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jamesroberts
11-19-2006, 05:09 PM
does anyone know how much networks pay to televise pool....for example what does espn pay to televise a big mens 9 ball tourney

BigDaddyInc.
11-19-2006, 05:13 PM
i always heard they just use pool to fill in a gap where they have nothing to use. So i can't say that they actually pay but if they do it's prolly not much.

jay helfert
11-19-2006, 05:25 PM
does anyone know how much networks pay to televise pool....for example what does espn pay to televise a big mens 9 ball tourney

ZERO! At best, they pay the production costs.

Roy Steffensen
11-19-2006, 06:05 PM
My experience is that they pay (or share) the production costs. No x-tra money. Then you are lucky. Many tv-stations won't send pool as fill, even though it doesn't cost them anything, just run the DVD...

cueball1950
11-19-2006, 07:27 PM
ZERO! At best, they pay the production costs.


That is correst Jay.... I remember when Barry Berhman tried to get ESPN to do his 25th Anniversary U.S. Open 9 Ball Tournament. When he asked them they said ok. But told him that when the truck pulls up out back, please have a certified cashiers check on hand for something like 40k. I believe that is the figure Barry told me when i asked him why they did not come as advertised. Good ole ESPN... always treating pool as a 2nd or 3rd class sport..(maybe even 4th, 5th 0r 6th after darts, spelling bees and dominoes)..................mike

nineballpaul
11-19-2006, 07:58 PM
My understanding is that the folks in Rocky Mt. NC had to pay ESPN 50k for televising their WPBA event in February 06.

Laura Friedman
11-19-2006, 08:56 PM
Television in a nutshell - the truncated version:

Commercial television stations don't pay to air the syndicated programming they run. Ususally the "payment" is in terms of what's called a barter arrangement, in which the provider of the content (the producer or distributor) is given a certain amount of airtime in which they can sell to agencies placing commercials. This is why the major syndication companies have in house departments that sell advertisements. It is also why ratings are so important, and why second tier sports have such a struggle: it's hard to sell enough ads to cover the cost of producing the shows.

The amount of money that an advertiser pays to run their ads is tied directly to two things: ratings and demographics. If a show fails to get ratings (meaning it's not getting eyeballs watching television screens), it isn't of interest to advertisers, and usually isn't going to be able to stay on the air. And even if a show gets some eyeballs, it needs to be eyeballs connected to a demographic that spends money. Failure to do either of these things usually results in a television station buying Fear Factor instead of your show, or in the case of ESPN2, running powerhouse programming like hot dog eating contests instead of pool.

Or, as one poster suggested, the producer of a low rated show can pay a network to air their programming.

When you watch local television, the local advertisements are usually sold by the individual station, and the national ads are sold by the distributor or producer of the show you are watching. This is how non-primetime syndicated shows such as Oprah and Judge Judy, and second run programming like reruns of Sinefeld, are distributed and paid for.

I've never worked with ESPN, but I assume that they work similarly to a local television station buying syndicated programming. I'd guess that the producers of pool are given some airtime to sell. However, if they are not capable of selling ads themselves, they would be paid what's called a "license fee" to offset or cover the cost of production, and ESPN would be free to sell all the ad time themselves. I don't know the specifics of the WPBA's ESPN programming or of the IPT.

Prime time network television - being the shows that run once a week on CBS, ABC and NBC, between 8pm and 11pm - works slightly differently. In the case of these expensive to produce shows, the networks pay a license fee which permits them to air a program a certain number of times. After those airings, the rights revert to the original producer, who is then free to sell the show around the world, and into second run syndication.

It is usually only after the show is syndicated that it starts to show a proft. A show that is canceled before the five year mark, at which time enough episodes have been produced to allow syndication, will have been made at a loss. This is because you need to have enough episodes to "strip" a show, meaning airing it five days a week, to syndicate it. This is why network television producers are backed by Big Money like Viacom, Warner Brothers, etc.

I hope this makes some sense, and helps clarify where pool stands in the television world.

Laura

NYC cue dude
11-19-2006, 09:14 PM
don't know if itis still there, but on the ipt site, possibly aq and a or under faq, trudeau stated that the ipt paid to have his events televised. it was a sub answer within an answer, and by the way it read, almost seemed like he slipped that info by accident.

rg

vagabond
11-19-2006, 09:17 PM
Television in a nutshell - the truncated version:

Commercial television stations don't pay to air the syndicated programming they run. Ususally the "payment" is in terms of what's called a barter arrangement, in which the provider of the content (the producer or distributor) is given a certain amount of airtime in which they can sell to agencies placing commercials. This is why the major syndication companies have in house departments that sell advertisements. It is also why ratings are so important, and why second tier sports have such a struggle: it's hard to sell enough ads to cover the cost of producing the shows.

The amount of money that an advertiser pays to run their ads is tied directly to two things: ratings and demographics. If a show fails to get ratings (meaning it's not getting eyeballs watching television screens), it isn't of interest to advertisers, and usually isn't going to be able to stay on the air. And even if a show gets some eyeballs, it needs to be eyeballs connected to a demographic that spends money. Failure to do either of these things usually results in a television station buying Fear Factor instead of your show, or in the case of ESPN2, running powerhouse programming like hot dog eating contests instead of pool.

Or, as one poster suggested, the producer of a low rated show can pay a network to air their programming.

When you watch local television, the local advertisements are usually sold by the individual station, and the national ads are sold by the distributor or producer of the show you are watching. This is how non-primetime syndicated shows such as Oprah and Judge Judy, and second run programming like reruns of Sinefeld, are distributed and paid for.

I've never worked with ESPN, but I assume that they work similarly to a local television station buying syndicated programming. I'd guess that the producers of pool are given some airtime to sell. However, if they are not capable of selling ads themselves, they would be paid what's called a "license fee" to offset or cover the cost of production, and ESPN would be free to sell all the ad time themselves. I don't know the specifics of the WPBA's ESPN programming or of the IPT.

Prime time network television - being the shows that run once a week on CBS, ABC and NBC, between 8pm and 11pm - works slightly differently. In the case of these expensive to produce shows, the networks pay a license fee which permits them to air a program a certain number of times. After those airings, the rights revert to the original producer, who is then free to sell the show around the world, and into second run syndication.

It is usually only after the show is syndicated that it starts to show a proft. A show that is canceled before the five year mark, at which time enough episodes have been produced to allow syndication, will have been made at a loss. This is because you need to have enough episodes to "strip" a show, meaning airing it five days a week, to syndicate it. This is why network television producers are backed by Big Money like Viacom, Warner Brothers, etc.

I hope this makes some sense, and helps clarify where pool stands in the television world.

Laura


Folks,
save this informative post in yore archives for future reference.She is for real ( authentic) on this subject.I met her in 1995 in charlotte or winston, North carolina at Camel pro tour event and I am absolutely positive that she will not reckon me if we run into each other.Good post laura.:cool:

sjm
11-19-2006, 10:14 PM
Folks,
save this informative post in yore archives for future reference.She is for real ( authentic) on this subject.I met her in 1995 in charlotte or winston, North carolina at Camel pro tour event and I am absolutely positive that she will not reckon me if we run into each other.Good post laura.:cool:

I'll echo those sentiments. Laura is very knowledgeable. I remember being introduced to her by Billiards Digest writer Mike Geffner some ten years ago at Corner Billiards in New York City. She made a very nice impression.

cueball1950
11-19-2006, 10:17 PM
My understanding is that the folks in Rocky Mt. NC had to pay ESPN 50k for televising their WPBA event in February 06.



That is probably right given a little inflation. Barry's 25th anniversary was about 5 or 6 years ago...................mike

PoolSharkAllen
11-20-2006, 01:28 AM
Great post Laura!

Might you (or anyone else) be able to answer any of the following questions?
1. Can you tell us what the demographics of the pool-playing audience is that watches pool programming?
2. What kind of ratings do pool programs typically generate?
3. Which pool programs tend to be the most popular, i.e., have the highest ratings?
4. Any idea how the IPT programs on Versus did (demographics/ratings)?
5. Might you have any suggestions on how pool programs can be marketed and promoted better?

Jerry Forsyth
11-20-2006, 02:58 AM
It has been several years since I looked into this but it used to be that pool programming drew pretty handsome numbers, but of an older demographic. That was a bit of a problem since advertisers want to grab the 18-25 year olds so they can groom a customer for life. (I know, so why not market to advertisers like Term Life insurance companies, back brace manufacturers, Viagra and (LOL) casket makers?)

But that may have changed by now. I CAN tell you that pool programming overseas, especially live to Asia, draws huge numbers. I am told that this is for two reasons. One, the game is more popular there and, two, it does not have to compete with NASCAR, the NFL, the NBA and all the other programming that is available here in the States. I am told that a major problem here is that there is just so much for the networks to choose from that they are in a 'buyers market' and hold all the cards.

The post made by Laura seems extremely accurate. Many of the shows you see on ESPN are provided to ESPN basically for free. The event promoters pay for the production and get a share of the advertising time to try and recoup their costs.

As for how to make the programs more popular? Easy. Execute the losers. Erect a gallows right in the middle of the arena and hang 'em. The numbers would go right through the roof. :)

Rich R.
11-20-2006, 04:33 AM
My understanding is that the folks in Rocky Mt. NC had to pay ESPN 50k for televising their WPBA event in February 06.
IIRC, ESPN is paid to televise every WPBA event. They do not pay the WPBA for that privilege.

jay helfert
11-20-2006, 05:54 AM
Thanks Laura and Jerry. Laura gave the real scoop on televsion programming.

Basically there are three ways shows get on the air.
1. The networks buy your show. i.e The NFL, MLB, the NBA. If your product is hot, they will bid for the rights to televise it.
2. It's a "barter" deal. You produce the show (pay all production costs) and you will own several commercial spots which you can resell to offset your costs. This is second tier programming like the WPBA, Pro Rodeos, Boat Racing and the like.
3. You produce the shows and pay for the airtime, which is how the World Poker Tour started out on the Travel Channel. That is why a production like the IPT went to OLN/Versus. These channels charge far less for airtime than say Fox or ESPN2.

When I have checked the rating for Pool on ESPN, the numbers are typically less than a 1.0, which is equivalent to about 900,000 homes. There have been a few shows that garnered 1.2 to 1.5 ratings, which is comparable to Pro Hockey or college basketball. These have been the specialty shows for the most part, like trick shots and such. The highest ratings Pool has ever gotten on American TV was when Fats played Mosconi. It got ratings that were thru the roof, like the Super Bowl.

By the way, the IPT ratings are almost negligible, contrary to what old windbag has to say. Maybe .1 or less, in other words in less than 100,000 homes. Probably far less.

What Jerry has to say is also quite accurate and enlightening. When people say Pool won't draw on TV, I see Barry Hearn laughing all the way to the bank. The WPC is shown LIVE in over 40 countries worldwide and the audience is immense. TENS OF MILLIONS! of people watch these shows. All across Asia and Europe people are watching, and for six to eight hours a day.

Will Pool work on TV? Of course, it already does. Only in the USA, can't we see these shows. It would ruin ESPN's market for all the Pool they show for free now. They would actually have to buy these shows (pay for US rights). Imagine how high the ratings would be here if you could see the best players in the world, playing LIVE matches, shown in their entirety. I would venture a guess that it would be far, far higher than any of the condensed pablum Pool we see now, weeks after the matches have been played. When and if the 2006 WPC airs here, I will guess that it is a edited version (probably one hour shows), that ESPN buys (think barter) on the cheap from ESPN Star. No longer live, and edited to fit a time frame. And of course, we know who won. One more example of a great product turned to pablum.

Realistically, Pool has never been given a chance on US television to shine. I remain convinced if it is ever done right, the ratings may be quite good and the demographics good also (the 20-35 year olds). After all, who really wants to watch a match where they already know the outcome. I don't have much interest in seeing Tiger Woods win the PGA a month later either.

Colin Colenso
11-20-2006, 08:32 AM
Great summary by Laura!

Having been invloved in negotiating a couple of TV deals in China, I can say that the situation varies quite a bit, according to the perceived popularity / demographics, as Laura mentioned.

I had to pay around US$5k to cover production and broadcasting. One of the shows ran prime time (recorded but played 3 days after). This deal also included several news items related to the events and a few replays in non-prime times. They kind of hold onto it for filler if needed.

But the ESPN Star network in Asia, who receives some very good ratings figures must be paying quite a bit for good content such as the WPC. Certainly enough that they decided to use their own agency to produce the Asian 9-ball Tour for themselves. (When I said they pay a lot, a lot of this value may be coming via an offer for advertising time within the program, which the organiser can sell to sponsors or pass on to a 3rd party to sell).

When the ratings come, the economics of the business is turned somewhat upside down. A kind of positive feedback loop. Higher ratings= more exposure = more money (or less cost) from TV and more money from sponsors = better events + better production = higher ratings etc.

Colin

rackmsuckr
11-20-2006, 10:51 AM
IIRC, ESPN is paid to televise every WPBA event. They do not pay the WPBA for that privilege.

Hi Rich,

I know for a fact that the WPBA used to pay ESPN for every televised event. I don't know whether that has changed in the past couple years or not though.

Laura, welcome to the forums! ;)

AuntyDan
11-20-2006, 11:02 AM
Realistically, Pool has never been given a chance on US television to shine. I remain convinced if it is ever done right, the ratings may be quite good and the demographics good also (the 20-35 year olds).

What's scary is that this was KT business plan* for the IPT - Build a highly marketable television show by making it exciting and interesting to a wide audience based on large prize purses, a popular game format, top quality locations, great presentation and a wide field of top Pros, Hall Of Famers and hungry unknowns.

Of course to do that you'd have to put a very large amount of money up front with no hope of a return for at least 2-3 years. And who'd be stupid enough to blow that kind of money with no guarantee of a return? You'd need to be some kind of mega-rich enthusiast more interested in having fun and positively impacting the whole person than making profit in under a year ;-)

*Of course, that was only the PUBLIC plan. Apparently even before this he was already working on selling the IPT, which hadn't even held a single event yet, to an offshore online gambling company with no history in Pool. It also apparently took him over a year to put the deal together and the whole thing JUST SO HAPPENED to fall apart the same week he had to pay out his largest prize purse.

Da Poet
11-20-2006, 11:06 AM
Television in a nutshell - the truncated version:

etc....

I hope this makes some sense, and helps clarify where pool stands in the television world.

Laura


Awsome post!

Dear Laura,

Would you be able to give an example of a sport, or sports franchise that is generating at least 20 million dollars a year through televised rights and/or commercial sales? Maybe not so much domestic, but worldwide comparison.

Basically, what I'm trying to get a sense of is how popular would televised pool have to be to keep up with the production cost and prize money promises the IPT made for 2007. I just picked the 20 million as a benchmark number. Is there another exisiting sport, or sports program that can be used as an example of where the IPT would need to be if it were successful?

Or maybe another way to ask the same question is, would it have to be say 10 times more popular than it is now? 100? 1000?


If anyone else has an educated answer then by all means chime in!




I'm afraid of the answer. :D