Back9Network, the upstart Golf Channel alternative which launched on DirecTV on Sept. 29, 2014, appears to be in financial trouble. The Hartford, Conn.-based network missed payroll for non-hourly employees on Jan. 9, network sources told Golf News Net.
The company's Board of Directors met Wednesday, but the company not shared any action they'll take to resolve the money owed to employees including on-air talent and control-room personnel. An announcement on the network's path forward is expected sometime on Thursday.
Back9, whose on-air product has improved significantly in the three-and-a-half months on air, is paying DirecTV for its spot on its lineup. The network reportedly agreed to a $7 million annual fee for the distribution, according to claims made in documents pertaining to a lawsuit against the network filed in Connecticut court by former executive Robert Abbott, who is seeking approximately $2 million in compensation, claiming he was wrongfully terminated.
Executives told employees, many who moved to Connecticut to be a part of the company, ahead of launch that the network had funding for two years.
UPDATE [Jan. 15, 9:27 p.m.]: After our initial reporting, sources say non-hourly employees have been told they'll be paid on Friday, a week behind schedule. It's unclear how much of the money owed will be paid.
(Full disclosure: Golf News Net owner/founder Ryan Ballengee was a contractor for Back9Network, working as managing editor of the company's online presence from September 2012 - April 2013.)