The PSP's webcast is on hold. I mentioned it in this week's MLP on Suicide Watch. There's info and opinions over at ProPaintball. It was a decision nobody wanted to make but the simple fact is the history of the paintball webcast weighed heavily on that decision. There's always been lots of talk about the willingness to pay but somehow those dollars never materialized when the time came to ante up. And the quality of the PSP's webcast isn't cheap--at least not according to paintball's current means. Pat's webcast premiered during WC '08. It was free the first two days, and the numbers grew from Thursday to Friday. The league charged $5 for the weekend and viewership dropped 75%. They didn't make anything close to covering the cost and worse, nobody watched. (Relatively speaking. A very few thousand peeps paid.) The webcast was brought back for '09 and the decision was made to provide it free to viewers and see if sufficient numbers could be generated to make it worthwhile to PBIndustry and outside industry advertising. The numbers were better but not good enough. For WC '09 the league made pay-per-view games and a VOD option available that generated less income than the $5 per viewer of WC '08. The highest quality webcast the PSP knew how to provide has cost the league around 300K including the capital investment in equipment. That is the history of the webcast to date. But that history doesn't have to be the future.
The PSP does have a plan for the future that includes a webcast but there are no guarantees they will be able to make that particular future happen. Or how far in the future it will be should it arrive. However, it seems to me there may be alternatives worth exploring. How about pre-sold subscriptions for WC '10? Tier 1 is the live webcast. Tier 2 is live webcast and the post event download of x number of matches. Tier 3 is the live webcast and a post production WC '10 DVD. Pay for as much or as little of the webcast as you want and the league knows going in approx. how much they'll make. How big a hassle would it be to set-up to take those sorts of subscriptions? I don't know but if enough people are willing to pony up something in advance it just might be possible. And how 'bout a special rate for stores and pro shops to receive the live feed? They could organize special events or sales around the opportunity for their regulars to see the greatest competitive paintball on earth. Would it be enough? I don't know. It could be the logistics are crazy complicated. One thing I know, bitching about it won't change anything. If you've got another idea let's hear it. If Camille got enough emails from peeps willing to buy an advance subscription to a WC '10 webcast the league would at least have to look at the possibility, wouldn't they?