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.
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, Latin America and Southeast Asia through subscription television providers.
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.
|Launched||January 17, 1995|
|Owned by||NBC Sports Group|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Broadcast area||United States|
|Formerly called||The Golf Channel|
NBC Sports Regional Networks
|Dish Network||Channel 401|
|Shaw Direct (Canada)||Channel 409 (SD)|
Channel 266 (HD)
|Available on most North American cable systems||Channel slots vary on each operator|
|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)|
|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|
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 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.
Announced in February 1993, the launch date was targeted for May 1994; and it was launched on January 17, 1995, 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 19–22. Originally a premium channel with limited subscribers, it retooled in September 1995 to be part of basic-tier pay TV to reach more viewers and ratings rapidly increased. Cable television company Comcast became the majority owner in 2000 and the full owner of the channel in 2003.
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.
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.
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.
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; after former broadcaster ESPN opted out of the final year of rights, NBC began coverage in 2016 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, 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 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. In 2017, Golf Channel acquired Revolution Golf, an online provider of golf instructional materials.
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.
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.
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.
The Golf Channel uses a number of people for tournament, news and instructional programming.
For the month of October 2013, Golf Channel averaged a daily viewership of 84,000.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Robert L. "Bob" Papa (born September 19, 1964) is an American sportscaster. Papa is employed by Golf Channel, announces various Olympic sports for NBC Sports and is known as "the voice" of the New York Giants.Feherty (TV series)
Feherty is an American television series broadcast by Golf Channel, hosted by retired professional golfer and television analyst David Feherty. The program features one-on-one interviews between Feherty and notable figures in golf.
The program premiered on June 21, 2011, with an episode featuring an interview with Lee Trevino. Golf Channel's coverage of the 2011 U.S. Open was used to bolster the impending premiere. It was the most-watched original series premiere in Golf Channel history.The series was renewed in September 2015, as part of a larger deal that saw Feherty leave CBS to join NBC Sports and Golf Channel as an analyst and commentator.Fore Inventors Only
Fore Inventors Only is a reality TV series that airs nationally on the Golf Channel, featuring different inventors who are trying to successfully launch their golf-related inventions in the marketplace. Just like the TV show American Inventor, the contestants compete against one another in a series of eliminations. The show's host is Vince Cellini.
The inventions range from devices that help with putting to designer "skins" that can be wrapped around one's golf clubs.
The program has been renewed for a second season by the Golf Channel and is currently encouraging interested contestants to apply for the show.GolfNow
GolfNow is an online booking service for tee times at golf courses. Originally established in 2001 by Cypress Golf Solutions in Scottsdale, Arizona, it was acquired by Comcast via its Golf Channel unit in March 2008. Since Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal, the website now operates as part of the NBC Sports Digital unit.Golf Central
Golf Central is Golf Channel's news program. It was launched in 1995, in the same year as the network it airs on.
A nightly half-hour show, Golf Central features news and highlights from the major golf tours and events of the world, in addition to on-site reports from tournaments.Golf Channel France
Golf Channel France is a television channel broadcasting from Luxembourg devoted to golf since September 2010. It belongs to AB Groupe.Golf Channel on NBC
Golf Channel on NBC (known as PGA Tour on NBC from 1954 to 2011) 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 Open Championship and 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 2011, the channel's operations were merged directly into NBC Sports; subsequently, golf telecasts on NBC were rebranded under the Golf Channel on NBC banner.Golf in the United States
Golf in the United States is played by about 25 million people, or 8% of the population.Professional golf is aired on several television networks, such as Golf Channel, NBC, ESPN, TNT, CBS and Fox.Lauren Thompson
Lauren Brooke Frucci (née Thompson; born July 29, 1982) is an American television personality, print model and voiceover actor who works for Golf Channel, mostly as a co-host on "Morning Drive", the channel's daily morning show. She has been a host of "Top Ten", "Golf Now" (formerly "Destination Golf"), and the "College Sports Minute". She is also known for having worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) as a backstage interviewer.List of NBC Sports golf commentators
The following is a list of television personalities for NBC Sports Group's telecasts of golf, which are carried by NBC and Golf Channel.List of Presidents Cup broadcasters
The Presidents Cup has been held biennially since 1994. Initially, it was held in even numbered years, with the Ryder Cup being held in odd numbered years. However, the cancellation of the 2001 Ryder Cup due to the September 11 attacks pushed both tournaments back a year, and the Presidents Cup is now held in odd numbered years.List of Ryder Cup broadcasters
The Ryder Cup matches were always covered by the BBC, whether in Britain or in the United States, even prior to the British team's merger with Europe. In the 1990s, Sky Sports became heavily involved in the Ryder Cup, and has since taken over live coverage, including creating a channel specifically dedicated for the 2014 and 2016 competition. The BBC still screens edited highlights each night.List of The Open Championship broadcasters
As of 2017, European Tour Productions serves as the host broadcaster for the Open Championship. The host broadcaster, as well as British and American broadcasters Sky Sports and NBC Sports respectively, utilized a total of 175 cameras during the 2016 tournament.List of sports television channels
Sports channels are television speciality channels (usually available exclusively through cable and satellite) broadcast sporting events, usually live, and when not broadcasting events, sports news and other related programming.
The first sports channel was from the SportsChannel networks, which went on the air in 1977 with the original SportsChannel (now MSG Plus). ESPN began broadcasting in 1979. Since then, many channels have surfaced around the world, many focusing on one sport in particular, or one region of a country, showing only their local team's games. These networks have greatly improved the availability of sports broadcasts, generating opportunities such as the ability for one person to see every single game their team plays over the course of the season.
In the United States, these channels broadcast most regular season games of major pro sports league and many other sports as well, with over the air television networks stepping in during the weekends or special events (all-star games, championships, etc.).MC Cable
MC Cable is a cable television company for the Principality of Monaco owned by Monaco Telecom. It offers 200 French and foreign TV and radio channels (Al Jazeera English, Monaco Info, Golf Channel, BFM TV, BBC World News, DW-TV, Rai Tre, Rai Italia, TMC Monte Carlo, Luxe.tv, TF1, CNN International, France 2, Fox News, MSNBC, Love Nature, France 3, and Russia Today are offered free of charge).NBCUniversal International Networks
NBCUniversal International Networks, formerly NBC Universal Global Networks and Universal Networks International, is a part of NBCUniversal., owned by Comcast.NBC Sports
NBC Sports is the programming division of the American broadcast network NBC, owned by the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal, that is responsible for sports broadcasts on the network, and its dedicated national sports cable channels. Formerly operating as "a service of NBC News", it broadcasts a diverse array of sports events, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, NASCAR, the NHL, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, the IndyCar Series, the Premier League, and the Triple Crown, among others. Other programming from outside producers – such as coverage of the Ironman Triathlon – is also presented on the network through NBC Sports. With Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, its own cable sports networks were aligned with NBC Sports into a part of the division known as the NBC Sports Group.PGA Tour on USA
PGA Tour on USA was the umbrella title for USA Network's coverage of the PGA Tour in the United States, which ended after the 2006 season. USA also covered the early rounds of The Masters Tournament from 1982 until 2007. The network also carried the Ryder Cup Matches in some form from 1989 until 2010, except for the 2008 event.Vince Cellini
Vincent Robert Cellini (; born June 10, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a long-time sports broadcaster for radio and television, currently working at NBA TV and Turner Sports.