The problem seems to be despite lots of hand-waving and hand-wringing and a determined desire to sell out nobody is buying. Paintball as Sport as supportable entertainment, that is. In the comments to 'What's A Fan To Do?' a VFTD regular offers some thoughts (see below) that I think warrant a brief history lesson--among other things.
As the article points out; if your favorite college or professional team lost all it's players - what happens? Nothing, they're still there. You'll just have new players in old roles, doing the same thing.
And what would happen if Paintball used the same model...What if you only had so many teams in Pro? What if the only way to get into the Pro league was to 'buy' your seat? (Think Investment) Want to add a team to the pros, expansion team / buy a seat?
What would happen if as a league, you went to RedBull ...
The commenter posits a strategy of a limited number of vested pro teams cooperating as a league in order to both provide a sporting product and control its marketing and outreach. It's an interesting idea and it was called the NXL or, in a different incarnation, NPPL 1.0. (The NXL teams were purchased franchises of the NXL conceived to function like the typical American pro sports model. At that time many of the franchisees were also owners of the PSP. The NXL's focus from first days was breaking into television and early on a deal was made with Dick Clark Productions to produce NXL programming for TV. The broadcast premier was on ESPN2 if I recall correctly. NPPL 1.0 was the Pure Promotions promoted version and first iteration of the NPPL as separate from the PSP--a whole other story--and while their model was based on a more European structure its goals and purpose were similar.) Both entities managed to produce television programming and both achieved modest but respectable viewing numbers. Yet none of those efforts resulted in sufficient advertiser or network interest to keep paintball as sport on television. In hindsight I'm sure everyone involved would admit mistakes were made but the fact remains--paintball has been on TV numerous times and has failed every time. Does this mean paintball can never succeed on TV? Of course not but it clearly won't be as simple as if we build it the world will start throwing cash at us.
Today we have PBA and its efforts to "sell" paintball. Initially the webcast production company was focused on building a viewership they could sell as a highly desirable demographic for niche marketing and micro ad purchases--and to date they've failed to make that model work. As a result they've been forced to switch to a direct buy model for those specifically interested in paintball.
So far none of the efforts to sell paintball have worked. Is it because of the 'guns'? Is it because of the numbers? Or a lack of expertise on paintball's behalf? Or because no mainstream advertiser is interested despite the prime demographic?
Let's take a quick look at a similar situation. Hunting & fishing shows on television. There's quite a few of them and mostly the hosts and guests sit around on boats or in blinds and occasionally catch fish or kill animals. Is that compelling television? What they all have in common is their advertising is almost exclusively from within the hunting and/or fishing industries, The industries that supply hunters and fisherman make the shows possible by using them as promotional vehicles for their products. Paintball as an industry is probably not able at this time to something similar and maybe never has been.
More next time when VFTD explores the counterfactual 'What happens when the Champions sit down with RedBull?'