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ESPN 8: The Ocho

My name is Steve. Sometimes people accidentally call me Scott. No worries there. When it comes to botching people’s names, I easily maintain my 1030 rating
A comment on our previous blog mentioned how the Puttress is going to be discussed on ESPN3 (not us, that’s the ADGT). Other comments discuss our events in Europe (not us, that’s the DGWT). Comments on the DGWT often mention the Pro Tour. We all get it, these tours are new and similar.

Just so you know, we are the Pro Tour. We are geographically sensible with great payouts, have the best men and women playing at the best venues with live coverage of the entire event as well as video recaps, and live stats. Lastly, we will NOT be on ESPN3.

​Which is where I want to go with this – our sport is not ready for ESPN. Not even the Ocho.

For the past four or five years, disc golf has had dozens of live broadcasts and hundreds of round recap videos. We are successfully developing a culture of watching the best in our sport (good golly they are amazing!) When we broadcast the first Vibram Open live, nearly ten years ago, we got close to 500 concurrent viewers. That was pretty exciting. To start the season, Smashboxx TV eclipsed 5,000 concurrent viewers. That is pretty exciting.

The National Spelling Bee Finals has had over a million .

Let’s presume that two, three, even five times the number of viewers watch because they can log in to watch disc golf on ESPN3. That’s 25,000 concurrent viewers. My fear would be that ESPN (and Fox, NBC and CBS Sports) would see the numbers we generate and decide that disc golf is not ready for broadcast television.

The goal of the Pro Tour is to build the spectator base (in person and online). In addition to the quality live stream produced by Smashboxx TV, live stats generated by UDisc, edited recap videos, and a disc festival at each event that will help to grow the onsite spectators, the Pro Tour will be creating a broadcast ready program of the Tour Championship.

Our goal is to generate significant viewership, create consistent, high quality content and after the spectator base has been nurtured, we will present our broadcast ready Tour Championship recap show to numerous networks – but only after we know we are ready.

Like everyone with a disc golf pulse, we want to watch disc golf blossom on broadcast television. However, we feel it is critical to have this happen when we are ready. Going too soon could actually set the sport and our growing legitimacy back. The Pro Tour, like disc golf, is close. We will be patient and we will put together an amazing product. Then, when we are ready – and more importantly, when broadcast television is ready – we will get disc golf on the tele to stay.