HARTFORD — Move over ESPN. There’s another sports network in town, smack in the middle of the capital city: Back9Network.
On Tuesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that Back9Network has established its corporate headquarters and will launch a multi-platform cable golf network in Hartford.
This project, they said, is expected to create hundreds of jobs and “breathe new life into the downtown area.”
“Connecticut is becoming a sports-oriented digital media destination,” Malloy said. “We’re already home to some of the top companies in the industry and we have an infrastructure of economic development tools that will keep attracting more film production and media companies, content creators, technology providers, investors and entrepreneurs to the state.”
Malloy added that Back9Network is a great addition the city and “is poised to grow in a 21st Century industry.
Back9Network, Inc. will offer a wide range of programming, such as in-depth interviews, celebrity profiles, reality shows and comedy series, all revolving around the game and culture of golf. The company will also expand its internet presence and offer programming via the web.
Currently located at 30 Lewis Street, the company plans to develop state-of-the-art studio space in Constitution Plaza. New programming will be aimed at a wide audience, including young fans and casual golfers,officials said.
“We are thrilled to create new job opportunities not only for the existing media workforce in the State of Connecticut, but also to attract new, vibrant and talented employees to the Hartford area,” said Jamie Bosworth, Founder and CEO of Back9Network, Inc. “ At the end of that process, it was clear that there was no better place in America for a new media entity like Back9Network to establish its operations than in Hartford.”
Initial support for the project will be provided through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and will be used for leasehold improvements, office and computer equipment, marketing, and production.
Assistance includes a 10-year loan of $750,000 at 1 percent interest that the company has matched with $5 million.
Additionally, DECD is providing support through the state’s Small Business Express program: a $100,000 matching grant and a five-year, $250,000 Job Creation Incentive loan at 2 percent interest for the creation of ten jobs within one year.
The company also may be eligible for tax credits for production, infrastructure and capital expenditures.