Mike McCarley

Mike McCarley

Mike McCarley is an American broadcasting executive and the president of Golf Channel, a post he assumed in February 2011 after more than a decade with NBC. He is a protégé of NBC Sports and Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol.[1] McCarley was named one of Sports Business Journal's "40 under 40" in 2009[2] and 2010.[3]


Golf Channel

Golf Channel came under the umbrella of NBC Universal when its owner, Comcast, acquired control of NBCU on January 28, 2011.[4] On February 2, NBC Sports Group announced that McCarley would was taking the reins as Golf Channel president, along with several other leadership changes in their broadcasting and web-based assets. Ebersol combined these assets to increase viewership, and McCarley said his mandate is to incorporate more of the NBC "sports sensibility" into Golf Channel's programming.[5] He told the press that he would spend his early days with the network “listening and learning”,[6] and under his leadership Golf Channel’s first quarter of 2011 was its most watched ever in its 16 years.[7] As Ebersol announced this restructuring, The Los Angeles Times noted that, while McCarley has been part of Ebersol's inner circle at NBC, he has no formal operating experience, so "the move is a big step up." [8]

McCarley told Broadcasting & Cable, "There are resources available within the new, larger company that we'll deploy when it's appropriate and when it makes sense for the audience. We're never going to stray from the core of the mission, which is to serve the viewer, the golf fan." One example is he's added CNBC business reports to the network's Morning Drive show. Golf Channel had 15 million total viewers in February 2011, up 1 million from February 2010.[9]


McCarley started at NBC as communications director for its Olympic division. While at NBC, McCarley was credited with developing the network's "big event strategy," which has resulted in record television audiences for a variety of sports events, including the Olympics, NFL, Kentucky Derby and NHL. He is also credited with NBC Sports’ successful "Sunday Night Is Football Night" campaign.[10]

In 2003, he was promoted to Director, Marketing and Communications, NBC Olympics while he continued to lead the network's communications strategy as "America’s Olympic Network," a $5.5 billion commitment that includes seven consecutive Olympics from 2000 to 2012. In 2004, he was promoted to vice president and in 2006 McCarley was elevated to senior vice president, strategic marketing, promotion and communications, adding oversight of all NBC Sports advertising and promotions.[11] At the time, McCarley had been considering leaving NBC to get a masters of business, but Ebersol "frowned and said, 'Stay here and get your MBA from me.'" [12]

The Wall Street Journal reported that, "Promotion, in the world of McCarley's mentor, NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol, is not just fluff, it's key to the master plan."[13]


Under McCarley, Sunday Night Football became the only regularly scheduled sports program of any kind to be the No. 1 primetime program of the fall television season in 2010.[14]

He told Sports Business Daily that he knew his football campaign was a success when he heard his mother-in-law imitate Al Roker's weather forecast for Sunday games. “If my mother-in-law knows about the Sunday night game, then there are people all across the country who aren’t big football fans that know about the game,” he said.[15] In September 2009, NBC Sports’ broadcast of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium opening became the most-watched primetime NFL game in 12 years, and the 2010 kickoff from New Orleans became the most-watched primetime NFL game in 14 years.[16] Super Bowl XLIII (2009) became the most-watched single program in U.S. television history with a record 152 million viewers.[17]


Beijing 2008

In August 2008, McCarley was promoted to senior vice president following NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics. He collaborated with the network’s broadcast partners and led all NBC Sports brand-related activities. On all 17 nights of the games, NBC had more viewers than ABC, CBS, and FOX combined. The Beijing Games became the most watched U.S. television event of all time, with 215 million viewers.[18]

Vancouver 2010

The Vancouver Winter Olympics was the second most-watched Winter Olympics in history with 190 million viewers, following the "tabloid-fueled" 1994 Lillehammer Games,[19] and the only show to ever beat American Idol in ratings.[20]

Other records

McCarley was coordinating producer for the 2009 NHL Winter Classic's promotional campaign, which won the first-ever Emmy Award for sports promotion.[21] The 2011 Classic was the most watched NHL contest in the United States since 1996.[22]


  1. ^ Flint, Joe. “NBC Sports Group restructures in wake of Comcast deal”, “Los Angeles Times,” February 2, 2011
  2. ^ “2009 Forty Under 40: Mike McCarley”, “Sports Business Journal,” March 23, 2009
  3. ^ “2010 Forty Under 40: Mike McCarley”, “Sports Business Journal,” March 8, 2010
  4. ^ Lafayette, Jon. “New Boss Tees Up Changes At Golf Channel”, “Broadcasting & Cable,” February 4, 2011
  5. ^ Paul, John. “Golf on Television Gets Supersized”, “The Wall Street Journal,” March 5, 2011
  6. ^ Sirak, Ron. “New Golf Channel head to move methodically”, “The Wall Street Journal,” February 9, 2011
  7. ^ Reynolds, Mike. “Golf Holes Best Q1 Ratings”, “Multichannel News,” April 1, 2011
  8. ^ Flint, Joe. “NBC Sports Group restructures in wake of Comcast deal”, “Los Angeles Times,” February 2, 2011
  9. ^ Lafayette, Jon. “New Boss Tees Up Changes At Golf Channel”, “Broadcasting & Cable,” February 4, 2011
  10. ^ Williams, Jim. “The new team at NBC, Versus, Golf Channel, CSN Regionals”, “The Washington Examiner,” February 2, 2011
  11. ^ “Mike McCarley – Corporate Biography”, “NBCUMV.com,” February 2, 2011
  12. ^ “2009 Forty Under 40: Mike McCarley”, “Sports Business Journal,” March 23, 2009
  13. ^ Paul, John. “Golf on Television Gets Supersized”, “The Wall Street Journal,” March 5, 2011
  14. ^ Gorman, Bill. ““Sunday Night Football” No. 1 Show Of Primetime Season; Undefeated vs. Competition In 2010”, “TV By the Numbers,” January 5, 2011
  15. ^ “2010 Forty Under 40: Mike McCarley”, “Sports Business Journal,” March 8, 2010
  16. ^ “Mike McCarley – Corporate Biography”, “NBCUMV.com,” February 2, 2011
  17. ^ “Dick Ebersol – Corporate Biography”, “Comcast.com,”
  18. ^ Gorman, Bill. “NBC Hopes For 200 Million Winter Olympics Viewers, Topping Torino and Salt Lake City”, “TV By the Numbers,” January 30, 2010
  19. ^ Siedman, Robert. “190 Million People Watched Olympics in US, 2nd Most-Watched Winter Olympics in History”, “TV By the Numbers,” March 1, 2010
  20. ^ “NBC strikes ratings gold — Olympics beat ‘Idol’”, “MSNBC,” February 2, 2010
  21. ^ “Winners Of 30th Annual Sports Emmy Awards Announced By National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences”, “Emmy Online,” April 27, 2009
  22. ^ "Winter Classic On NBC Is Top NHL Regular-Season Audience In 36 Years". SportsBusiness Daily. Street & Smith. January 3, 2011. http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/144652. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 

External links

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