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Most-watched May ever on Golf Channel

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ORLANDO, Fla. — With the latest Nielsen data pointing to last month as the most-watched May ever for Golf Channel, viewership for the network is off to its best start in its 17-year history.

Coming off its best year ever in 2011, Golf Channel continues to build on its momentum with a strong start to 2012. Based upon five-plus quarters of growth since becoming part of the NBC Sports Group, Golf Channel is the fastest-growing network on cable (among networks serving 80 million or more U.S. homes). Through May, average viewers are up 20 percent over 2011 and 52 percent over the same time period two years ago. Four out of five months in the books so far this year — and the last consecutive four months — have set a “most-watched” record for that month.

Month – % Increase vs. 2011 – % Increase vs. 2010

February – Most-Watched Ever – 19% – 70%

March – Most-Watched Ever – 28% – 105%

April – Most-Watched Ever – 14% – 34%

May – Most-Watched Ever – 33% – 26%

TOURNAMENT COVERAGE GOING STRONG:
PGA TOUR coverage on Golf Channel is up 19 percent over this time last year. Early round telecasts of every PGA TOUR event in May scored an all-time Golf Channel best for at least one round:

• Wells Fargo Championship Round One (0.9 household rating /907,000 average viewers) was the most-watched first round of this event since 2005 (including 2 years on USA Network and 5 years on Golf Channel). The round also was up 63 percent over last year.

• THE PLAYERS Round Two (1.8/1,804,000) was the most-watched early round for the event on record (including 5 years on USA Network, 7 years on ESPN, and 5 years on Golf Channel) and up 86 percent over 2011. This contributed to the most-watched week of THE PLAYERS in the history of Golf Channel, which included the network’s signature Live From news coverage.

• HP Byron Nelson Championship Round Two (0.7/708,000) also was the highest-rated and most-watched early round at this event since 2005 (including 2 years on USA Network and 5 years on Golf Channel) and up 34 percent over last year.

• Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Round Two (0.7/700,000) was the highest-rated and most-watched of any early rounds of this event since 2005 (including 2 years on USA Network and 5 years on Golf Channel).

Viewership for the LPGA Tour and European Tour on Golf Channel is up over last year and up 26 percent and 79 percent, respectively, over 2010.

NON-TOURNAMENT PROGRAMMING UP:
Tournament coverage on Golf Channel also has been complemented by news, instruction and original entertainment, all of which are up over the same time period last year and significantly over two years ago:

% Increase vs. 2011 – % Increase vs. 2010

Originals – Monday Primetime – 64% – 41%

Golf Central – 25% – 105%

Morning Drive – 36% – 160%

Instruction – 12% – 31%

MAY MOST-WATCHED: Golf Channel averaged 112,000 viewers per day during May, spurred by compelling PGA TOUR coverage and strong performances from the network’s original entertainment series:

• The second episode of Big Break Atlantis (May 21) was the highest-rated and most-watched (0.3/349,000) original entertainment program in primetime this year and of any Big Break Episode Two in four years.

• The Feherty episode featuring guest Donald Trump (0.2/215,000) was the highest-rated Feherty premiere this season. The series has bolstered the network’s primetime Monday lineup of original shows, which is up 64 percent over 2011.

DIGITAL KEEPS PACE:
GolfChannel.com continues to attract new users in 2012, with page views up 41 percent and unique users up 58 percent so far this year over last year. Page views for the site’s mobile application are up 368 percent over 2011.

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Equipment

Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros

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Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: Srixon Z-785 driver, Z-U85 utility irons

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We recently spotted new Srixon Z-785 drivers and Z-U85 utility irons, which are likely future replacements for Srixon’s Z-765 driver and Z-U65 utility irons. Srixon is staying hush on the tech details at the moment but did allow us to take photos of the new equipment.

Released in 2016, the Z-765 driver was a smaller-profile, lower-launching counterpart offering to the Z-565 driver, so it could be possible that there is also a Z-585 driver, counter to the Z-785 driver that we spotted. Also, it appears the Z-U85 utility irons come in at least 5 different lofts: 2-6 irons.

See more photos below, and check out discussion on the Z-785 drivers and Z-U85 utility irons.

Srixon Z-785

See more photos and discussion about the driver

Srixon Z-U85

 

See more photos and discussion about the irons

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Apparel Reviews

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit: 2018 U.S. Open

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Brooks Koepka played like he dressed on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills for the final round of the U.S. Open; his outfit was athletic, well put together, boring with a bit of flash (those shoes!!), and most importantly, it got the job done.

See the golf clubs and shafts Brooks used to win.

A great representative of the new age of golf, Koepka has the frame of a baseball player, and he’s not afraid to accentuate it with tight-fitting polos and an athletic look. For Sunday, he chose a white-on-gray-on-gray look that was understated, but clean — just like his scorecard. He really made the Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE shoes, with hits of electric orange, the star. Check out the details on his full outfit below.

Brooks Koepka’s Winning Outfit

  • Hat: Nike AeroBill Classic99
  • Shirt: Nike Zonal Cooling polo
  • Belt: Nike Stretch Woven
  • Pants: Nike Flex
  • Shoes: Nike Golf Tour Premiere PE
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