SBD/January 25, 2012/Media

The Back9 Network, A New Golf And Lifestyle-Focused Channel, Announcing Launch Today

A new golf and lifestyle focused TV network will announce its launch today at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The Back9 Network will have a programming and studio set at the show, providing visitors with a glimpse of its signature daily studio show, “The Scorecard.” The network has 10 pilots already in production and signed letters of intent from a handful of advertisers, said CEO James Bosworth. The former Callaway sales and marketing exec has been working on the concept for more than a year and brings with him backing from Celtics G Ray Allen; Pebble Beach Co. Exec VP Paul Spengler; Cleveland Golf CEO Greg Hopkins; interim Univ. of Connecticut AD Paul Pendergast, and others. Another name from Hollywood fame is expected to be added to the board in the coming days. Bosworth said that Back9 will be more of a complementary network to Golf Channel than a competitor. MMB, Boston, is working with Back9 on its branding and NeuLion will be its digital partner in the development of an accompanying website. Bosworth said he is in ongoing negotiations with distributors. His expectation is that Back9 would be best suited on a sports tier, even though its programming will be equal parts golf and lifestyle. “Most people look at golf through a narrow lens,” Bosworth said. “It’s a bunch of rich white guys who belong to private clubs trying to keep people out. Back9 is going to be all about inclusion, from women to kids and anyone who might have felt disenfranchised by the stigma of golf being an elitist sport. Our research shows that the golf audience out there is seven times larger than the actual audience watching tournament golf on a network. There’s enormous commerce in the golf lifestyle package and that’s what we want to celebrate.”
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