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View Full Version : Real P & B Channel - Would You Subscribe?



Fred Agnir
05-15-2003, 11:07 AM
If a real pool & billiard channel existed and was available, would you go for it? I mean, we all talk about the lack of support to pool, but if there was something available that gave a few hours of coverage every week, how many of the 40MM "players" would actually sign up?

A legitimate pool group has gathered the numbers for such a thing. And are prepared to move forward, but they really want input from those the demographic target. The internet is a wise medium for that input.

The proposal would be to have a channel or partial channel available on DISH network. The cost for them to break even would be roughly 5500 subscribers at $10 a month. Is that something people are interested in? If not, what would interest them, in terms of cost and what is being offered?


This is a real situation with real figures. I'm sure that the figures could be changed to 11000 subscribers at $5 a month or something like that. So, is that something pool players are really interested in, or should these people just bag the idea?

Fred

pooltchr
05-15-2003, 11:15 AM
Personally, I would be all over that. Only problem is I dumped my satalite for digital cable earlier this year.

9 Ball Girl
05-15-2003, 11:24 AM
I would do it---if DISH were offered where I live. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Kato
05-15-2003, 11:32 AM
Put it on DirecTV and I'm in. Dish Network is not a good deal in comparison.

Kato

Jon from MN
05-15-2003, 11:35 AM
Fred from what I have been hearing is we wont support it. Not me, I would but the average pool player probably wont. I ask my students if they watch any pool most say 1-5 times a year? Most people I talk to are just casual viewers. Out of the 40+ million players in this country my guess is 5-20% are avid players the rest are casual and that doesnt suppoert anything. As always if there is anything I could do to help let me know. Jon from mn

cycopath
05-15-2003, 11:36 AM
I'd do it in a heartbeat.

eg8r
05-15-2003, 11:39 AM
I would be in. Problem is that I can only get TVMax crappy cable. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif I am the one of the unlucky suckers that live on the side of the apartment building in which a satellite dish will not work. Argggghhhhh. I hate TVMax cable.

eg8r

Barbara
05-15-2003, 12:08 PM
Fred,

I would support that. The only thing is, we have cable because dish would be difficult for us in our neighborhood.

Barbara

Sid_Vicious
05-15-2003, 12:15 PM
Have Direct TV included and I'm in...sid

Rod
05-15-2003, 12:29 PM
It really depends on the program format and air time. Has there been any discussion about that? A premium cable channel is 10 bucks a month. I doubt I would spend $10 on a pool channel, maybe $5. It is my opinion from what I observe most of the pool playing population would not support such either. If it was affordable it may attract more viewers. Except for the die hard players/fans; if the air time was to late how many would keep the subscription? Yes it could be taped but once again how many would go to the trouble? If they rarely get to view the program it gets dumped. Just a couple of thoughts.

Rod

Perk
05-15-2003, 12:35 PM
I would be in definately for $5/mth if it was direct tv. More importantly, I think something like this would be a good thing to start. Wouldnt pool halls be able to get some sort of subscription to help assist?

bluewolf
05-15-2003, 01:04 PM
Fred,

We would do it no question about that. Problem is we live in a condo and cannot put a dish on our balcony as it is against the rules.

How much would it cost to get this on cable, or to work a deal with espn for ex.

Laura

Deeman
05-15-2003, 01:16 PM
I have Dish Network and certainly would subscribe.

MikeM
05-15-2003, 01:33 PM
Fred,

I certainly would subscribe at $10 no problem. If you look at the US Open broadcast last year, some 6000 Dish Network subscribers paid ten bucks for one match. I think Dish is very limiting however. Many more viewers on Direct TV and even more on cable. But, maybe that is part of their expansion plans.

BTW Bluewolf, your condo association cannot legally prohibit you from installing an over the air antenna of any kind. It was written into the Telecommunications Act 0f 1996.

Go to http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/index.php?s=f027b30eb4be2ba3808e9519978d23b2 for details.

MM

Aboo
05-15-2003, 01:36 PM
I would do it, if it was on cable. Dish is to expensive in comparison to the quality you can get from digital cable now-a-days.

Popcorn
05-15-2003, 01:43 PM
Where are you getting the numbers. How could they do programming with a break even point of $55,000? I don't think they plan on just breaking even, they want to be successful. It would require 10 or 20 times that amount to make it worth while. To be honest, I don't see people paying $120.00 a year for a few hours a week of programming. These are the same people with their illegal cable boxes, who down loading movies and music off the Internet. Would I pay, yes, would enough pay to make it worth while to the ones producing it, I would not count on it. It would need to be self supporting, not depend on subscribers. It they can really put on, three hours a week for that kind of money, selling enough advertising to meet the nut should be a hanger. Just being honest.

Fred Agnir
05-15-2003, 01:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Where are you getting the numbers. How could they do programming with a break even point of $55,000? I don't think they plan on just breaking even, they want to be successful. It would require 10 or 20 times that amount to make it worth while. <hr /></blockquote>I'm sure they want to be successful. What they don't want is to fall on their collective faces. So, they figured the break even point to see what they needed, and want to get feedback on that cost.

I think if a real billiard channel truly did put pool into the mainstream, then the money would take care of itself, as far as financial considerations are concerned.

Fred

UWPoolGod
05-15-2003, 01:59 PM
I would pay for it, either on DirectTV or cable.

dg-in-centralpa
05-15-2003, 02:20 PM
I'm up for it, if it is on regular cable. My wife doesn't want a dish. I would also want to see what the programming schedule is. Not just the ESPN semifinals and finals. What about older matches that AccuStat would have? And more of the matches prior to the final four.

UWPoolGod
05-15-2003, 02:31 PM
Yeah I get a little sick of seeing the same people in the finals. I would like to see some One pocket and snooker matches, as well as some 3ball billiards for variety. Heck even scotch doubles to see how pissed teammates get at each other for leaving them bad LOL

05-15-2003, 02:45 PM
If it were on DirecTV, I would definitely jump on it for $5/month, and probably even for $10 depending on quantity and quality of content.

snipershot
05-15-2003, 07:39 PM
I'd be in if it was on cable, the dish idea doesn't seem to have drawn alot of interest. But I would pay $10 a month no problem.

Popcorn
05-15-2003, 08:10 PM
In my first post I was a little cynical and for good reason. This does not sound like an honest attempt at a quality presentation of the game. To market it to a few diehards for ten bucks, desperate to see anything, will not further the sport. Doesn't sound like much of a market. Once the novelty wares off even the diehards won't be interested. Pool I feel has the possibility of spectator appeal if done right. But one more half A%&amp;$sed embarrassing presentation of pool will not help much. Lets face it, ESPN is currently the best there is, and it stinks. When a Ted Turner, or someone like him, gets on board you may see something happen. It takes more then good intentions, it takes cash and no how. This thing sounds a little half baked.

Fred Agnir
05-15-2003, 08:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Pool I feel has the possibility of spectator appeal if done right. But one more half A%&amp;$sed embarrassing presentation of pool will not help much. Lets face it, ESPN is currently the best there is, and it stinks. <hr /></blockquote>This is precisely why something like this is needed, isn't it? ESPN sux. They don't know what pool players want to see. A group (and not that idiotic Billiard Channel fiasco) that actually knows about pool, and has done leaps to improve pool overall already, wants to make a real effort, not a half-baked effort to provide pool to the public. But they're only one half or less of the equation. There has to be a market. I'm just not sure that 100 internet posters are enough.

Be cynical, but the question is, if a "REAL" pool and billiard channel was available, would you go for it? Or do people just talk about what needs to be done and not be part of the solution when a viable solution presents itself?

Fred &lt;~~~ thought the question was clear enough

Popcorn
05-15-2003, 10:05 PM
I am curious who these people are? Producing pool for just pool players is not enough. It has to catch the interest of the non player as well to grow the sport and be of interest to advertisers. My grandmother is dead now, but she used to have on several TV at one time watching sports. She loved golf and football, yet I doubt she ever played. Same in Europe, everybody is a snooker fan, from children to old ladies. I tend to think this is not an accident, but the result of excellent marketing over the years by cleaver people. The fact that no one ever copied the old Miller lite commercial, even though it was highly successful makes me wonder. Pool must not even cross the radar screens of the suits. It is as if, they don't even know the actual popularity of the game. It would just take one willing person with the means to make it happen. When I mentioned Ted Turner I brought up his name for a reason. Some years back, representatives showed up for a meeting with people in the billiard industry regarding the promotion of pool. I don't know completely know what their interest was at the time, I think they were going to launch a new sports channel with original programming and pool was being considered as part of it. It did not happen, but they showed up and were at least interested. That kind of thing is what it will take. I am not as cynical as I may sound, in fact I believe pool could carve out a nice steady nitch for it's self on TV. It doesn't have to be as big as golf or basketball to be a success.

arn3
05-16-2003, 03:25 AM
i agree, though i feel i am realistic, not negative. whatever,,,this sounds like a half-assed attempt, and will fail.

to begin with, the mere fact that they are asking for input tells me they haven't done their homework. either one is serious and jumps in with guns blazing and pocket books open, or don't waste everyone's time. if they are counting pennies already, then i can expect shoddy production and bad product. they will lose everyone they signup.

feeble, halfhearted efforts is why pool keeps spinning its wheels. pool and everything involved with it is splintered and in disarray. nothing will ever happen until the day a donald trumpish fellow comes along with the cash and unifies the game. everything else will always be just talk.

pooldaddy9
05-16-2003, 04:22 AM
I would sign up as long as I didn't have to sign a contract and could cancel anytime if not satisfied.

DSAPOLIS
05-16-2003, 06:11 AM
I fail to see how we would be able to support such an idea. Of course the hard core fans would purchase it, but what would we model it after? Would we market the sport as it is being done now, or would we actually sit down with each other and put our minds together as opposed to arguing and getting nowhere? Right now, ESPN is killing teh sport slowly. I, like many others, enjoy pool, and I like Tom Rossman, but if I see Trick Shot Magic 2002 one more time, I'll puke. Why is the Golf Channel so successful? Because they have core support from the industry, an industry that meets the demands of the sports participants. The sport of golf is successful depsite bad press, gambling, and the opinion by many that the game is "too slow". The main problem within the industry of billiards is our consistent inability to work together as team to promote the sport "for the benefit of the sport". To quote the great Vulcan patriot, Mr. Spock, "The needs of the many far outweigh the needs of the few." I, like many others will be at the Trade Show this year. I will see hand shakes, smiles, pats on the back, and I will recieve well wishes from everybody who has good intentions for the sport of pocket billiards. In the end, however, I doubt there will be much change within the industry afterwards. I said the same thing last year. I might sound pessimistic about this, but I have also been watching this closely for about 20 years, and it is a pretty consistent pattern. If we were all on teh same sheet of music, this would work. Don't hold your breath.

Fred Agnir
05-16-2003, 06:20 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DSAPOLIS:</font><hr> The main problem within the industry of billiards is our consistent inability to work together as team to promote the sport "for the benefit of the sport". To quote the great Vulcan patriot, Mr. Spock, "The needs of the many far outweigh the needs of the few."<hr /></blockquote>I guess this is why they're looking at the break even point and who at the onset would support it. If it's worth the risk, i.e. people will actually support it, then they're willing to put a product on an available map to get things started. I doubt it will be perfect to begin with , but at least they would change the product as necessary to meet the demands of the viewers. That is exactly what ESPN is not doing for pool. All of the other "arguments" against this idea seem to assume that only a perfect product from the get-go would be supported, and that no modifications would happen after. Is that what we as a collective group are saying?

So, I'll ask again. If a real billiard channel were made available, with a product that pool players and the masses in general would enjoy watching, with real pool-playing businessmen at the helm who want nothing more than to get pool to the masses and the respect it deserves, would you support it at $10 a month? Or are they wasting their time on a lost cause?

Fred

Fred Agnir
05-16-2003, 06:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote arn3:</font><hr> to begin with, the mere fact that they are asking for input tells me they haven't done their homework. either one is serious and jumps in with guns blazing and pocket books open, or don't waste everyone's time. <hr /></blockquote>"Serious" to you means "jumps in with guns a blazing"? Asking for input from the internet community is part of their ongoing marketing analysis. I don't think anyone would agree with your statement. Anyone in a successful business, that is.


Fred

Fred Agnir
05-16-2003, 06:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I am curious who these people are? <hr /></blockquote> Although I think this is important, it's not important for the question. If they are reading, it's up to them to pipe in. They just asked me to get input from the group. I'm sure you can guess, as the forefront is the company that seems to be doing everything they can to make pool better and more available to the masses.

[ QUOTE ]
Producing pool for just pool players is not enough. It has to catch the interest of the non player as well to grow the sport and be of interest to advertisers. <hr /></blockquote>Okay. I don't mean to be an ass, and I certainly appreciate your suggestions, but you're muddying up the question. They're not asking how things should be presented and what should be viewed, they're asking if anyone is interested. And really interested. Again, not to be an ass, but surely you don't think that you or I are the only pool players who have a thought as to how and what should be presented? We could hash that all out here, as we do every month. But that's not the issue. The issue of course is that after all is said, done, and agreed, who here, there, everywhere, would step up to the plate and buy the product?

So, if all of these wonderful things that you want in a pool channel production could happen now or in the near future, would you support it if it cost $10 a month? $5 a month?

Fred

Rich R.
05-16-2003, 07:02 AM
Fred, I would be very interested, but, unfortunately, I have the same problems with the Dish, that others have mentioned. Sorry.

Brian in VA
05-16-2003, 07:10 AM
Fred,
I'd be in because I'm an enthusiast although the $10 is a little steep. The Golf Channel on DTV is only $6.95 and I think that's too high. They probably need to better consider pricing compared to hours of programming. With 3 hours a day, provided it wasn't constant repeats, I think $5 a month is reasonable.
Brian in VA

Wally_in_Cincy
05-16-2003, 09:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> .......So, I'll ask again. If a real billiard channel were made available, with a product that pool players and the masses in general would enjoy watching, with real pool-playing businessmen at the helm who want nothing more than to get pool to the masses and the respect it deserves, would you support it at $10 a month? Or are they wasting their time on a lost cause?

Fred <hr /></blockquote>

Well, since you asked, absolutely I would. But it would have to be cable. I would not buy a dish just to watch pool. Could they put it on pay-per-view a few times a month (like the US Open final)? Or would it have to be on a subscription basis to ensure a certain monthly gross?

Fred Agnir
05-16-2003, 10:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> Well, since you asked, absolutely I would. But it would have to be cable. I would not buy a dish just to watch pool. Could they put it on pay-per-view a few times a month (like the US Open final)? <hr /></blockquote> I guess the idea with the DISH is that supposedly, it's available everywhere. I don't know this, but I do know it's available in my town. And that's saying something since I'm in the woods.

I think the Billiard Channel fiasco was trying to get a cable channel, but I don't know about that either. The question did certainly pop up as to why the DISH was the chosen provider.

Fred

05-16-2003, 11:26 AM
Fred, both Dish and DirecTV are available anywhere in the continental US, as long as you have a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky. Some areas of Alaska have to use special oversize dishes, kind of like the old C-band dishes. There is no concept of "town" availability of Dish or DirecTV within CONUS, other than a few rural NRTC areas that have archaic restrictions on television broadcasting -- but that isn't a technical limitation, only a legal one, and is very rare.

And as I mentioned in the other thread, DirecTV actually has more subscribers than Dish Network. Now I get the feeling, when you say "Dish", that you're intending to refer to the small 18" dish market. But remember that there are TWO major players in this market -- Dish Network (Echostar) and DirecTV (GM/Hughes) -- and DirecTV is the larger of the two, i.e. more subscribers (although Dish Network is not far behind).

If such a channel were setup properly, it could be licensed to cable operators as well as satellite services, just like ESPN and HBO are today. Why limit the coverage to one segment of the population? The only reason I could see would be if one provider was going to finance or subsidize the channel and require exclusive rights to it...

arn3
05-16-2003, 12:29 PM
"serious" to me means doing their homework. THEN they jump in with both guns blazing. there is already a wealth of info out there about pool demogrphics. that and some common sense is all they need.

for instance, i cannot take the "dish network" as a serious effort. i, personally, know NO ONE with dish. this is just common sense. why use dish?

you can have all the resources at hand, and if you televise on DISH, you will fail. another way to put it is, if you had all the resources at hand, you would NOT use DISH.

Ken
05-16-2003, 05:59 PM
I assume that Dish will provide the air time at the lowest cost. They will also provide the lowest number of subscribers. That means the effort will be self-limiting although Dish can provide content to cable as they did with the Open. If there is some success with Dish there might be the possibility of going to cable.

Dish equipment and installation is free as long as $24.99 a month is spent for one year, no local channels and no extra TVs. Here in the Northeast the satellite is so low that I could not put mine anywhere on the house due to trees across the road. Therefore, it's 80ft away on top of the garage.

To answer the question, I would subscribe for at least 3 months at $10 and probably unlimited for $5. If I couldn't live without it I might keep it at $10 but I'm the one who spends only $5.95 for internet so I might be considered cheap.

I doubt that anyone would switch to Dish just to get billiards. I have to pay $9 extra to get a few basic movie channels and another $10 for two extra TVs.
KenCT