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Why water skiing is not on ESPN

HortonHorton Posts: 29,719 Administrator
edited October 26 in FAQ
I have to say I am a little sick of reading comments/questions about why we are not on ESPN like in the 1980s. Here is the deal as I understand it.

ESPN produces, sells advertising for and broadcasts major sports. That is the big money along with all the sports news content.

Smaller sports have to BUY the air time and then sell the advertising to pay for it. So if you want water skiing on ESPN you need to call Ford or Anheuser Busch and get them to buy ads for the segment. Good luck with that. FYI we did not lose WaterSkiMag because of a lack of readers we lost the mag for a lack of advertisers. ( If someone in the sports TV wants to correct this or fill in some details let me know. )

We now have very good web casts thanks mostly to TWBC and we should be happy. No we do not have non-skiers finding the sport but it is what it is.

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Comments

  • cougfancougfan Posts: 244 Crazy Baller
    @Horton agree with you 100% The big money is in the broadcasts of college and pro football college and pro basketball. I don’t think ESPN is interested in any other “minor sport” that doesn’t bring them in a bunch of $$. Thank goodness for the TWBC web casts they are really top notch!
    schaferdbaconaz
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 837 Crazy Baller
    The part I don't understand is that ESPN does have minor sports on their online platform. Is that also payed for by the small sport? Don't get me wrong, I like what TWDC is doing and how far they come, they keep getting better. That said, there is a benefit to getting on an online network like ESPN. It gets more people viewing the sport.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,719 Administrator
    @vtmecheng It is my understanding that those smaller sports buy the air time and sell the advertising.

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    slow
  • rawlyrawly Posts: 533 Crazy Baller
    Hey @ESPNSkier , you are an insider. Any thoughts on this ? Thanks
    Andre
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,876 Mega Baller
    I did notice that drone racing is now on TV. Maybe right after poker.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
    BigGerald3
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,678 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Corn hole is on ESPN. Although I suspect it has more people interested in watching it than waterskiing.

    My .02 - you want skiing on TV, try to hook it in with a gravity game type event - slalom and jump and forget about trick.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • jpwhitjpwhit Posts: 84 Baller
    I can see that there are ad agencies and businesses that would be willing to buy ads during Cornhole broadcasts. Part of what creates demands for business to buy ads, is being about to get their heads around the demographics of who would be watching the broadcasting. I bet Ad agencies can get their heads around the demographics of the viewers of Cornhole. I bet similarly, they have no idea for competitive water skiing.
    bishop8950
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,201 Open or Level 9 Skier
    What about a step in this direction through the ESPN streaming content. I personally haven’t looking into this but I though they have a channel with access to webcast type events and smaller sports. Would The current waterski webcasts fit in there?
    rico
  • BMG73BMG73 Posts: 47 Baller
    The espn days were great but what we have now is way better thanks to TWBC! We really never saw much on espn. The best part is I don’t have to try and figure out how to set up auto record on my vcr!
    cougfanZmanrobmollysilverlake
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 1,986 Mega Baller
    Kids these days - it is apparent to me that most everything from a media and entertainment standpoint is going towards a streaming type of format.

    Good point @Than_Bogan - ESPN may not be the most effective way to get this to the masses anymore.
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 64 Baller
    You can get almost ANYTHING on television if you bring "them" two important things: 1) a completed content package, and 2) advertising. A semi-example of this is the show "How It's Made", which is produced by the Canadian company 'Productions MAJ, Inc.'. If you've seen the show you'll know that it features various manufacturing companies doing their thing, with detailed footage of how those companies manufacture their product(s).

    In the US, Productions MAJ provides completed episodes (plus some advertisers) to 'The Science Channel', who also has their own stable of advertisers. Interestingly, a portion of each episode ($25k last I checked) is put up by each of the manufacturers featured in that episode.

    SO, if someone was motivated enough, they could probably "get water skiing on television" by putting together 1) content, by partnering with TWBC, MB, etc. and 2) advertising solicited from industry manufacturers (SN, MC, Radar, etc), watersports retailers (Perfski), and general sports-related companies (Under Armour, Oakley, etc) and similar. This would be a huge undertaking, and would undoubtedly require a single (or group) patron who was not afraid to lose money for a while - or maybe NEVER realize an actual profit.
    jcamp
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 177 Baller
    As @rawly notes, I'm an ESPN "insider", however, I'm in Production Safety & Health and Programming (where these decisions are made) is a totally different world. @Horton is correct that most of our programming revolves around big money pro sports and NCAA sports although we do still produce ESPN Owned and Operated events such as X Games, NCAA tournaments and NCAA Bowl Games. Our industry was hit hard when sports shut down in the early spring and we did offer some interesting ESPN 8 "The Ocho" content such as corn hole. I doubt that we'll see water skiing back on ESPN or other major broadcasters but fortunately great alternatives now exist.
    BS74
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,719 Administrator
    @RGilmore when you find somebody who will just throw money away let me know.

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  • kurtis500kurtis500 Posts: 43 Baller
    The first post is true.... I raced for 18 years in the IHBA then LODBRS (Drag boat racing) with air time on ESPN, MAVTV and even CBS Saturday afternoon. The crowds at a few of our races were way over 15,000+ per day. In the 80's over 20k at Firebird. Getting on TV requires a tight connection with the media outlets and a lot of money to broadcast your sport. In a nutshell, getting your sport on TV is a form of advertising. If you want free coverage that is generally what happens when the local news shows up and does a 15-30 second spot on the evening news. The media companies have to make money DURING the show and that comes from advertisers, usually those directly sponsoring teams within the sport. Many of our fellow racers sponsors were oil companies and etc. My guess is for a TV spot to happen you will need the corporate money from the boat manufacturers since they generally have the amount of advertising dollars to make it happen. With tournament skiing being such a small segment of their sales its highly unlikely. Just enjoy it as is, when Lucas Oil bought out the IHBA and brought money and etc. to the sport it made racing way more difficult since they nationalized the races making people drop more $$$ to get to races.. Knocked out a bunch of us, same will happen with with tournament style skiing. Even worse, the more intense schedule to promote the sport will push more athletes in to injury.
    Horton
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,678 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I think that 80 million people would disagree about cable being dead ;)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 507 Crazy Baller
    Thank you @Horton , this stuff gets really old to read. The MC Pro was an amazing webcast, I think the AMAZING competition had a lot to do with that. That was the best Pro tournament in years regarding competition, edge of your seat waiting until the end. As Horton states, it's sponsors, if people want to pick on cornhole look at all the sponsors on their shirts, the boards, the banners. I also agree that ESPN shouldn't even be the goal and not sure why it continues to be brought up, streaming is the way things are moving towards, and I think a good example is ESPN moving many football games to ESPN+ which requires monthly membership. This is a way to force membership in my opinion, leveraging their conference football media contracts. All that said, there is not a lot of positive feedback when one's football team is relegated to ESPN+. I like the Redbull TV or similar idea. The joy of the TWBC being on Youtube is I could watch it on any smart tv, tablet or phone, didn't require any special package or membership. The only down side to this past weekend's event was I didn't think it was advertised enough for how great it was.
    Wish
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 885 Mega Baller
    edited October 26
    @Horton @RGilmore was not advocating throwing a bunch of money at getting skiing on ESPN, he/she was simply stating that one could in fact do it if they brought enough cash to the table and pointing out they the reality that it would probably be a money loser.

    Than_Boganlpskier
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 661 Crazy Baller
    I appreciate the TWBC and their outstanding work to deliver an unparalleled webcast. ESPN would simply offer a highly condensed product even if they were to ever consent to waterskiing. Let’s be thankful for what we have now. I watched the entire webcast live and it was spectacular
    Now if we could only convince Tony Lightfoot that he is broadcasting in the USA and to announce in feet that would be appreciated. I can easily convert to metric but prefer our units of measurement.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 518 Crazy Baller
    Very surprised to see this old topic back again. It’s pure numbers. Viewership isn’t there to support advertisers. They can get far better ratios elsewhere. Pure cost/benefit.
    Hortonski6jones
  • WishWish Posts: 8,136 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited October 26
    TWBC .....where else would you learn the metric system...ESPN?.. I don't think so.

    In all seriousness, web casting with TWBS seems to be the way to go and grow evidenced by the steep trajectory to improving the webcast already in just a few short years. Also evidenced by the many comments here saying it's already ESPN worthy in terms quality. And we for the first time EVER have access to make suggestions almost directly to TWBC on the programming itself. Try that with ESPN.

    Not wanting to open a can of warms here but I'd suggest $$s matter. If 1000 people watch ( I think I heard it was close to that if not more) then would we be willing to pay $1.00 or even $2.00 to view? Sure doesn't sound like a lot to me but pretty sure it would go a loooooong way to cover costs for TWBC as well as to making improvements along the way. The quality now sure seems to be at the pay per view level.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    cougfan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 29,719 Administrator
    @wish pay-per-view would actually mean a smaller audience. I believe that would defeat the purpose.

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  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,287 Mega Baller
    It is a sad state when 3 people screaming in the woods at night looking for Bigfoot can run for several seasons and we can't even get a World or Masters shown on ESPNII....
    pcmcon729
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