Golf Channel

Last updated

Golf Channel
Golf Channel Logo 2018.png
LaunchedJanuary 17, 1995;24 years ago (1995-01-17)
Owned by NBC Sports Group
Picture format 1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaUnited States
Canada
HeadquartersOrlando, Florida
Formerly calledThe Golf Channel
(1995–2007) [1]
Sister channel(s) NBCSN
NBC Sports Regional Networks
Olympic Channel
Website www.golfchannel.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV Channel 218
Dish Network Channel 401
Shaw Direct (Canada)Channel 409 (SD)
Channel 266 (HD)
Cable
Available on most North American cable systemsChannel slots vary on each operator
IPTV
AT&T U-verse Channel 641 (SD)
Channel 1641 (HD)
Verizon FiOS Channel 93 (SD)
Channel 593 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV (Canada)Channel 416 (SD)
Channel 1415 (HD)
TELUS TV (Canada)Channel 116 (SD)
Channel 668 (HD)
Channel 656 (3D)
VMedia (Canada)Channel 76 (HD)
Streaming media
NBC Sports Internet Protocol television
Sling TV Internet Protocol television
PlayStation Vue Internet Protocol television
DirecTV Now Internet Protocol television
YouTube TV Internet Protocol television
Fubo TV Internet Protocol television
Hulu Internet Protocol television

Golf Channel (also verbally referred to as simply Golf) is an American pay television network owned by the NBC Sports Group subsidiary of NBCUniversal division of Comcast. The channel focuses on coverage of the sport of golf, including live coverage of tournaments, as well as factual and instructional programming. It also houses the Golf Films franchise, a collection of independently produced biographical films that center around key figures and events in the history of golf.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Pay television or subscription television are subscription-based television services, usually provided by both analog and digital cable and satellite television, but also increasingly via digital terrestrial and internet television. Subscription television began in the multi-channel transition and transitioned into the post-network era. Some parts of the world, notably in France, Latin America and the United States, have also offered encrypted analog terrestrial signals available for subscription.

A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay television providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small number of terrestrial networks. Many early television networks evolved from earlier radio networks.

Contents

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, Latin America and Southeast Asia through subscription television providers.

Birmingham, Alabama Most populous city in Alabama, United States

Birmingham is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.

Orlando, Florida City in Central Florida

Orlando is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in July 2017. These figures make it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population of 280,257, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state's largest inland city.

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

The idea of a 24-hour golf network came from media entrepreneur Joseph E. Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama, [4] who first thought of such a concept in 1991. [5] 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 to launch the network, which was among the first subscription networks developed to cover one singular sport.

Alabama State of the United States of America

Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.

Announced in February 1993, [6] [7] [8] the launch date was targeted for May 1994; [2] and it was launched on January 17, 1995, with a ceremonial flip of the switch by co-founder Arnold Palmer. [9] [10] [11] The first live tournament the channel televised was the Dubai Desert Classic, held January 19–22. Originally a premium channel with limited subscribers, [12] it retooled in September 1995 to be part of basic-tier pay TV to reach more viewers and ratings rapidly increased. [13] Cable television company Comcast became the majority owner in 2000 and the full owner of the channel in 2003.

Arnold Palmer American golfer

Arnold Daniel Palmer was an American professional golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport's history. Dating back to 1955, he won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as PGA Tour Champions. Nicknamed The King, he was one of golf's most popular stars and seen as a trailblazer, the first superstar of the sport's television age, which began in the 1950s.

Dubai Desert Classic

The Omega Dubai Desert Classic is a European Tour golf tournament held on Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In 1999 and 2000 it was held at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, all other editions have been held at Emirates Golf Club. When founded in 1989, it was the first European Tour event to be staged in the Arabian Peninsula, but is currently one of six.

Comcast American mass media company

Comcast Corporation is an American telecommunications conglomerate headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the second-largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue and the largest pay-TV company, the largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third-largest home telephone service provider. Comcast services U.S. residential and commercial customers in 40 states and in the District of Columbia. As the owner of the international media company NBCUniversal since 2011, Comcast is a producer of feature films and television programs intended for theatrical exhibition and over-the-air and cable television broadcast, respectively.

In December 2006, it was announced that Golf Channel had acquired pay 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. [14]

PGA Tour golf tour in the United States

The PGA Tour is the organizer of the main professional golf tours played primarily by men in the United States and North America. It organizes most of the events on the flagship annual series of tournaments also known as the PGA Tour, as well as PGA Tour Champions and the Web.com Tour, as well as PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica, and PGA Tour China. The PGA Tour is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, a suburb of Jacksonville.

The PGA Tour Fall Series was a series of events on the PGA Tour that covered the end of the calendar year from 2007 to 2012. Beginning in 2013, these events became part of the PGA Tour season, which from that point began to overlap two calendar years, beginning with the 2013–14 PGA Tour season.

In March 2008, Comcast acquired the online golf reservation platform GolfNow. It was re-located to Golf Channel's headquarters in Orlando. [15] [16]

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, 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 2011 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. [17]

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 across Golf Channel's associated properties and services. [18]

On June 8, 2015, it was announced that NBC Sports had acquired rights to The Open Championship beginning in 2017 under a 12-year deal; [19] after former broadcaster ESPN opted out of the final year of rights, NBC began coverage in 2016 instead. [20] 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. [19] 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. [21]

In 2016, 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. [22] In 2017, Golf Channel acquired Revolution Golf, an online provider of golf instructional materials. [23]

Before the final round of the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii tournament, Golf Channel production staged a walkout. [24]

In February 2019, 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. [25] [26]

High definition

In January 2007, Comcast 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. In December 2008, both networks launched their own 24-hour HD channels. [27]

Programming

Event coverage

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 Web.com 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 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 subscription partner of the United States Golf Association, broadcasting coverage of its amateur tournaments (pay-TV 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, and participates in NBCUniversal's coverage of the Summer Olympics by covering its golf competitions.

In April 2018, two non-golf, ice hockey events were scheduled on Golf Channel as overflow for NHL on NBC coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs, due to programming conflicts with USA Network and CNBC. [28]

News and analysis

Factual and reality

Instructional

Notable personalities

The Golf Channel uses a number of people for tournament, news and instructional programming. [29]

Current tournament personalities

PGA Tour coverage

LPGA Tour coverage

Champions Tour coverage

Web.com Tour coverage

Golf Central

Morning Drive

Former personalities

Viewership

For the month of October 2013, Golf Channel averaged a daily viewership of 84,000. [30]

International version

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.[ citation needed ]

Since the acquisition of Sky plc by Comcast in late-2018, 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 2019 Players Championship. [31]

Golf Channel Latin America

The Latin American version of the Golf Channel was launched in 2006 as a DirecTV joint venture, and was acquired from DirecTV by former DirecTV executives Jason Markham and Evan Grayer together with Inversiones Bahia in 2018. [32] 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. [33]

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