In the run-up to the launch of a TV channel in late summer of 2012, Back9Network has gone live with its official website,www.back9network.com. As part of the effort the site has lined up a number of well-known golf writers and contributors to provide content covering a variety of golf-related lifestyles, travel, golf equipment and news areas.
The launch is an example of how fledgling networks are increasingly looking to digital distribution via online and mobile platforms as way of expanding their audiences as they work to gain multichannel distribution.
James L. Bosworth, CEO of Back9Network, noted that the web launch is a natural extension of their brand as they prepare for the launch of the linear network.
"We don't see a separation between the web-based brand and our linear strategy," he noted in an interview. "We think a lot of content should be accessible anyway a golfer out there wants to access it and it is our job to get it to them on mobile, satellite, cable or directly through the web."
The company is partnering with NeuLion as a technology service provider for delivering their live and on demand content to internet connected devices.
"A lot of independent networks have very successfully gone over the top with Hulu or used it as a marketing vehicle to showcase what they are doing," he added.
Bosworth also noted that they are in discussions with all the major multichannel providers but declined to discuss what distribution deals they might have arranged.
"We don't anticipate major struggles for distribution because we are serving such an important demo," he said.
He also stressed that their content would focus an underserved part of golf universe. "There is a lot of content that is centered around the professional tour but nothing that directly speaks to the golf lifestyle," he contends.
Early sponsors include Cleveland Golf and Sirixon.
The new site will be offer extensive video and material from such contributors as LPGA star/model Anna Rawson, Sophie Horn, Jackie Flynn, Matt Adams and others. Original series available on site include the daily news series, The Scorecard, as well as such series as Extreme Golf, You're So Money with Rawson, Lucky Me with Jackie Flynn, and Beer Cart Girl.
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