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Volume 20 No. 42
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FanVision makes push with PGA Tour

FanVision, the handheld mobile TV, has struck a deal with the PGA Tour to make its devices available at the Presidents Cup later this year and at a minimum of 20 tour events next year.

“We’re making a big push in golf,” said Michael Weisman, FanVision’s executive producer and a former Fox and NBC Sports executive. “I can’t think of a better application for FanVision than golf.”

The handheld units will rent for $25 a day at the golf courses.
Weisman and Tasso Koken, FanVision’s new COO, were at Congressional earlier this month for the U.S. Open, where American Express handed out 4,000 FanVision units with 4.3-inch high-definition screens to its cardholders for no charge.

Those viewers took FanVision onto the golf course and had access to 10 channels, including the NBC and ESPN broadcast feeds, real-time leaderboard and stats, course maps, the ESPN Radio broadcast and Twitter feeds that mentioned the U.S. Open.

AmEx paid a fee to FanVision to rent the devices and rebranded them CourseCast TV.

FanVision, formerly Kangaroo TV before it was acquired by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, has a particular appeal in golf, its executives said, because fans can’t take in all of the action if they’re on the course.

“FanVision gives you the TV broadcast as well as other content that enhances the experience for the fans,” Weisman said.

The model at tour events will be different. Units will rent for $25 a day direct to fans at FanVision kiosks around the course. Through its association with the PGA Tour, FanVision also will have the ability to create package rentals for title sponsors, official marketing partners and hospitality buyers.

“As a tour partner, they help us get our service to the sponsors,” said Koken, a former Best Buy executive and longtime employee in the consumer electronics industry.

Denise Humphreys, the director of partnership management and new media for the PGA Tour, said they’re also in talks about incorporating the units into a couple of FedEx Cup playoff tournaments.

“There’s a new golf team in place there and certainly a larger focus on golf,” Humphreys said of FanVision.
Since AmEx also is a partner with the PGA of America, there’s a chance FanVision could have a presence at the PGA Championship, either through AmEx or on its own.

The deeper ties in golf also set up the potential for FanVision to work with content providers, such as Golf Channel, to beef up the offerings on the handheld units.