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April 28, 2015

Bob Bowman

Tim Finchem


CHRIS REIMER:テつ I'm Chris Reimer, Director of Communications for the PGA Tour.テつ I want to welcome everyone here for an important announcement with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and Bob Bowman, President of Business and Media for MLB.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM:テつ Thank you, Chris.テつ Welcome everyone.
Before I get into this announcement, I would like to just make a comment about this week's matches.テつ We are delighted to be able to continue the idea and tradition of match play on the PGA Tour.テつ This started with the World Golf Championships in the late '90s.テつ And the reasoning we had was because match play for many, many, many years in professional golf was the definitive format.テつ Because of television and just change, we moved away from that, but we think it's important to maintain the thread of match play and why it's unique.テつ So we're delighted to be here at Harding Park with the match play.
We're doubly excited because of the new format this year.テつ We think the group format that we have patterned after the World Cup is going to be exciting.テつ It's going to keep our fans interested leading into the weekend before we go into 16, 8, 4 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday.テつ Having 93 matches in three days, belongs somewhere in the Guinness book of world records.テつ But we think it's going to be a great week for golf, and it's going to set the stage for many more years to come.
Next year we're looking forward to being in Austin, Texas with Dell as our sponsor.テつ We know from being down there a couple of weeks ago that the folks in Austin are looking forward to that.テつ Thank you.
But now we have a particularly exciting announcement from a PGA Tour perspective, and I'd like to give you some context.テつ In today's‑‑ as we all know, the digital landscape is changing literally daily in today's world.テつ For the PGA Tour since bringing our digital business in house a couple of years ago, we've launched‑‑ relaunched PGATOUR.COM, which by the way, recently won the synopsis award for best sports website.テつ And no offense to baseball.
BOB BOWMAN:テつ That's all right.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM:テつ And introduced a number of new apps and number of new media initials in trying to be more aggressive in trying to deliver the product to our fans.テつ A couple of examples of new initiatives is a partnership with Scratch TV, which targets younger audiences, primarily through social platforms.テつ The full launch of scratch.com will be next week.
Another example is our new equity involvement with 120 Sports, the first of its kind, life streaming sports video programming network.
Another example was earlier in January this year, in New Zealand, we launched a complete, over‑the‑top life coverage of the PGA Tour in New Zealand.テつ We're now available to provide any fan of interest with a broadband connection, instead of traditional paid TV service.テつ 77 percent of the population in New Zealand has access to broadband and that number is growing.テつ We're very interested in this experiment in New Zealand and we'll see how it plays out for our fans down there in the years to come.
Today we're announcing a significant concentration of these efforts to provide compelling new coverage of the PGA Tour, which has never before been offered to fans.
In partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, generally referred to as BAM, we are excited to announce PGA TOUR LIVE, a subscription‑based, over‑the‑top service that will feature exclusive live early round coverage of featured groups across all Internet connected devices.テつ PGA TOUR LIVE will feature two marquee morning groups on Thursdays and Fridays of our tournaments leading up to the start of Golf Channel's television broadcast of our early round coverage.
Now, two examples of how this could work, just in recent weeks, I think are of interest.テつ When Phil Mickelson was playing the Waste Management Open in Phoenix, he shot an incredible round for him, his personal record, a course record, shot 29 on the front nine and that would be an example of where we could provide coverage to that through PGA TOUR LIVE before the actual telecast comes on, the actual televised scheduled telecast.
Another example is when Jordan Spieth wowed the fans globally with his win at Augusta, turned right around, came back and played at Hilton Head in the RBC, so‑so round on Thursday, came out Friday and shot a 62.テつ Teed off in the morning, hours before our telecast came on.テつ Another example of what would be provided with PGA TOUR LIVE.
I think you can see the possibilities.テつ This will be available each season at over 30 tournaments.テつ Be accessible on desk tops, tablets and mobile devices.テつ We're targeting sometime this summer for the consumer launch of PGA TOUR LIVE.
We've seen the success of these type of initiatives in other sports, with MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, MLS live, WWE Network.テつ We thought this was the right time for us to enter this space.テつ We looked for a good partner.テつ We didn't have to go far.テつ We know Bob Bowman from prior involvements, actually Bob and I have known each other from some time ago, tangentially, but Bob and his team, many of whom are here today, have built really the industry leader in this space.
We are also both involved in 120 Sports that I mentioned earlier.テつ So it was a natural fit to expand this relationship through PGA TOUR LIVE.
I'm delighted that Bob could join us today to give us his own view of this new relationship and talk a little bit about how it's going to work and how we can work together.テつ Bob Bowman.
BOB BOWMAN:テつ Thank you, Commissioner.テつ And it wasn't too hard to get me to come out here, a lifelong golf fan.テつ Baseball is first, but golf is a close second.テつ I'm equally inept in both, unfortunately, as I showed this morning out on the San Francisco Golf Club.テつ It was far better than I.
But we're delighted to be here with the Commissioner and his forward‑looking staff who have worked very hard on this.テつ No one gets here alone.テつ We thank the players, 64 of the world's best that are here, as he mentioned, but hundreds and hundreds that play it at various levels around the globe, they make the game exciting for all of us.テつ We're grateful for the great play and hard work they do.テつ Grateful for some of the Commissioner's staff here and some not here, some back at work.
I worry about my staff who's here, and wondering who is actually doing the work today, but what the hell.テつ But Jay Monahan, who we've known for a decade, worked hard on this, as Dick Andersen, and Chris and Norman Lewis back home, they were all phenomenal.テつ This has been a long time coming.
What it's all about is making this great game, and we love golf, as well, available to its great fans.テつ And I know for a fact on Thursday and Friday, those rounds that Commissioner is referring to and maybe just a regular round, a plain ole 68, I want to see it, I want to understand it.テつ And while Sunday is the payday and Saturday is moving day, Thursday and Friday really set the stage.
When you put the fans first, you start to think about out how do we do this in a broadcast world, a pay TV world, a global world and a device happy world, and you land on over‑the‑top programming such as the commissioner described, with PGA TOUR LIVE.
As he mentioned, it will be a free app that will have an in‑app purchase for certain activities, the Thursday and Friday rounds, but there will be live content that will be free on this app. that will launch this summer.
I'm happy to say that I'm here because I don't write or look at code, and the people that do are working on this app now, another labor of love, as we have with many others starting with our friends in baseball.テつ But it will be a fan friendly experience where they will be able to see two groups and the PGA is very adept at putting these groups together.テつ As someone who has come out and watched a lot of live golf, one marvels at how great the groups are, and it doesn't happen by happenstance.
So we are delighted to be partners with not just a terrific organization of professionals, but a great organization in Ponte Vedra, led by a 20‑plus year veteran, who is, while I'm partial to my current commissioner and others, I think this commissioner has done such a terrific job for the game of golf in heady times with a range and a growing disparate range of video alternatives, he's done as great a job as any.テつ So we're delighted to be your partner, looking forward to the experience and we're hard at work in trying to launch of app. in two or three months.テつ Glad to be here, and glad to be here with you, Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM:テつ Thank you (applause.)
Q.To both Bob and Tim, what's the cost for watching the live rounds?
BOB BOWMAN:テつ We haven't‑‑ we'll be working with the PGA Tour to determine that.テつ I would say that our‑‑ it's their content.テつ We're the vendor.テつ They'll make the decision in the end, but our feeling is lower is better.テつ So I think it will be single digits.テつ I'm quite confident it will be single digits, I just don't know.
We haven't landed on price.テつ We want to make sure that price is not a barrier, but great content is not free, but it should be single digits.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM:テつ I will agree with that.
BOB BOWMAN:テつ Thank goodness (laughter).

Q.テつ MLB, you get a lot of statistics, is that going to be a feature of PGA Live, where you're going to be able to see groups and the percentages of hitting fronted, back, middle of green statistics?
BOB BOWMAN:テつ They have a great app. PGA Tour app.テつ I'm obviously a user.テつ I think we're going to try to make sure that they have‑‑ they lend to each other, a lot of the live video will be on PGA TOUR LIVE.テつ A lot of statistics and what the Tours are doing will be on the PGA Tour app. and fast app. switching, you don't know what's happening, and we'll try to make that as seamless as possible.テつ Those that want the PGA Tour app. don't get bogged down with the PGA TOUR LIVE.
Our goal is to have two separate apps with two separate goals and functions, but do a lot of switching and make it easy.テつ Once you leave one app. and go back to the other, there will be an arrow to return to the prior app.テつ That's our goal.テつ As the Commissioner mentioned, they built a great app. and we don't need to try to improve on that.

Q.テつ Tim, when you sat down to come up with a new format for this year's match play, was it discussed at all that it might be confusing for the fans?テつ Some of the feedback after yesterday's announcement is that it's been a little confusing.テつ I'm sure you addressed that.テつ Can you give me an idea what the internal dialogue was as you were coming up with this format.
COMMISSIONER FINCHEM:テつ The internal dialogue?テつ Well, the thinking behind it was that we wanted‑‑ we didn't like the idea that 64 of the best players in the world come and they're here one day and 32 leave.テつ That certainly was one factor.
Another factor was if you‑‑ in doing the brackets the way we've done this year, just creates a lot more interest in terms of the process.テつ Now, the process will be better understood a lot more after this first play.
One of the things we'll do in the space that Bob's been referring to is get into allowing the fan to really follow that more effectively.テつ It's great to be able to measure these things in real‑time and we watched as people picked up this information earlier in this week and the numbers, it was compelling.
But I think that it is different.テつ It is new.テつ It's kind of like‑‑ reminds me of the FedExCup the first two or three years, how does this work, how does that work, that's healthy.テつ The real payoff will be in terms of‑‑ we assume we're going to see a build up of interest in these three days so that when you're looking at the weekend, it's 16, 8, 4 and 2, you've followed a lot of different matches, you've seen how guys have battled to get‑‑ come out of their bracket, or their grouping.テつ And we assume that's going to lead to a heightened level of focus, which will translate into a heightened focus not so much depending on the particular players on the weekend.テつ We'll see how that works.
But certainly there's a lot more content now.テつ There's a huge amount of content.テつ So some people are going to have to wade through that.テつ We'll watch it and see how it works.
But I'll tell you, the folks that have gotten into it, I talked to two players in the last two weeks who hadn't really paid that much attention to it, but we're hearing about it the two weeks prior, they're hearing from friends and family at home, people who follow the Tour, people that follow them, the people are really into this.テつ They're really paying attention to who is going to be in my grouping and how I'm going to have to come out.テつ That stuff means that there is interest.テつ It's just a question of doing the things that can take that basic interest and build on it.
CHRIS REIMER:テつ Thank you for joining us today.テつ Congratulations on a great partnership.テつ Look forward to seeing it in person.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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