Golf Channel

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Golf Channel
Golf Channel Logo 2018.png
LaunchedJanuary 17, 1995; 24 years ago (1995-01-17)
Owned byNBC Sports Group
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUnited States
HeadquartersOrlando, Florida
Formerly calledThe Golf Channel
Sister channel(s)NBCSN
NBC Sports Regional Networks
Olympic Channel
DirecTVChannel 218
Dish NetworkChannel 401
Shaw Direct (Canada)Channel 409 (SD)
Channel 266 (HD)
Available on most North American cable systemsChannel slots vary on each operator
AT&T U-verseChannel 641 (SD)
Channel 1641 (HD)
Verizon FiOSChannel 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 SportsInternet Protocol television
Sling TVInternet Protocol television
PlayStation VueInternet Protocol television
DirecTV NowInternet Protocol television
YouTube TVInternet Protocol television
Fubo TVInternet Protocol television
HuluInternet 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.

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.

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]


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.

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.

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]

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[edit]

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]


Event coverage[edit]

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 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.

Golf Channel has been used as an overflow channel for non-golf programming, including two games of the 2018 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.[28][29]

News and analysis[edit]

Factual and reality[edit]


  • Golf Channel Academy
  • PGA Tour Champions Learning Center
  • Playing Lessons
  • School Of Golf
  • The Golf Fix

Notable personalities[edit]

The Golf Channel uses a number of people for tournament, news and instructional programming.[30]

Current tournament personalities[edit]

PGA Tour coverage[edit]

LPGA Tour coverage[edit]

Champions Tour coverage[edit] Tour coverage[edit]

Golf Central[edit]

Morning Drive[edit]

Former personalities[edit]


For the month of October 2013, Golf Channel averaged a daily viewership of 84,000.[31]

International version[edit]

Golf Channel UK[edit]

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.[32]

Golf Channel Latin America[edit]

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.[33] 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.[34]


  1. ^ Awtrey, Stan (January 10, 2007). "Tour tees up era on Golf Channel". Times-News. Hendersonville, NC. Cox News Service. p. 5E.
  2. ^ a b "Cable golf channel on par with times". Victoria Advocate. Victoria, TX. June 29, 1993. p. 2B.
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Newberry, Paul (June 28, 1993). "Birmingham man plans 24-hour golf channel". Gadsden Times. Gadsden, AL. Associated Press. p. B1.
  5. ^ "Golf Channel co-founder resigns". Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, FL. Associated Press. October 17, 2001. p. 7D.
  6. ^ Estes, Cary (June 13, 1993). "Can Golf Channel really work?". Sunday Telegraph. Nashua, NH. Scripps Howard News Service. p. C7.
  7. ^ "Palmer to start golf channel". The Telegraph. Nashua, NH. Associated Press. February 11, 1993. p. 13.
  8. ^ Winfrey, Lee (May 13, 1993). "Around-the-clock golf coming to cable soon". The News. Boca Raton, FL. Knight-Ridder Newspapers. p. 3C.
  9. ^ "Palmer introduces all-golf network". Gainesville Sun. January 18, 1995. p. 3C.
  10. ^ "The Golf Channel hits the air". Eugene Register-Guard. wire services. January 27, 1995. p. 2F.
  11. ^ Winfrey, Lee. "Golf Channel tees off Tuesday, joining History Channel as new cable fare", Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, January 16, 1995. Retrieved February 28, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  12. ^ "Struggling golf channel slashes price structure". Toledo Blade. September 5, 1995. p. 32.
  13. ^ Sirak, Ron (February 29, 1996). "The Golf Channel might be here to stay". Daily Courier. Prescott, AZ. Associated Press. p. 10A.
  14. ^ "PGA Tour Announces New TV Rights Package With CBS, NBC, TGC". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  15. ^ Peter Kafka (March 3, 2008). "Comcast Buying". Business Insider. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "Golf Channel Invests $1.9 Million To Expand Its Orlando, Florida, Headquarters". Area Development. July 31, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  17. ^ Renyolds, Mike. "McCarley To Head Golf Channel, Davis Out At Versus In NBC Sports Group Reorg: Sources". Multichannel News. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  18. ^ "NBCU's Golf Channel Unveils New Logo". December 16, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "NBC, Golf Channel ending ABC/ESPN British Open reign". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  20. ^ Ourand, John (October 12, 2015). "NBC getting British Open a year early". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  21. ^ Baker, Liana (May 3, 2016). "Golf Channel unveils Olympics plans; NBC says 'no shows' to have regrets". Reuters. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  22. ^ "Golf Channel isn't shorting Long Drive". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "NBC/Golf Channel Acquires Digital Video Instruction Company Revolution Golf". August 7, 2017.
  24. ^ "Golf Channel Cameramen Walk Amid Coverage of Sony Open". ESPN. January 14, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "NBC Sports and Rory McIlroy launch a streaming service for golf nuts". Engadget. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  26. ^ "Rory McIlroy teams with NBC Sports for GOLFPASS, a hybrid digital content and lifestyle subscription service". Awful Announcing. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  27. ^ Moss, Linda. "Comcast To Launch Three HD Nets, Including E!". Multichannel News. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  28. ^ "How to watch all of Premier League's season finales". Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  29. ^ "Multiple NHL playoff games will air on Golf Channel, for some reason". Awful Announcing. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  30. ^ "Team". Golf Channel. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  31. ^ "NBCSN, Golf Channel & 'Sunday Night Football' Lead Major October Surge for NBC Sports Group Viewership". October 30, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  32. ^ "The Players Championship to be simulcast on NBC Sports and Sky Sports". SportsPro. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  33. ^ "Simple e Inversiones Bahia Adquieren Golf Channel". PrensarioInternacional. April 17, 2018.
  34. ^ "Fanáticos del golf contarán un canal dedicado sólo a este deporte". Retrieved August 10, 2016.

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