I know, you want to claim it's already a success. And by some metrics that's true but the fact that it's well done, you and your friends like it and (hypothetically) the numbers of watchers has been growing consistently doesn't mean it's a success in any of the ways that ultimately matter. So far the hard truth is that another substantial pile of cheddar has been spent creating, producing and delivering the webcast to tens of thousands of computers, smart phones and tablets around the world. That's progress (fingers crossed), not success. Necessary but incomplete. At some point in this process PaintballAccess needs to make money instead of simply spending money--and sooner rather than later--because eventually either the money or the willingness to keep spending without a return runs out no matter the best intentions of everyone involved.
In the past a number of related efforts have been made to cash in on the tourney market or to popularize competitive paintball mostly geared around broadcast TV. But there was also an aborted effort once (or twice) upon a time to see if PPV would work. They fizzled as did most of the TV efforts though not always for the reasons most often assumed, numbers of viewers. Much of the problem wasn't too few viewers it was too few willing advertisers.
One imagines that PBA, more aware than most of the past, has and is taking steps hopefully to avoid another round of the failures of the past. In the meantime they continue to build an audience and refine their product--and see if they can twist a few bucks outta what passes for the industry these days. Which appears from this vantage point to have been something of a struggle, especially keeping the PSP and PBA uncoupled. PBA doesn't make sponsorships of an event series available and the PSP doesn't provide a webcast but given overlapping ownership I'd be surprised if some of the industry hadn't at least tried to piggyback one on the other. And in the long run the industry isn't going to be sufficient to support both the PSP and PBA.
Today the webcast resides in a kind of limbo capable of delivering advertising to their target market but without the client list of advertisers willing to pay for the service--yet. Various target numbers have been the goal that once reached would be sufficient to peak the interest of advertisers--and some of the latest numbers bandied about are in the target neighborhoods--but there is still no joy in Mudville. And here is where the limits of my information run dry.
What's next? How developed are the new media models? Who is operating in the marketplace putting advertisers and opportunities together? How widespread is niche marketing and how receptive are some of the big players in the advertising world to such overtures?
What's a realistic time frame to see this revenue model begin to work?
And what comes next if it doesn't?
Would a return to PPV keep PBA operational and the webcast ongoing indefinitely? And if the revenue model changed to PPV would the PPV ever go away even if the advertisers eventually got on board? It's clear that PBA has so far avoided even hinting at PPV but if that ends up being the difference between a webcast and no webcast how do your dollars vote?