His approach actually makes sense to me.
Everyone has already stated he won't make much money here if he puts it on Youtube or sells DVDs. We know that. And selling the rights directly doesn't make him much either. Let's assume that he makes 10K either way. So what he has doesn't hold huge traditional market value.
So why sell? If you owned a car that you spent your entire life restoring and someone offered you next to nothing for it, wouldn't you rather just keep it? Well, John has spent his life in a quest to achieve a world record on camera. I don't blame him for not wanting to disperse it for pennies. I believe this is the same reason that Jay hasn't released Earl's 10 rack run for the million (which I would LOVE to see, Jay, PM me if I could ever do a 'private showing'!).
In the meantime, if he creates a tour from city to city and conducts 'tours' of his run in person, I see him filling up rooms. A chance to spend the afternoon with a US Open champion walking you through a record breaking straight pool run and doing Q&As? I'd support that. Not sure how big the groups would be, but if it was 10-20 people I'd chip in $1-200. I'd guarantee I'd learn something from that session and if I could have a good time, witness a record run, meet some friends, and pick up a few nuggets, for me that's worth taking a day off work.
Even if most people aren't interested that's fine with him. As long as he gets enough people in every city for him to tour the country and use this as a draw, why wouldn't he? Maybe he can't pull it off, but at least it's a good try.
It would fly in Huntsville, Alabama. I know at least 40ish people there that would love it.
Now, they may not pay $200 each but, I'm pretty sure they would do $75 each for an exhibition for a couple hours.
Also, I think John should capitalize on "giving lessons".
Right now he should be able to charge a premium.
Anyways, he wouldn't make a lot from any one room unless he was able to schedule a couple lessons at each. In that case, yeah, I think it would be very profitable.
We have to remember what the average pro player makes a year. Its not much and I'm pretty sure John doing exhibitions coupled with lessons would be more profitable that chasing "maybe" money from tournaments where you facing a room full of world beaters for the same small piece of the pie.