We wrote earlier about Back9Network's The Turn and its co-host, Erica Bachelor. Let's turn now to another of the shows that will debut when Back9Network makes the leap from online content to television network: Off Par, co-hosted by Caite Upton.
First, a reminder about what Back9Network is up to: The network has existed for a couple years as an online content destination, with plans to grow into a television network. That time arrives on Sept. 29, 2014, when Back9 debuts on the DirecTV platform. The network plans to expand to other cable providers in the future, as new deals can be struck.
How will Back9Network differ from the Golf Channel? Focus. While Back9 will provide golf news, that's not its focus; golf lifestyle is. Says Senior VP of Programming Scot Thor: "While we will certainly pay attention to professional golf's leaderboard, our coverage will focus on the lifestyle of the game where golf enthusiasts are spending their time and money - the courses and resorts they can play, the latest fashion, gadgets and equipment, and the behind-the-scenes stories that will highlight the personalities and characters that make golf so much fun."
Off Par is described as "an inventive look at the world of golf and entertainment, with a comedic twist." The co-hosts are comedian/actor Matty Blake and model Caite Upton. Off Par will air in the 8 p.m. (Eastern) timeslot on weeknights, with its hosts and a "rotating cast of characters" having fun with "viral internet videos, user-generated social media content, golf-themed skits and guest appearances by other comedians."
Upton was Miss South Carolina Teen USA in 2007, and in 2010 she was a contestant on the 16th season of the popular ABC reality series Amazing Race. Her full name is Lauren Caitlin Upton, but professionally she goes by Caite Upton. (Perhaps Caite Upton can welcome Kate Upton onto Off Par someday!)
At the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant, Caite had an infamous meltdown trying to respond to a question about geography from one of the judges (why do they try to ask "serious" questions at beauty pageants?). It was an embarrassing episode, but to her great credit Upton never ran from it. On her Facebook page today, she describes herself this way: "I'm a Model/Host/Actress, former Miss South Carolina Teen USA (Yes, I'm THAT girl) AND Amazing Race finalist!"
Good luck to Caite and the rest of the Back9 talent as they prepare for lift-off.