33 LPGA Events to Air on Golf Channel in 2017, Most in Network History
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 24, 2017 – Following a 2016 season where Golf Channel and NBC combined to air 628 hours of LPGA Tour coverage – the most ever in a single year and featuring more than 148 hours of major championship coverage – NBC Sports Group will continue to ride the wave of momentum as the 2017 LPGA season begins this week with the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, airing live on Golf Channel Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 26-29.
This year, NBC Sports Group will televise 33 LPGA Tour events in the season-long Race to the CME Globe – the highest number of Golf Channel televised events in LPGA history – featuring coverage of four of the five women’s major championships and the biennial Solheim Cup, which returns to the U.S. in August in Des Moines, Iowa following the thrilling finish in Germany in 2015 when the U.S. Team won in dramatic come-from-behind fashion.
Highlighted by golf’s return to the Olympic Games, nearly 22 million viewers watched women’s golf coverage on Golf Channel and NBC in 2016 (+41% from 2015), contributing to Golf Channel on NBC drawing the largest U.S. broadcast golf audience in 2016.
Additional highlights include:
- 614 hours of LPGA coverage on Golf Channel in 2016, the most ever on Golf Channel.
- Coverage of North American events on Golf Channel and NBC +8% year over year (YOY).
- 16 North American events on Golf Channel and NBC saw average viewership increases of +11% YOY.
- Golf Channel Digital LPGA Tour scoring page views +16% YOY.
- Golf Channel Mobile LPGA Tour scoring page views +40% YOY.
“We’re thrilled with the promotion and production value on Golf Channel,” said Brian Carroll, LPGA Senior Vice President of TV and New Media. “2017 will be exciting with young players Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson and Lydia Ko, as well as established American players such as Lexi Thompson, Gerina Piller, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang.”
PURE SILK-BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC: The event begins a series of seven LPGA tournaments airing live on Golf Channel over the next 10 weeks leading into golf’s first major championship of 2017, the ANA Inspiration. World No.2 and reigning Race to the CME Globe winner Ariya Jutanugarn headlines an international field in the Bahamas that also includes Paula Creamer, Brooke Henderson, Sei Young Kim, Gerina Piller, Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie.
Live coverage of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will air on Golf Channel Thursday and Friday (Jan. 26-27) from 11:30 am-2:30 p.m. ET, and will continue on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 28-29) from 3-5 p.m. ET.
Hall-of-Famer Judy Rankin returns as lead analyst for NBC Sports Group’s LPGA tournament coverage in 2017, and will be joined by Whit Watson as play-by-play host for the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Tom Abbott will serve as a hole announcer with Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples reporting from the course. Lisa Cornwell will conduct post-round interviews and provide reports for Golf Central.
ANA INSPIRATION, GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF 2017: Following the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, the LPGA Tour will travel to Australia, Thailand and Singapore for a three-week stretch before returning to the U.S. in March for three weeks, concluding with the ANA Inspiration, golf’s first major championship of 2017 (Thursday-Sunday, March 30-April 2). Taking place at historic Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Golf Channel will air comprehensive news and tournament coverage, headlined by 20 hours of live tournament action.
NBC SPORTS GROUP’S 2017 MARQUEE LPGA EVENTS: Golf Channel will have coverage of four of five women’s major championships in 2017, with three majors airing on NBC: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship. The biennial Solheim Cup returns to U.S. soil in 2017, taking place in August in Des Moines, Iowa, with complete coverage on Golf Channel.