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May 28, 2013

Rick Anderson

Tim Finchem

Mike White

TY VOTAW:テつ We are pleased to all of the individuals on the line for this announcement this morning.テつ We have with us Commissioner Tim Finchem of the PGA TOUR and Mike White, Chairman and CEO of DIRECTV.
The format of today's teleconference will be that we will start with Commissioner Finchem, followed by Mr. White, then we'll open it up for questions to the members of the media who are on the line.
With that I'd like to turn it over to Commissioner Finchem to make some opening remarks and introduce Mr. White.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM:テつ Thank you, Ty.テつ I would like to thank the members of the media who joined us this morning and to Mike for making time to join in on this announcement.
I think most folks who have followed our sports have heard me talk over the last couple of years, a major objective of ours is to package what goes on at a golf tournament on the PGA TOUR in a way that is most appealing to our fans, to deliver that content in many different ways, across multiple platforms.テつ The partnership we're announcing today with DIRECTV represents a real advancement in achieving these objectives.
Beginning this week at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, we are giving DIRECTV subscribers a chance to experience the PGA TOUR in creative, entertaining ways beyond just the telecast.テつ We view this as an enhancement to our regular television coverage that will be provided this week by Golf Channel and CBS.
I'll let Mike go into a little bit more detail in a moment.テつ But essentially starting this week, DIRECTV will be offering a mosaic screen offering four viewing options:
First is the CBS Sports network feed itself.
Secondly is a channel called the Launchpad, which is dedicated to analyzing tee shots on a strategic hole.テつ This week we will be focused on the reachable par 5 15th which has been extremely exciting over the years and fans can focus just on that hole.
Thirdly we'll have the ShotLink channel which will provide a data‑intensive view of tournament competition.テつ Over the years we've brought ShotLink along.テつ It measures every single shot during the tournament.テつ We measure that in a variety of different ways, whether it's putting or striking the ball or whatever.テつ We think that will be an additional enhancement.
Finally we'll have what we call a Featured Group channel that allows our viewers to follow select groups of players around the golf course based on which players they'd like to follow.
Additionally viewers will be able to experience all of this expanded tournament content on the PGA TOUR iPad app for the first time.
As I mentioned earlier, we're extremely excited about this opportunity for our fans.テつ We think it's a very positive step in the direction of maximizing the experience our fans can enjoy.
With that I'll turn it over to Mike White, the CEO of DIRECTV.
MIKE WHITE:テつ Thanks to everyone who called in today.
Tim, we share your excitement for the partnership DIRECTV is building with the PGA TOUR.テつ I might add for those on the call who are golfers like myself, not necessarily low handicappers, perhaps were a little unhappy with your score over the weekend, I'd like to promise that watching our PGA TOUR experience will shave two or three strokes off your score.テつ Then again, the golf gods don't always seem to comply.
With that said, I think there are a lot of terrific reasons why we're enthusiastic about this partnership with the PGA TOUR.
We are proud to associate our brand with the world's top golf organization.テつ With our scale and Emmy‑winning interactive technology, we think we have the ability to deliver PGA TOUR content in a unique and compelling way to fans everywhere.
We think it's a match that makes sense for both of us and aligns our goal of providing our customers with the best video experience anywhere they want it with what Tim described the goals of the PGA TOUR to be.
More specifically, I think it creates another terrific opportunity for us to continue to innovate around the sport's viewing experience.
Now, in the past we've had in‑depth coverage with all four golf majors as well as the four tennis majors, redefining how fans watch the sport on television.
But this time, in partnership with the PGA TOUR, we're now trying to take that innovative approach to other great PGA TOUR events and adding to it, providing fans with an even more unique way of watching tournaments on television.
So as the commissioner said, beginning with the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance this weekend, viewers will have a chance to see our familiar mosaic, four screens in one panel on channel 710, that will now also include two and exciting features available only on DIRECTV.
Our exclusive Launchpad channel which features the 529‑yard par 5 15th hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club, one that golfers will be trying to get on in two, where we will have dedicated cameras on the tee box as well as the landing area, and we'll be analyzing the swings using super slow motion replays, shot tracking, as well as split screen comparisons, graphic enhancements, all of which should help us watch those swings carefully to see if we can't improve our own.テつ In addition on that channel, we'll be measuring distances and results against the statistical data.
The ShotLink channel will immerse viewers in data and analysis of the tournament overall.テつ With both video and data running simultaneously, it's clearly a channel designed for real passionate golf fans who want to go beyond the traditional broadcast.
As with the CBS Sports network feed and channels dedicated to following a feature group around the course, all of the coverage is in high‑definition, and each channel in the mosaic or the mixed channel can be selected and expanded to full screen.
Viewers will be able to call up an interactive menu anytime they want to see who the top five leaders in the tournament are as well as a full leaderboard, in‑depth score cards for each player, with hole‑by‑hole stats and stats for the current year.
For those of the media covering the event this week, you'll be able to see it firsthand as we'll have a live feed of the service in the media room.
Out on the course, you can watch PGA TOUR content by going to the DIRECTV section of the PGA TOUR app on your iPad.
The PGA TOUR experience will be available free of charge to DIRECTV customers.テつ We'll provide live coverage of the TOUR events on Saturday and Sunday when the viewership is the highest anyway you are on your iPad.
This Saturday and Sunday, this PGA TOUR experience will also include the Travelers Championship on June 22nd and 23rd, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, August 3rd and 4th, and The Barclays (Aug. 24-25).
Whether you're an avid weekend golfer like me or a casual viewer of the game, we think you'll find this to be a deeply new and innovative way to watch and enjoy golf.
I guess that about covers it.テつ As I said earlier, I'm thrilled to be able to team up with the PGA TOUR.テつ I have tremendous respect for Tim Finchem and his entire organization.テつ We as DIRECTV look forward to a long and successful partnership supporting golf and golf fans everywhere.
Ty, I'll turn it back over to you.
TY VOTAW:テつ Thank you, Mike and Commissioner Finchem.テつ We'll open up the line to questions.テつ In addition to Commissioner Finchem and Mr. White, we also have with us Rick Anderson of the PGA TOUR and Alex Kaplan from DIRECTV who are also going to be able to answer questions if needed as part of the Q&A.

Q.テつ For the PGA TOUR, would you offer similar content to cable operators and DISH Network or would the Launchpad and ShotLink channels remain exclusive to DIRECTV?
RICK ANDERSON (PGA TOUR EVP BROADCASTING & DIGITAL MEDIA):テつ It's Rick Anderson.テつ We have a two‑year deal in place with DIRECTV.テつ So for that period of time, that content would be exclusive to DIRECTV.

Q.テつ Could you offer some background on the amount of traffic you've seen in the past from the mosaic channel that you ran at the Masters and other tournaments?
MIKE WHITE:テつ I think this whole area of interactive television is growing.テつ It's pretty clear to us from our own research and experience, most recently with the Masters, I would tell you, it's really the most passionate golf fans that are using those apps.
I know from our own internal research among the application users at the Masters, the average daily viewing time was 25% higher than non‑application users.テつ Kind of those that use it tend to tune in more frequently and watch it longer.
You are picking up the passionate, real golf fans that are kind of focused on these kinds of interactive viewing applications.
But frankly we think, particularly I would say this weekend, I think it's going to be really interesting to see the kind of viewership that we get on the Launchpad because that's kind of a whole new thing where you can also, as a weekend golfer like myself, you get to watch these tremendous pros, kind of study their swing a little bit, pick up a tip or two just watching in slow motion the drive, which is really the shot that a lot of us always struggle a little bit with.
I'm really excited about that and I think that will broaden the usage.

Q.テつ Would DIRECTV look to sign similar agreements covering other sports like tennis, you already have football?テつ Are you looking at using exclusive interactive programming to recruit more subscribers?
MIKE WHITE:テつ We've always prided ourselves on investing in an innovative sports viewing experience.テつ We have had a mixed channel for the four tennis majors historically.
As we see how this goes, our focus right now is the PGA TOUR.テつ We're excited about the partnership that we're announcing today with the PGA TOUR.テつ We think golf has tremendous fan following out there.テつ We're excited to see how this goes.
As we see it, we'd certainly consider exploring other opportunities with other sports as well as we see how it evolves.
Right now we're focused on the PGA TOUR and really making this partnership successful.
TY VOTAW:テつ Thank you all for the folks who have tuned in for this teleconference.テつ We appreciate your participation.テつ We thank Mike White, Commissioner Finchem, Rick Anderson, Alex Kaplan for being available for questions.
Thank you and have a good day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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