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by TV News Desk
Golf Channel and the NCAA jointly announced today the return of the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Championships to television beginning in 2014 with the Division I Men's Golf Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club, in Hutchinson, Kan. The announcement was made today by Mark Lewis, NCAA Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances and Mike McCarley, President of Golf Channel. As the fastest growing network in television in the U.S. with distribution to 140 million homes across 83 countries and territories around the world, Golf Channel will present these marquee NCAA golf championships to a worldwide audience via all its media platforms.
"This is the culmination of a collaborative effort between a lot of individuals over a long period of time, including the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Committees," said Mark Lewis, NCAA Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances. "We are excited for our men's and women's golf student-athletes to gain additional exposure and for the fans of the sport to be able to see up close what makes these championships so special. Partnering with the Golf Channel made perfect sense for us and we appreciate their commitment in helping to grow the audience for the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Championships."
"We are committed to covering all facets of the game of golf and this new partnership with the NCAA will be the centerpiece of our broader commitment to covering the collegiate game," said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. "We look forward to introducing our viewers to the future stars of the game and tapping into the tremendous passion collegiate fans have for their schools."
Golf Channel is scheduled to air three days of action from the 2014 men's championship. Hosted by Wichita State University, the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship will feature the top collegiate golfers in America and the game's future stars. Beginning with 30 teams and six student-athletes competing over 54 holes, an individual champion will be crowned before the top eight teams advance to the final three rounds of match play competition for the team championship.
Through a multi-year partnership with the NCAA, Golf Channel will air tournament action from both the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Golf Championships beginning in 2015. The 2015 championships are scheduled to be contested at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., and hosted by the University of South Florida. The 2015 championships will mark the first time since 1997 the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship will air live on television.
Golf Channel will surround the live tournament action at the championships with comprehensive news coverage on-air and online throughout the year, keeping viewers up-to-date on all of the storylines leading up to and during the championships. Series like Golf Central and Morning Drive, as well as GolfChannel.com, will be leading resources for the collegiate game, which is where many future professional stars first make a name for themselves. In 2012, eight of the top-10 money leaders on the PGA TOUR excelled at the collegiate level before turning professional including Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Keegan Bradley. While on the women's side, 10 of the past 12 LPGA Rolex Players of the Year have come from the collegiate game including Stacy Lewis, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam.
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions-AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola-and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners-Allstate, Buick, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe's, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Reese's (Hershey's), Unilever and UPS.
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 140 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies. Exclusive partnerships with the world's top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf's best news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel's digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.