Thursday, August 7, 2008

Golf Channel Claims Increased PGA Tour Audience

I did not see this column yesterday, but it is in the Orlando Sentinel and is Josh Robbins' Golf Confidential. In it, he talks about how the Golf Channel is seeing gains in viewership this year for their PGA Tour coverage.

[Golf Channel] executives point to Nielsen Co. data that show their network can enjoy modest growth even without Tiger. From last year to this year, the Golf Channel actually has seen a ratings increase of 5 percent in its hole-to-hole coverage of nine tournaments Woods didn't enter in 2007 and couldn't enter this year because of knee trouble.

For the network, these are encouraging numbers. The statistics indicate that the Golf Channel has a core group of die-hard golf fans who will watch even without Tiger.
To some extent, I think you have to account for the increased number of homes to which the Golf Channel has access now that they are the home of the PGA Tour. That earned the network a lot of street cred. The question, then, is if this 5% is just because more homes get the Golf Channel, or the channel is increasing in popularity.

Either way, here's something to take away from comparing 2007 to 2008's PGA Tour telecasts.
At a time when broadcast networks are seeing less than 3 percent growth in PGA Tour viewership, the Golf Channel delivered an impressive 19 percent increase over its 2007 PGA Tour coverage with households and a 21 percent increase with its key demo, men 25 to 54.
Again, this may lend a hint to the increase in viewers for non-Tiger events. People finally realized that TGC is where to go for PGA Tour coverage and started getting access to it through satellite and cable.

Finally, from the second piece, something to prove why the Olympics will do nothing for golf.
[G]olf programming is watched by the most affluent television viewers, and the network has been ranked No. 1 in median household income six years running. Golfers not only aspire to play better, they aspire to achieve the better things in life.

No comments: