April Was All Aces for Golf Channel

Building upon four straight quarters of viewership momentum, April shows growth across live tournament and programming slate for the cable sports network.

As golf’s traditional season heats up, Golf Channel’s momentum in 2016 continues to build with the network’s most-watched April ever. For 24-hour Total Day (6AM-6AM), 137,000 average viewers per minute were tuned into Golf Channel in April, the most-watched April in the 21-year history of the network and a +4 percent increase vs. 2015 (132,000). Ultimately, Golf Channel drew nearly 15.8 million unique viewers in the month of April, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. 

"Golf Channel’s most-watched April ever is a clear indication that there is interest in the young, energizing stars of the game and the result of our investments in live, exclusive quality programming. Those investments will continue to pay dividends as the year progresses," said Mike McCarley, President, Golf, NBC Sports Group. "The viewership increases across tournaments, news, instruction and entertainment programming is evidence that our loyal audience is turning to Golf Channel in record numbers."

The month saw significant viewership growth across tournament coverage of all the major tours and the network’s diverse programming slate, including the following year-over-year gains:

  • Tournament Coverage: +10% 

    • PGA TOUR: +2%

    • LPGA Tour: +14%

    • European Tour: +43%

    • PGA TOUR Champions: +18%

    • Year-to-date, Golf Channel and NBC increases in PGA TOUR coverage:

      • NBC: +20% in 2016

      • Golf Channel: +13% in 2016

      • Golf Channel’s Masters Week coverage: third most-watched ever

      • Golf Central: +18%

      • Instruction: +8%

      • Original Programming:

        • Feherty: Jason Day (premiered Monday, March 28) is fifth most-watched episode ever for the series (372,000 average viewers per minute, Live+3)

        • ’86 (premiered Tuesday, April 3) is the most-watched Golf Channel Films project since Arnie in 2014 (370,000 average viewers per minute, Live+3)

        • Millennial Viewership: Persons 25-34 +50%

        • And as the calendar month ends, similar growth is anticipated for Golf Channel Digital platforms and Golf Channel’s portfolio of golf lifestyle brands serving golfers on and off the course

Golf Channel’s record April comes after the network posted four consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. Golf Channel’s first quarter in 2016 was up +15 percent vs. 2015 for viewership, building upon last year’s increasing growth in second quarter of +3 percent, third quarter of +8 percent, and fourth quarter of +13 percent.