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Why water skiing is not on ESPN



  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 840 Crazy Baller
    I definitely agree that streaming is the future. The real challenge is how to get noticed among the crowd of content.

    In the end, I'm just happy we can watch pro events at home. Like many, I love the increases in quality and if I catch it a few hours after the start it's easy to fast forward.
  • Timr71Timr71 Posts: 50 Baller
    ESPN has a myriad of serious problems to deal with. And worrying about weather to broadcast waterskiing or not is not one of them. BTW, water skiing and Australian rules football along with other strange things were staples of ESPN programming back in the days where they had to search to find content to fill the broadcast schedule. Eventually they managed to attain broadcast rights for all of the major stick and ball sports and that stuff fell by the way side.

    Right now, Disney may be looking to sell off ESPN completely because the severe loss of subscribers is creating a financial drain of the whole company. Then pile on the Covid impact to the park business and movies and it's not a good picture. But don't take my word for it:

    ESPN reported that subscribers dropped 4.5% in Q1 2020. Previously, the loss was 4.0% in Q4 2019 and 2.5% in Q3 2019.

    Disney acknowledged the loss in ESPN revenue in their first quarter earnings report, citing an increase in costs and lower viewership.

    The decrease at ESPN was due to an increase in programming and production costs and lower advertising revenue, partially offset by higher affiliate revenue. Higher programming and production costs were driven by rate increases for NFL, College Football Playoffs and other college sports programming as well as costs for the ACC Network, which launched in August 2019. The decrease in advertising revenue was due to lower average viewership. Affiliate revenue growth was due to an increase in contractual rates, partially offset by a decrease in subscribers. The decrease in subscribers was net of the impact of the ACC Network.

  • UCFskierUCFskier Posts: 83 Baller
    This might be a silly question... but who even watches ESPN? I get all my football from DAZN app.
    I know the older crowd (myself included) feels that a network coverage would add legitimacy to the sport. that being said, I far prefer the TWBC where there is 100% coverage as opposed to a saleable 30min digested version for a network.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 217 Crazy Baller
    If ever there were an activity that implores beer (Anhauser Busch) and bratwurst (Johnsonville) sponsors to step forward, it is Cornhole. Not even difficult to see why Cornhole is on television. Just sayin'.
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 84 Baller
    @Horton - Which part of what I posted do you consider so stupid that it deserves a Panda? - I DID, after all, point out that someone trying to follow a known path for getting something onto television might never see a positive ROI - which I assume is your exact point as well.

    As for people who will "just throw money away", you probably don't know this, but in the motion-picture industry MOST investors in any given film project will lose much (if not all) of their investment. They usually have other motives, such as adding a "Producer" title to their resume, or promoting an up-and-coming actor they have a personal interest in, or whatever. The point being, out in the real world there are a LOT of people who will "just throw money away" for whatever crazy reason works for them. Who knows if there's someone sitting on a pile of Daddy's money who might just love waterskiing enough to throw [away] money at it...
  • RAWSkiRAWSki Posts: 776 Mega Baller
    People are right skiing doesn't need ESPN and ESPN doesn't need or want skiing.... the start up sports network showed skiing back in the day because it had sponsors like Ford and Coors Light with commercial money behind them. And ESPN could package the programs for "off nights" when there wasn't any other sports. Major sports were owned by ABC, CBS, and NBC. Now ESPN(ABC) + FOX and the others are all major players so they don't need filler sports---- it's cheaper to stage a talk show about football than shoot a fringe sport on location. We occasionally get snow skiing because US Networks can pick up the European coverage, and sell advertising.
  • DHskiDHski Posts: 7
    +1 on the love for TWBC and that we don't need / shouldn't want ESPN at this point.

    +1 on waterskiing is perfect for RedBull. They seem to sponsor and push the most random sports and activities that I can't imagine have a bigger natural following than waterkskiing. If the financials work out for all that stuff, surely it could work for waterskiing. But I wonder how that arrangement would get started in a way that has synergy with TWBC ?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,004 Administrator
    @DHski you don't think some one in skiing has already called RedBull? Dorien Llewellyn has some sort of deal with them. I think it hinges on the fact that his mother is Austrian and has connections inside the company.

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  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,229 Mega Baller
    @Horton Britta is an Athlete Manager for Red Bull.

    ESPN 3 (online) carried the 2009 worlds in Canada if I remember correctly. I don’t remember the story of how that came about.

    I’m fine with any online platform that can carry skiing. It is the “future”

    I get the water sports channel on tv and they have a shot of Freddy jumping in their opening montage more than likely from a World Cup stop in Russia. I’m sure that relationship is long gone.
  • kurtis500kurtis500 Posts: 76 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    So which company(s) that are just slalom skiing specific have the dough to even do a large media contract?
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 84 Baller
    @Horton- I don't even like arguing in person, let alone online, but I also don't enjoy being called a liar. So I'll just respond once here and then be done with this discussion. And, by the way, although I have worked peripherally in television and on a few Hollywood films during my long life, I've never invested in either. So I'll leave you to argue with someone who really does know what he's talking about in the film industry.

    In case you don't want to read the article, I'll summarize it for you (spoiler alert): about 80% of all commercial film projects lose money. Now, who's money do you suppose is lost? I can tell you - it's the investors. And they absolutely know the likelihood that most projects will lose money. They invest anyway. Go figure.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,523 Mega Baller
    @hallpass agree on cornhole. It's a drinking sport for most, doesn't cost much, anyone can try it and mostly not make a total yutz of themselves...and if they do who cares we are back to drinking no one gets hurt. So people can relate, just might watch, and there are ready sponsors. I'm pretty amazed at the 4-holers those pro's throw as a decent athlete who has played some myself--having said that it keeps my attention for about 2 rounds on TV...then I endlessly search for waterskiing :)
    The streams have been good for our skiing community...and that's the community that matters.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,855 Mega Baller
    @RGilmore imo Pandas are intended to be slightly embarrassing but more so FUN. I mean that guy is so damn cute! So anyhow, don't get too stressed by it or take it too seriously.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,004 Administrator
    edited October 2020
    @RGilmore I do not relate to your experience but I am not calling you a liar. What I am suck of is skiers relentlessly opining that if I or someone would just make enough phone calls we could be on TV and it would be great. If it can be done I want to see it.

    Also one 22 minute segment on water skiing on ESPN would have almost no value long term.

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  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 84 Baller
    edited October 2020
    @Horton - I was NOT opining that it can be done with enough phone calls to anyone. In fact, I doubt it can be done at all - at least, not from any kind of skier-initiative baseline.

    But I did want to point out that it's not entirely impossible. It would just take several unlikely scenarios to coincide at a fortuitous point in time, AND a patron with lots of dough and a love of the sport. Nobody is ever going to invest the time and $$ required thinking there will be a financial upside. At least, nobody who isn't insane.

    That said, I would have thought it unlikely that a brand new sport combining extreme skills in gymnastics, parkour, and overall strength would ever become a multi-million dollar fan-based industry - but here we are with American Ninja Warrior.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 537 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2020
    Pro Wakeboard Tour Finals aired on CBS Sports Network on Oct 10 at 9am EST.

    Maybe the MC Pro could be condensed down to an hour production for CBS Sports.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 572 Crazy Baller
    Sorry folks but this thread is like talking in a circle. Going nowhere. Investors are very different than sponsors/advertisers. Investors of various types in any business may intentionally do things for an expected loss because it makes financial sense for the bigger picture. Lots of good reasons. Advertisers will not. They're looking for certain levels of exposure of targeted demographics that their models show will generate the ROI necessary for the cost of buying the time. Again, simple cost benefit.
  • robmollysilverlakerobmollysilverlake Posts: 96 Baller
    I love watching TWBC on YouTube!! I don't have cable, my dad does so I can log in through the app on my TV and watch ESPN, NBC Sports, FSN (our regional sport channel), but his package doesn't have CBS Sports Network. I don't know if the wakeboard tour finals were on YouTube, but there is no way I'd be able to watch on CBS Sports.

    There are a lot more people with access to YouTube than cable TV, so if you do want more people to watch waterskiing you should promote the TWBC broadcasts on YouTube. I'm guessing most water skiers already know about TWBC, but many other people who would potentially be interested in watching waterskiing likely have no idea when tournaments are or that it's even possible to watch one on YouTube.
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 830 Crazy Baller
    If you can dodge a wrench, you can round a ball.
  • LLUSALLUSA Posts: 286 Crazy Baller
    The last water skiing shown on ESPN was Inside the Alabama Water Ski program with Marty Smith on ESPN Gameday. It cost nothing but just loaning the Alpha Gamma Delta house to ESPN for Thanksgiving dinner. BTW great dinner
    LLUSA, Sr Driver, AWSA Board of Directors, Towboat Committee,Lake Owner
  • wawaskrwawaskr Posts: 320 Crazy Baller
    I can't even recall the last time I watched ANYTHING on ESPN. I don't get this whole thread. Why does ESPN correlate with anything?
  • loewebloeweb Posts: 11 Baller
    I view skiing about the same as snow skiing. How does snow skiing manage to make it onto tv as much as it does? Because there are hundreds of thousands of people every year that storm the slopes and try it out. That doesn't happen on the water. Some people can't hit the water because they either lack the funds, have no clue how to ski, and skiing on one ski is impossible for them.

    snow skiing takes less investment to learn and is more accessible for the masses.
    without numbers coming into the sport, no one will dump money into promoting it.

  • robmollysilverlakerobmollysilverlake Posts: 96 Baller
    I don't know that snow skiing is that much cheaper than skiing, especially if you have to travel to get to a slope. Even in MN I would maybe snow ski once or twice a year on the hills we have, but we waterski way more. Thankfully I had access to an uncle's boat growing up so in my situation water skiing was much cheaper than snow skiing.
  • CnewbertCnewbert Posts: 280 Solid Baller
    Many hundreds of snow skiers can ski just a single slope in a day and have a quality experience in a fairly broad range of weather conditions. Water skiing by contrast is self-limiting by the relatively small handful of skiers that can enjoy a given site over the course of a day and the much narrower range of weather that will produce decent skiing potential. So without regard to cost, entry level degree of skill required or anything else, water skiing can’t reach the nearly same number of people.
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