Sunday, November 16, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing

At least give me a chance to explain myself before you start in on the rude gestures and profanity. (Fortunately no one has yet discovered how to transmit rotten fruit over the internet.) Oh right. Hard for you to get loud and angry if I haven't said anything yet.
Okay, here's the thing. I think perhaps there's too much of a good thing with the PSP webcast. I know, I know, it's good and getting better. And how else can any but the lucky few attending an event get to see all those pro matches without the webcast? All true, but ...
There's about 10 hours a day on offer when the webcast is live. It seems a little daunting, don't you think? And with 10 hours available if you only watch one or two hours it seems like you're not getting your money's worth even though you'd spend wads more to attend a basketball game or hockey match. And on a Friday? How many peeps are up for 10 hours of competitive paintball on a Friday what with work and school, etc? Even peeps who are serious about their paintball gotta find it tough to block out (nearly) endless hours to devote to watching the webcast on a weekend. And if you buy the whole weekend and watch mostly on Sunday it's hard not to feel like you wasted your money. Even if it is cheap in comparison to other sports entertainment options. (And we haven't even mentioned competing with 'free' sports on TV.) All I'm saying is I can see how it might be a harder sell than it seems like it ought to be.
Is there an alternative? Maybe.
Then there's the individual matches that show up on YouTube (and the PBA website) within a few weeks of each event. You can watch for free and pick the match-ups you want to see. Got 45 minutes before you need to be somewhere--you can watch whenever it's convenient. Now that's what I'm talking about. Between classes? Watch a match. Cooking dinner? Watch a match. Watch a match anytime you like. How many views do some of the most popular matches have compared to how many paying customers watched the same match live? Is it even close? The first match that popped up on my YouTube page was a PBA Match of the Day from World Cup; Revo vs. 187 with over 30,000 views.
What if PBA fast tracked post production on the best matches and began releasing them within a week or two? At the same time they posted summaries of each match so anyone interested in one team or another would have an idea of what happened beyond the final score. And what if PBA made those matches available asap but charged by the download. Like a cheap phone app. 99 cents each? 79 cents each? How much appeal might that have? I don't know but we're gonna try and find out. (See related The Monday Poll.) No doubt the number of views would go down but PBA could still release a free version sometime later on. Just a thought.
By the way, I'm not necessarily proposing changing the webcast but I wonder if it isn't too expensive to sustain indefinitely given the size of the audience willing to pay for it. Is there really too much of a good thing? What if it was Sunday only? Would that reduce costs and increase viewership? I don't know. What I do know is I'd like to see the webcast continue indefinitely--or at least until competitive paintball is a popular TV product--and it may require looking for some new ways to support it. All I'm saying.


Anonymous said...

Always thought they should offer a pay-per-match, pay by the hour, or something like that.

What if they charged $5 per match and $30 for the whole weekend? If you want to watch ALOT, you can pay more...if you only want to watch a select few games, then you pay less. Give people options.

Wonder how many friends/family of divisional teams missed out on seeing a match because it would be the only one they would watch and didn't want to spend the money?

Anonymous said...

Each match should be 1-5 bucks if you ask me. Price varies based on the teams fan base. Two good teams, price goes up. Teams get a 10% commission on the gross.

Just FYI though... I'm not sure how much to trust all the numbers on YT. Some of it is paid for (like Facebook likes) or boosted through various SEO like strategies.

But either way I fully agree that it would be interesting to remove the live webcast and trickle out games between events. Would there be something to altering the format again (longer original xball style matches less overall games played) to make this even more successful?

Anonymous said...

Per match payment is MUCH more attractive to most of us who couldn't possibly watch Fri-Sun even if we wanted to. Living in Florida, I am sure as hell not going to watch paintball all day - I could be playing it, fishing, hiking, mountain biking...I think you get the idea. Oh, and somewhere in there comes the work that gives me the money to play paintball!

But watch some key matches, or the playoffs, sure! But the cost has to be reasonable.

Anonymous said...

The Webcast has been a horrible failure. Pay per view to free , to pay per view to pay per match all in the name of the "SPORT" more like in the name of growing our bank accounts. This is how you make fans / potential fans run. Its almost like a ongoing joke. At this point would it have not been easier to hire a third party to just film Sunday or matches and post onto youtube like the NPPL ? would paintball be in a better position if PBA didn't waste all those resources and more importantly time on event by event couverge on Webcast and focus on a single paintball episode or event like wold cup to produce and place on TV. Example college paintball championships , what do you think draws in more players and showcases our sport better? As a industry paintball rides the short bus....

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? It's been made fairly clear, from more than a couple reliable sources, that the webcast doesn't turn a profit. Hard to grow a bank account when your product doesn't make money.

What mechanism do you propose to pay the third party you're going to hire to produce high-quality footage of matches that you intend to distribute for free? A lemonade stand?

Don't be obtuse. If the webcast can be packaged in such a way as to provide legitimate, live (or near live) coverage of every PSP event, while at least breaking even money-wise, the PSP gains a HUGE advantage over all of it competition.

That's just my opinion of course.

Anonymous said...

This is completely unrelated, but a huge pet peeve. I just finished watching the World Cup match between X-Factor and Art Chaos, which was an amazing tense match between two strong teams... Until you get to the final minute/point when Art Chaos jumped the break out due to another field buzzer going off within 1 second before their field buzzer. Art Chaos lost 2-3 bodies due to the error and lost the final point/match.

This is such a huge issue that can easily be remedied (even simply restarting the point). All the excitement and tense of an excellent match between two strong teams is killed in the last minute by an outside factor. Can you imagine watching a great NFL game (substitute any professional game) between two close teams.. and the last play being decided by an outside factor? There would be a riot at the stadium. We've talked here before about refs and penalties deciding games, but this is one issue that can easily be remedied. This type of event has affected other games before, and it simply needs to stop. I am no Art Chaos fan, but I am a fan of a great game. When you see an excellent game (back and forth for 15 + minutes) ruined by an outside factor within the last minute it is disgusting.

I can't even begin to imagine how a "professional" team owner, after sinking thousands of dollars into a season/event would feel after watching their team lose a close match due to an outside influence. Just one other issue that needs to be resolved before we can truly be "professional".

Anonymous said...

The PSP loves to fall back on their imperfections and lack or clarity in rules as an excuse for not exercising judgement. They have good sense andwould make the right decision if they did, but they are also frozen at times by a desire to be consistent.

So they recognize they aren't perfect on one handand then claim they have to be perfectly consistent in applying the rule.

It would be nice if they said, Ya you're right let's restart this point even though some other team will claim their point should be restarted too and we didnt.. Since we already use imperfection as an imperfect excuse we can use that one for how we imperfectly apply the rules also.

No one is perfect is a fair excuse sometimes. It's a terrible excuse when the problem is looking you in the face and you don't do anything to fix it.

Baca Loco said...

O/T Anons
Yes, it's a problem and yes, it will be discussed again this off season to see if there are viable options that will improve the process. It was also addressed by the pro teams who also offered a recommendation.

Anonymous said...

What would be lost if there was no webcast?
It doesn't have a financial impact if it goes away, other than a net-gain positive one.
Maybe 3-5000 people don't get to pay for the webcast, maybe they get the roughest deal, but likely they won't even be the ones squealing if it's cancelled. It will be the people that pay themselves and then stream to their buddies and turn a few bucks, or maybe even just the people that think the webcast is awesome but won't/don't pay any money to watch it anyway.
I understand there is a lot of emotional attachment to the production, but you can only judge the success of a webcast by the numbers of people that watch it, or in this case, pay to watch it.

Is it really a backwards step to cancel a great production if it consistently loses money, or is it just a sound and overdue business decision?
Whichever way you look at it, the webcast in its current form is not financially sustainable long term. Do we think that tweaking the content is going to change that?

Anonymous said...

Can we lower the quality of the webcast? Maybe set up less cameras and not have HD? The MS webcast isn't perfect but I think we could learn from them in terms of how they run things. Is the MS webcast constantly losing money? I know it wouldn't be as nice but wouldn't it be better to have a webcast than not have one at all.

MissyQ said...

Here's a question - do the webcast announcers even need to be at the event and incur flights/Hotels/costs etc? Do they need the fancy tower? Can't they watch the webcast remotely like everyone else, and comment from a studio set up in an office at Dye? Other pundits can 'phone in' their thoughts/views, like we see reporters do on the news...
I'm sure there are 1000 reasons why not, but are they insurmountable in the face of some pretty major savings?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the MS webcast consistently loses money.

No, the announcer doesn't need to be there. Commentator quality might go up if they just talked about what we all were watching rather than what they see on the field.

You could even see an instance where they were sitting at their desk with 4 screens and commentating and tap a screen and that's the screen the live feed jumps to if they wanted to highlight something important during the game.

I'd assume the announcers would rather do it from home and not have the travel, weather, etc. to deal with. Good idea fat lady.

Anonymous said...

I currently just pay for the weekend, watch snippets here and there when i can, catch the finals, and fill in what i missed when it's out on YouTube. They get their money and i get my content. It always seems that my friends want to play on the weekends the events are run. I'm up to saturday of the WCO now. I should have WC done by Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Only reason I and alot of people play in the psp is because of the webcast. If it wasnt there we would probably be playing wcppl or xpl. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...