Friday, May 8, 2009

Webcast: The Final Word

For now, doh. There is never a final word final word around here and the sooner you accept that the easier it will be to maintain your mellow.
First, I'd like to thank Pat for hanging around and putting up with us (and by us, I mean me.) It is more than annoying to be told how to go about your business. I know that. And when peeps do it to me I may remain serene on the outside but inside I want them dead and buried in unhallowed ground with every sign of their existence destroyed and churned into the earth. (Okay, so maybe I overreact sometimes.)
That said I'm gonna do it anyway because, well, it's my blog and you can't stop me. It's not a great reason but it's an undeniable one.
Keeping Don's suggestions and the 180 rule in mind here goes: 1) remove the cameras from the pits. They aren't used much and without sound their descriptive power is--wait for it--muted, at best. What could help convey the intensity and emotion of the game is, without sound, mostly time filler. 2) Take those cameras and place them on the penalty box in a protected bracket and aim them to show a portion of the D-side of the field. (It might be seen as a minor violation of the 180 rule but not by much and should visually assimilate easily in the context of the field and the players' uniforms.)
The result is no additional equipment expense and at least partial coverage of the D-wire from both ends of the field. My only question is the quality of those cameras relative to the camera set-ups on the snake side. If the disparity is too great obviously that would be less than ideal.

Eventually (assuming this whole competitive paintball thing actually survives a week or two) as the webcast expands, the game grows and its reach broadens more improvements will be made and among them will be the issue of displaying more of the action on the D-side of the field. It will happen so why not address it? No harm, no foul, just an annoying know-it-all insisting on offering up an idea or two, wanted or unwanted.

Oh, and if it occurred to you that there is a measure of irony in this post given my admonition in 'The X-Factor' post below--it occurred to me, too.


Patrick Spohrer said...

It is a good idea, but like you said the quality of the pit camas would not cut well with the high end cameras on the field. In the pits we can get away with the voyeuristic security type feel of this cameras but on the field the lack of quality would become too apparent. Nonetheless I do like the way your thinking...


Anonymous said...

Did I miss the Blog post on what the accomplished result of the PSP webcast is supposed to be??

Looking for enlightenment here. :)

Baca Loco said...

I don't know that anyone in an official capacity has made any public statement with respect to their long term goals with the webcast. However, I think a couple of things are at work here. One is a back to basics approach to media and promotion after the repeated lack of supersized success with TV. So incrementalism is the word of the day in that respect. Additionally I am sure the webcast is viewed as a means to building grassroots following for the sport. And as a practical matter I expect at some point the league will also consider charging to watch. For right now there is a distinct tension between trying to recoup some cash on the webcast and reaching the broadest possible audience. At some point tho they will take the hit and plan to continue to build from a more economically feasible posture.

Baca Loco said...

Okay, after reading Don's latest post over at PBAgenda I'm uncertain as to how this whole webcast thing integrates with the league. Is it a partnership? Is it Pat & Matty and the crew?
Either way apparently one concept at work is the notion that if the numbers watching is sufficiently high it will be possible to sell advetising just like real TV. Whether that's an adjunct of PPV or a totally separate model I don't know.
Someone (sometime) may tell us. I have a feeling.

Don Saavedra said...

When the Video On Demand from MAO makes it live, look for the interview with Dave Youngblood and I think it will be made clearer.

The webcast is the league. I apologize if anything I wrote makes that unclear. Patrick is the brains behind it, Matty another driving force to get it done... but where it counts: who pays for it... it's the PSP.

anonachris said...

If the idea is to sell video advertising, the PSP can look forward to about $10 to $30 per 1000 views in ad revenue. That won't pay for lunch.

If the PSP would like to solicit targeted ads by selling to Pepsi or whatever, I suppose they might get lucky and find some . But it's one heck of a needle in a haystack hunt.

All that being said it seems the PSP has to have a webcast, and do a good job of it.

But I find myself wondering if the same big dreamers that bought themselves highly unprofitable professional paintball are setting themselves up to buy highly unprofitable webcasts.

None of this is said to diminish the webcast. But if there is some aim of making money with online content I suggest the PSP get inline behind the New York Times, CNN, Fox, etc. who are all losing millions wondering how things will work out with online content.

Even when you take pay per view events that are successful online (like big soccer games) those revenue streams get to piggy back onto the expenses (and profits) that come from broadcast or cable television.

But I'm probably sounding too much like a naysayer and the fact is I like the webcast. But if I were a betting man I wouldn't bet on it being profitable any time in the next 3 years.

Anonymous said...

I can understand the PSP being behind it and the great minds who created it. I would love to see Paintball become more than it is, just as many people before have written, pontificated, and forecast before. However, from a business point of view and the league, haven't we shown that self promotion does very little to increase the sport as a whole if we do it within our bubble? I mean without outside promotion, how do you get the message out of the very thing you want to grow beyond the nets of the PSP and its players? NPPL took a stab at it going to TV,Radio, and Print. What I don't see is PSP taking it beyond the realm of tourney paintball and the players who compete in it. If it is about Ad revenue and dollars driven by traffic to the webcast, then you have to generate those numbers through promotion. Then the problem becomes taking that small core group of tournament players/enthusiasts and telling them to pay for it. We all know that tournament players are the poorest of all paintball players. The real money lies in the casual player and the recballer. So how does the league sustain such a high quality product without losing its shirt in the process? I think it is a noble effort and I would love to see it succeed, I just don't see the kind of buzz that this will need to be successful. I just don't see the math working out to where you can charge for a certain amount of traffic and expect to see the economics make sense. Our so called "Media" outlets in the paintball world can not generate enough sustainable buzz and promotion to justify the economics of a successful webcast. I mean I may be totally off base here, but I don't think the numbers for the PSP webcast were substantially greater than that of the NPPL. When they go to a PPV system you can expect those numbers to diminish greatly thereby driving down the amount of income generated for the Webcast itself. I think as long as this is going, the PSP as a whole will always have to be the substantial underwriter for this endeavor. In the end if the goals of the PSP are not financial, then the Webcast would be considered a success. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to damper the enthusiasm everyone has for the great job that MWAG and crew have done, I just don't see it becoming a long term financially successful proposition.

Don Saavedra said...

I've seen the PSP numbers, and they might surprise you. I've also heard the outrageously inflated NPPL numbers, and if you believe them to be real I've got some land out Baca's way that's for sale.

None of this disproves the points by anonachris and Johnny5 about the webcast being able, at some point, to support itself via ad revenue, or eventually becoming a source of profit for the PSP. I'm not a mind reader, but fortunately I don't think that's a battle that has to be won any time soon (this year). That's just not the vibe I'm getting.

Of course, if I were any good judge of vibes, I would have asked out fewer women in my life to spare myself the rejection.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I do hope the numbers are good enough to warrant some kind of financial return. I would just hate to see "Us" get diluted into thinking that this could be more than it is. Which is pretty easy to do when you see the greatness that Pat has put together for a webcast. :)

Don Saavedra said...

I think it's really just a matter of not getting ahead of ourselves.