannel News. Retrieved February 2,
- ^"Yanni's "In Celebration of Man" is back -- and it's as glorious as ever". Golf Digest. Retrieved 17 February
- ^" U.S. Open TV schedule, channel, coverage, live stream, watch online, golf streaming times". CBSSports.com. Retrieved
- ^"Timing of USGA-Fox announcement rankles many". GolfChannel.com. Retrieved January 11,
- ^"NBC, Golf Channel ending ABC/ESPN British Open reign". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved June 8,
- ^"NBC getting British Open a year early". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 12 October
- ^"NBC Sports Group Seals Rights for British Open Championships". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 12 October
- ^Guthrie, Marisa (15 September ). "Golf Analyst David Feherty Leaves CBS for NBC Sports". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 September
- ^Sandomir, Richard (15 September ). "David Feherty Moves From CBS to NBC and Golf Channel". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September
- ^"NBC names Mike Tirico host of British Open coverage". Golf Digest. Retrieved 5 August
- ^"Olympic Broadcasting: Inside the Chief Executive's Office". TV Technology. Retrieved 12 July
- ^"SBJ Media: PGA Tour, Mountain West Get New Rights Deals". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved
- ^"CBS, NBC re-up with the PGA Tour in a 9-year, $ billion deal". adage.com. Retrieved
- ^Rigdon, Joe (June 20, ). "NBC needs to add a constant leaderboard for golf coverage (and other U.S. Open thoughts)". Awful Announcing.
- ^Goldsmith, Jill (). "Fox Sells Rights For United States Golf Association, Including U.S. Open, To NBC Sports". Deadline. Retrieved
- ^Beall, Joel (June 29, ). "USGA announces U.S. Open will move to NBC, ending relationship with FOX". Golf Digest. Retrieved June 29,
- ^Nichols, Beth Ann (June 29, ). "It's official: USGA transferring all media rights from Fox Sports back to NBC". Golfweek (USA Today). Retrieved June 29,
- ^"NBC Sports To Tee Off USGA Deal With U.S. Women's Amateur". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved
Golf Channel (NBC)
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American television channel
Golf Channel (also verbally referred to as simply Golf) is an Americansports televisionnetwork owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. Founded in Birmingham, Alabama, it is currently based out of NBC Sports' headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
The channel focuses on coverage of the sport of golf, including live coverage of tournaments, as well as factual and instructional programming. It is the cable television rightsholder of the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and golf at the Summer Olympics. Via the Golf Channel unit, Comcast also owns other golf-related businesses, including the course reservation service GolfNow, online golf instruction provider Revolution Golf, and the World Long Drive Championship. Some of these associated properties operate from the network's former home of Orlando, Florida.
As of September , Golf Channel is available to approximately million pay television households (% of households with cable) in the United States.
The idea of a hour golf network came from media entrepreneur Joseph E. Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama, who first thought of such a concept in  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 Arnold Palmer then secured $80 million in financing from several cable television providers (including Adelphia Communications Corporation, Cablevision Industries, Comcast, Continental Cablevision, Newhouse, and the Times Mirror Company) to launch the network, which was among the first subscription networks developed to cover one singular sport.
Announced in February , the launch date was targeted for May ; and it was launched on January 17, , with a ceremonial flip of the switch by co-founder Arnold Palmer. The first live tournament the channel televised was the Dubai Desert Classic, held January 19– Originally a premium channel with limited subscribers, it retooled in September to be part of basic-tier pay TV to reach more viewers and ratings rapidly increased. In , Fox Cable Networks acquired a minority stake in the channel for $50 million.
From to , Golf Channel would hold part of the PGA Tour's cable rights for early-round coverage. To boost their availability, Golf Channel reached an agreement with Fox Sports Networks (FSN) to air simulcasts of the coverage. In , Golf Channel lost its rights to the main PGA Tour, but gained rights to the developmental Buy.com Tour.
Acquisition by Comcast
In , Fox sold its % stake in Golf Channel, as well as its stake in Outdoor Life Network, to minority owner Comcast, as part of a larger transaction by Fox to acquire Comcast's stake in Speedvision. In December , Comcast acquired the remaining % stake of Golf Channel it did not already own from the Tribune Company, giving it full ownership.
In January , Golf Channel became the exclusive cable broadcaster of the PGA Tour as part of a new year contract, replacing ESPN and USA Network. The contract included early-round coverage of all official money events, and 13 events per-season carried exclusively by the network. By then, Golf Channel had carriage in 75 million homes.
Concurrently, Comcast also launched Versus/Golf HD, a ihigh definition channel featuring programming from 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. This arrangement ended in December , when both networks launched their own hour high-definition simulcasts.
In March , Comcast acquired the online golf reservation platform GolfNow. It was re-located to Golf Channel's headquarters in Orlando.
Merger with NBC Sports
In January , 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, Golf Channel and sister sports network Versus were subsumed by a restructured NBC Sports division. On-air synergies between NBC's existing production unit began to take effect in February at the WGC Match Play Championship, when NBC's golf telecasts took on the Golf Channel 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 , Golf Channel unveiled a new logo, implemented in May to coincide with the 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 across Golf Channel's associated properties and services.
On June 8, , it was announced that NBC Sports had acquired rights to The Open Championship beginning in under a year deal; after former broadcaster ESPN opted out of the final year of rights, NBC began coverage in instead. Early round coverage is aired by Golf Channel, which marked the first time ever that Golf Channel had ever broadcast one of the four Men's major golf championships. On May 3, , NBC announced that Golf Channel would air the bulk of the men's and women's golf tournaments for the Summer Olympics, covering up to hours of the tourney, with of those hours live.
In , Golf Channel acquired the World Long Drivers Association, organizer of the World Long Drive Championships; coverage of its events were subsequently added to the network. In , Golf Channel acquired Revolution Golf, an online provider of golf instructional materials.
Before the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii tournament, Golf Channel production staged a walkout.
In February , Golf Channel announced a new subscription service known as GolfPass. The service will feature a variety of content, including a streaming library of archive content, instructional content, as well as special offers (such as credit for free round of golf per-year, and a premium tier offering additional discounts). Rory McIlroy will also be involved in the service, hosting new instructional content for GolfPass, as well as an autobiographical web series.
In February , it was reported that Golf Channel would consolidate its television operations with the remainder of NBC Sports at its facilities in Stamford, Connecticut, in a move expected to occur over the next 12 to 18 months. The GolfNow and GolfPass services will continue to primarily operate from Orlando. With the move to Stamford, Golf Channel also ended its long-time morning show Morning Drive, replacing it with the new midday show Golf Today from Stamford beginning January 4, 
Golf Channel is the pay television 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. Golf Channel also broadcasts primetime encores of the day's coverage, including network television broadcasts from NBC or CBS where applicable. Golf Channel also broadcasts coverage of PGA Tour Champions and Korn Ferry Tour events. Outside of events organized by the PGA Tour, Golf Channel also carries coverage of the European Tour, LPGA Tour, and Asian Tour.
Golf Channel is the cable broadcaster of two of the men's majors, including the U.S. Open and other USGA championships (since June ) and the Open Championship. Since , it participates in NBCUniversal's coverage of the Summer Olympics by covering its golf competitions. It 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
Since its integration with NBC Sports, Golf Channel has been occasionally used as an overflow channel for non-golf programming, including two games of the Stanley Cup playoffs (due to programming conflicts with USA Network and CNBC), and a Premier League soccer match as part of NBC's Championship Sunday.
News and analysis
Factual and reality
- Golf Channel Academy
- PGA Tour Champions Learning Center
- Playing Lessons
- School Of Golf
- The Golf Fix
The Golf Channel uses a number of people for tournament, news and instructional programming.
Hosts and reporters
Notable former personalities
For the month of October , Golf Channel averaged a daily viewership of 84,
The Golf Channel is also available in Canada on most cable and satellite providers, as it is authorized for carriage as a foreign cable television service by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. While it mostly airs the American feed, some programs in this channel are subjected to blackouts as most broadcast rights are held by TSN.
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, 
Since the acquisition of Sky plc by Comcast in late, NBC Sports properties have begun to increase their collaboration with Sky Sports for expanded coverage of relevant events; Golf Channel and Sky Sports Golf trialed on-air talent sharing and co-productions at the Players Championship.
Golf Channel Latin America
The Latin American version of the Golf Channel was launched in as a DirecTV joint venture, and was acquired from DirecTV by former DirecTV executives Jason Markham and Evan Grayer together with Inversiones Bahia in  The channel broadcasts professional tournaments from the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, European Tour and LPGA Tour with Spanish-speaking journalists, as well as Golf Central and other English-language shows. In , Discovery bought the channel.
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