Back9Network Puts Talent Upfront

With its launch just 11 days away, Back9Network announced talent pairings for a number of key shows.

The golf lifestyle service, slated to launch on DirecTV on Sept. 29, plans to tee off over 1,100 hours of original programming during its first year on course, including midday and evening studio shows, The Turn, Off Par and The Clubhouse.

“While we will certainly pay attention to professional golf’s leaderboard, our coverage will focus on the lifestyle of the game where golf enthusiasts are spending their time and money — the courses and resorts they can play, the latest fashion, gadgets and equipment, and the behind-the-scenes stories that will highlight the personalities and characters that make golf so much fun,” said Scot Thor, senior vice president of programming. “We’re dedicated to introducing lifestyle entertainment to the game of golf while respecting its values and traditions, and we’ve brought on some incredibly talented people to emphasize the depth, humility and humor in the game.”

The Turn, the network’s flagship hour melding golf, pop culture, debate, and entertainment will premiere on Sept. 29 and is scheduled weekdays at noon and 7 p.m. (ET). It will be co-hosted by Shane Bacon, a veteran and Yahoo! Sports golf writer, and Erica Bachelor, the former E! Network host. The duo will tackle the industry’s biggest topics by blending news, analysis and user-generated content with behind-the-scenes perspectives from the game’s most colorful icons and personalities.

Former PGA Tour pro John Maginnes, ex-Golfweek senior writer Jeff Rude, and women’s extreme sports champion Will Christien will team on The Clubhouse, scheduled for weeknights at 10 p.m..  Echoing talk at the 19th hole, the trio’s no-holds-barred conversations will cover the latest happenings both on and off the course, integrating questions and guidance from viewers at home, celebrities and the game’s professionals.

Co-hosted by acclaimed comedian and actor Matty Blake, and American model Caite (not Kate) Upton, Off Par aims to provide an inventive look at the world of golf and entertainment, with a comedic twist. Blake, Upton, and a rotating cast of characters aspire to supply laughs via viral internet videos, user-generated social media content, golf-themed skits, and guest appearances by other comedians. The program will air weeknights at 8 p.m.

In addition, the network will put Charles Everett and Universo Pereira in play as network co-hosts. Everett is a veteran voice, theatre, and television actor, while Periera has both television and stage experience.  

For their parts, Alexis Morgan (TV personality/reporter) and Katie Sundseth  (TV personality/model) have joined the network as lifestyle correspondents. All will offer personalized, satirical, and at times brutally honest opinions on what’s trending in golf on The Turn, Off Par and The Clubhouse.

As previously announced, executive producer Ahmad Rashad will host a self-titled show at 9 p.m. on launch day. Other series in that hour include Golf Treasures and Ball Hogs.