22 Desember 2010

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Golf Channel could be dropped by DirecTV before January 2011

Labor and contract disputes must be the new thing for 2010. According to Sports Business Journal, DirecTV could drop the Golf Channel by Dec. 31, which would result in the loss of possibly 15 million viewers.

But that wasn’t even the most interesting aspect of this article.

“But Golf Channel’s viewership, particularly out of season, has been low. In November, the channel ranked 78th of 90 cable networks in total-day viewership, averaging 55,000 viewers on a 24-hour basis. Of sports channels, only Fox Soccer, MLB Network and NBA TV ranked lower.

Golf Channel ranked 80th out of 88 prime-time networks in November, averaging 83,000 viewers in prime time, ahead of Fox Soccer and MLB Network.”

The Golf Channel, based in Orlando, had higher viewership than MLB Network and NBA TV? Wow, now that is impressive.

Obviously, golf hasn’t lapped basketball and baseball in terms of sports fan popularity. But these numbers mean either one of two things; 1. Baseball and basketball coverage is so saturated on larger networks like ESPN and TNT or…2. The Golf Channel is doing a better job connecting with its audience than MLB Network and NBA TV.

I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of golf. But I occasionally watch some programming on the Golf Channel and have to say the quality of content has been pretty diverse, entertaining and informative with shows like “The Haney Project” and in-depth profile stories like the one about Donald Trump’s pursuit to build a world-class golf course in Scotland.

So are you surprised by how the Golf Channel has performed against the MLB Network and NBA TV?