Asian Tour, IMG to create TV production outfit
IMG Media and the Asian Tour announced a 12-year deal that will create a joint-venture production company designed to enhance the circuit’s TV business worldwide.
The partnership is intended to replicate IMG’s business model with the European Tour, which formed European Tour Productions. According to IMG, the European production outfit creates more than 700 hours of original programming annually, making it the largest producer of golf programming in the world.
“It is clear that Asia is on the verge of an explosion in interest in both amateur and professional golf,” said Michel Masquelier, president of IMG Media.
The new agreement marks an evolution in IMG Media’s relationship with the Asian Tour. Since January 2009, IMG Media, a division of IMG Worldwide, had represented the tour’s media rights. IMG Media takes credit for helping expand the tour’s TV packages to more than 40 countries and 400 million homes.
The joint-venture is expected to build upon such developments. In a statement released Nov. 16, both parties said the new production entity will manage all TV production and distribution, including using HD and 3D technology for TV, broadband and mobile applications. By delivering Asian Tour coverage that meets a consistent quality standard, the partners said they expect to attract more sponsors.
The Asian Tour’s decision to strengthen its partnership with IMG Media was rooted in the company’s track record, especially representing major golf events, including The Open Championship, Ryder Cup and World Golf Championships.
“During the time which IMG represented the Asian Tour’s media rights, we successfully signed up six new tour partners and introduced four new events,” said Kyi Hla Han, executive chairman of the Asian Tour. “We are confident our players, sponsors, event promoters and partners will respond positively to a long-term relationship with IMG as they stand to benefit greatly through a stronger television structure and global representation.”