Turner Delivers For British Open Fans Stuck At Work

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Video streaming continues to be a Godsend for fans of professional golf as Turner Sports and PGA.com are delivering three channels of British Open golf tournament coverage at PGA.com using existing production resources at the British Open. “We’re blessed that broadcasters like CBS, NBC, and others already have the technical infrastructure in place so we’re just lighting up the cameras a few hours earlier,” says Pete Scott, Turner Sports executive director, Digital Partnerships. “If that efficiency of having production and talent wasn’t there we couldn’t justify this.”

The channels offer live streaming of Open coverage at 4 a.m. EST, giving early-risers a chance to see exclusive coverage not available on TV. The three channels include live streaming of coverage three hours before the world feed hits TV networks (that channel then simulcasts TNT coverage), an exclusively produced channel covering holes 16, 17 and 18, and a teaching channel with PGA professionals.

The three-hole production is a partnership with TWI with TWI producing the coverage and Turner and TWI sharing revenues. “That stream is geo-blocked,” says Scott, ensuring that it is only available in the U.S.

For golf fans unable to get in front of a TV the ability to visit a Web site and follow the action can take the pain out of being stuck in the office. “As the day progresses we see the traffic ride the hockey stick and it builds up around 9 a.m.,” says Scott. “The success of the U.S. Open playoff on a Monday now has people expecting that big golf events will have an online component.”

Most importantly, advertisers are expecting an online component as well. Scott says TV advertisers are asking about online opportunities as they look to drive branding beyond the usual 30-second spot.

“This is all about a new frontier and differentiating ourselves,” says Scott. “We know the value in promoting the TNT brand to the work crowd and this helps the overall TNT brand.”

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