October was a big month for NBCSN and Golf Channel. Thanks to Sunday Night Football, the NHL, the Premier League, MLS, Formula One, Indy Car and the Presidents Cup, NBCSN grew its viewership by 116% and Golf Channel grew by 75%.
NBCSN's growth in October was pretty impressive. During the day, the channel saw the largest growth of any cable network by posting a 116% gain. Golf Channel came in second in terms of daytime growth with 75% gains. NBCSN's primetime numbers were even more impressive with the network growing by 183%.
As detailed above, live events are pushing the needle for both NBCSN and Golf Channel. The growth during the day can be almost entirely attributed to the Premier League and golf events while the primetime growth can be attributed to hockey and football games. Since the network launched its Premier League coverage back in August, day viewership is up 86%.
Nice growth by the two stations, but this is really just another lesson in how instrumental live events are for a network. As if the enormous costs for broadcasting rights needed further justification, NBCSN and Golf Channel's October growth can be almost entirely tied to their live events. These strong gains are something a network can rally behind, but it might be troubling once these events hit their offseason. Unless they're able to use these live broadcasts to build an audience for their regular programming, look for these gains to be only temporary.