WOWOW to exclusively broadcast multiple LPGA Tour events live; significant commitment to programming, promotion and distribution highlight deal
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, November 30, 2011 – The LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) announced today a partnership with WOWOW TV, granting the Japanese television station exclusive cable and satellite broadcasting rights to cover multiple LPGA Tour events in Japan beginning in 2012. WOWOW, which has broadcast the Evian Masters for the last two years, will provide all live coverage of select LPGA tournaments, including two major championships, the Wegmans LPGA Championship and the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
“WOWOW’s commitment to live LPGA Tour coverage with a broad reach is a critical component in the continued growth of Golf’s Global Tour in Japan,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “The tremendous popularity of Japanese players Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato and Momoko Ueda, as well as other top Rolex Rankings players Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Jiyai Shin, will provide the fuel for WOWOW to elevate its promotion and marketing of the LPGA Tour to create an even stronger fan base in the country.”
WOWOW is making a significant investment to promote and market its LPGA Tour coverage at the same level as other major sporting events, movies and awards shows. Promotion will include season previews and reviews, highlight shows from each tournament, original player features, and special programming prior to LPGA major championships. In addition, WOWOW will provide promotional programs and highlight packages to all of three of its channels and will market its programming via print, mobile and digital vehicles. WOWOW will send a crew and reporter to each LPGA Tour event it broadcasts, further enhancing its relationship with LPGA Tour players already widely popular in Japan.
“We are very pleased to have now become a television partner of the LPGA in Japan,” said Mr. Nobuya Wazaki, President of WOWOW. “We are extremely happy that we will broadcast live coverage of LPGA events from Asia, North America and Europe, including two LPGA Majors in 2012 and the addition of The Evian in 2013. As the premium pay television company in Japan we are looking forward to bringing to our Japanese audience the exciting international LPGA events which feature the very best women golfers from around the world.”
The partnership, brokered by the LPGA and IMG Media, grants WOWOW exclusive cable and satellite broadcasting rights for approximately half of LPGA Tour events for five years beginning in 2012. WOWOW will also provide unscrambled first-round coverage available to nearly 20 million households in Japan. LPGA Tour coverage will be one of the centerpieces of WOWOW’s new “Live” channel and will be replayed in a significant air time. In October 2011, WOWOW increased from one to three channels, all in HD.
The first private satellite broadcasting and pay television station in Japan, WOWOW covers a wide range of sporting events as well as Japanese-dubbed popular American TV series. The network has broadcast all four Grand Slam Tennis Championships since 2008 and also covers soccer, boxing and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). WOWOW recently signed an agreement with the NBA (National Basketball Association) to broadcast the upcoming season.