DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., April 9, 2002 – The final round of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott on ESPN2 was the highest performing LPGA telecast on ESPN2 ever, with viewership increasing every 15 minutes during the two-hour broadcast.

Sunday’s LPGA telecast was seen in 533,000 households, marking a 144-percent increase over 2001’s final-round numbers and the first time the LPGA was viewed in more than 500,000 households on ESPN2. In addition, the last 15 minutes of the final-round telecast achieved a .92 rating. The three-day event was seen in a total of 1,019,000 households, an increase of 67 percent over 2001.

‘The continued growth of our television viewership validates our Fans First strategy by showcasing professional golf at its best,’ said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. ‘From year to year, household viewership in our first three rated events, the PING Banner Health, Kraft Nabisco Championship and The Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott, has grown by 44 percent using comparable telecasts. Prior to the season’s start, we set initiatives in place that would help us achieve our goal of increasing viewership by 10 percent annually. I am excited about the increase, but not surprised by it.’

Viewership for the second round of The Office Depot Championship was up 57 percent over 2001 (374,000 to 238,000) as well. This year’s broadcast of the $1 million event saw was a 126-percent increase in overall viewership by women age 18 and over (346,000 to 153,000). Record numbers of male viewers also tuned in to the LPGA’s weekend telecast on ESPN2.

‘Sunday was the LPGA’s most highly viewed ESPN2 telecast by men ever,’ said Julie Tyson, LPGA director of broadcast affairs. ‘Interestingly, Saturday was the second-highest male viewed ESPN2 telecast ever. Female viewership more than doubled from the previous year as well. In addition, household viewership for adults 25-54 grew by more than four times that of 2001. This is the type of demographic growth that identifies an up-and-coming sports property.’

The association’s five-year strategic business plan was unveiled during the LPGA’s first-ever Player Summit March 8-10. The new strategy is the business roadmap for the future of the LPGA focusing on a Fans First initiative, a comprehensive plan using measurable fan-based goals as the primary barometers of its success. With a target of annually increasing its on-site attendance by 15 percent and LPGA viewership by 10 percent within each of the next five years, the strategic initiatives will give fans more of what they want from the LPGA, its members and its tournaments.

For more details contact:

Neal Reid, LPGA, 386-274-6273