via press release:
NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESENTS 16 HOURS OF LIVE COMPLETE-ROUND COVERAGE OF TRANSITIONS CHAMPIONSHIP
World No. 1 Martin Kaymer, WGC-Cadillac Champion Nick Watney & 2010 Transitions Champion Jim Furyk Headline Strong Field
“He’s clearly the best player in the world the last nine months.” — ‘Golf Channel on NBC’s’ Gary Koch on Kaymer
Golf Central to Broadcast LIVE & On-Site from Copperhead Course; Tiger Woods to Make Morning Drive Debut on Thursday
NEW YORK – Mar. 16, 2011 – World No. 1 Martin Kaymer makes his first-ever appearance at the Transitions Championship, played at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla, this Thursday-Sunday on Golf Channel and NBC. Kaymer headlines a strong field that includes last week’s WGC-Cadillac champion Nick Watney, defending Transitions champion Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Vijay Singh. Kaymer, Watney and Watson will play together in a featured group on Thursday and Friday.
NBC Sports Group will present 16 hours of live complete-round coverage of Transitions. Golf Channel will air live first- and second-round action on Thursday and Friday from 3-6 p.m. ET and will present four additional hours of live action on the weekend beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend coverage leads directly into “Golf Channel on NBC” (3-6 p.m. ET, both days). Golf Channel will also replay 10 total hours of Transitions in primetime from Thursday-Sunday (Thursday-Friday: 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday: 9:30-11:30 p.m. ET).
NBC SPORTS GROUP SCHEDULE (all times ET):
First Round 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay) Golf Channel
Second Round 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay) Golf Channel
Third Round 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 9:30-11:30 p.m. (NBC Replay) Golf Channel
Third Round 3-6 p.m. (Live) NBC
Final Round 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 9:30-11:30 p.m. (NBC Replay) Golf Channel
Final Round 3-6 p.m. (Live) NBC
GOLF CENTRAL: Golf Central will be on-site from Transitions and will precede every live round of Golf Channel’s coverage with a live half-hour program. It will also air live from 6-6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday-Saturday and 6-7 p.m. ET on Sunday. Golf Central is Golf Channel’s studio show that provides the only live, daily source for comprehensive and up-to-date news from around the world of golf.
DIGITAL: Fans can access exclusive behind-the-scenes content of the NBC Sports Group’s golf coverage via Facebook (www.facebook.com/golfchannel) and Twitter (@golfchannel). NBCSports.com’s ProGolfTalk will feature previews, recaps and analysis of all the stories and results of the event.
COMMENTATORS: Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller, in their 12th season together, will anchor ‘Golf Channel on NBC’ coverage Saturday and Sunday from the main tower. Tampa resident Gary Koch, who has played Copperhead regularly since the 1970s, and Mark Rolfing will serve as tower reporters while Roger Maltbie and Dottie Pepper will report from the course. Jimmy Roberts will serve as interviewer/essayist.
Terry Gannon and Frank Nobilo will host Golf Channel coverage. Koch (tower), Roberts (Tower), Rolfing (course), Maltbie (course) and Pepper (course) will also work Golf Channel’s coverage, joining interviewer Scott Walker.
KOCH on Copperhead, a course he has played regularly since the 1970s: “You don’t feel like you’re in Florida. It feels more like a course in North Carolina. There’s a lot of elevation to the holes, almost 40 feet in some cases. It’s not sand and palm trees but big oaks and pines.”
KOCH on Kaymer: “He’s very organized. No big swings of emotion. He doesn’t swing overly hard and has good balance. He strategically plots his way around the course. As far as talent, he’s really proven very quickly at every level he’s a winner. He’s clearly the best player in the world the last nine months.”
36 FOR 36: NBC Sports Group set viewership records for its coverage of the WGC-Cadillac Championship last week with Thursday’s coverage on Golf Channel the most-watched first-round in the history of the Doral event, and the two-day (Thursday-Friday) average viewership the best since 2002. Additionally, the final-round viewership on Sunday for “Golf Channel on NBC” rose 16 percent from last year, according to official national data released by The Nielsen Company.
Golf Channel drew 1.14 million viewers for Thursday’ first round, the most in Doral’s 23-year television history (2007-2011 on Golf Channel, 1989-2006 on USA). This also marked a 115-percent jump from last year’s first round and an increase of 25 percent over 2009.
Golf Channel averaged 1.07 million viewers for Thursday and Friday combined marking the best two-day viewership average for the Doral event since 2002 on USA (1.09 million).
36 FOR 36: The WGC-Cadillac Championship continued Golf Channel’s streak of delivering higher ratings for every PGA TOUR round this year (36 for 36) versus comparable rounds in 2010.
The final-round coverage on NBC (3:09-7 p.m. Sunday), which has been rebranded as “Golf Channel on NBC,” averaged 3.32 million viewers, a gain of 14 percent from last year’s 2.86 million viewers. Viewership for Saturday’s third round on NBC will be available on Thursday.
TIGER WOODS ON MORNING DRIVE ON THURSDAY: In what is expected to be a video showdown for the ages (or at least in the mind of Gary Williams!), Tiger Woods will make his Morning Drive debut on Golf Channel tomorrow. As part of Woods’ appearance, he and co-host Gary Williams will square off in a one-hole match in a video game showdown over the Internet on Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 12: The Masters®. Morning Drive airs weekdays from 7-9 a.m. ET.
Woods will join Morning Drive from New York, where he is promoting the launch of EA Sports’ newest Tiger Woods PGA TOUR franchise. Following the match, Woods will visit with Williams and co-host Erik Kuselias for an interview.
“I hope Tiger is bringing his ‘A-game’, because I definitely will bring mine when I face him on Thursday,” said Williams.
GOLF CHANNEL AND NBC SPORTS CO-BRANDING: All golf coverage on NBC has been re-branded as “Golf Channel on NBC.” The coverage incorporates the Golf Channel look throughout every telecast, down to the logo on the NBC Sports commentators’ apparel. Golf Channel’s tournament graphics are showcased throughout all coverage, which now includes a custom-made Golf Channel-NBC peacock combination logo. And, “Golf Channel powered by NBC Sports” is being incorporated into all of Golf Channel’s coverage.