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Richard_Immel

Watch World Team Trials Live...

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I'm signed up to tech wave and have canceled my account in teh past when I was jobless (luckily not anymore :)) but I never experienced the recurring billing after cancelation issues that others have.

 

Atleast for me personally its been WELL worth the 20 a month. I even checkout the technique videos which I never thought i'd do when I signed up... since i'm not competing anymore or coaching ATM.

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I agree with JB's comment re: "covering costs". From a business perspective I disagree with the pricing. $20/event is a little high from a market value perspective. Lower the pricing to $5 and quadrupal the viewers while merely doubling the operating expenses while at the same time increasing advertising revenue could be a win/win for our sport by getting more viewers involved with an event, buying more products from sponsors, while at the same time increasing the profit margin for the company covering the event and help the sponsors sell more products.

 

While I've never been a proponent of PPV while we offered this at USAW, mainly because of the backlash we (past tense) would have incurred from the wrestling community, despite the events losing money every single time out.

 

Flo isn't charging you $20 per event. It's charging you $20 per month. Some months you get more than you can watch, others, it's kind of slow. I know in December, I watched 6-7 major live high school wrestling events and college events. That breaks down to less than $5 per event. If you look at all the live events offered in a given month, some might be worth 20, others might not, but that's the give and take. It's like cable, sometimes there's nothing on and other times, your DVR is full.

 

I was skeptical at first, but since I know the system was developed by Adam Fenn and runs off Trackwrestling's live time scoreclocks, it's very hard to find a production quality (speaking of who, what, when and where) in any other sport on a single machine. Other sports have larger budgets, greater global view in advertising and much more manpower. The fact Adam created a streaming system to integrate with track to work on ONE macbook pro is quite amazing. We were trying to work with 10-15K Tricasters, and that would only give you one feed with switching mat to mat, and you'd need someone to manage.

 

Even if this weren't with Flo and was a PPV model, there's the cost of equipment upkeep, manpower, lodging, and travel. Doing that times four and you're looking at a pricey thing.

 

There are quite a few successful sports that are exclusively PPV for big events. I know rugby and cricket have huge online PPV buys. They aren't Olympic sports, but we, as a sport, also tap out our greatest sponsors. Cliff Keen, Brute, Asics, et al are constantly hit up by EVERYONE in wrestling. They can't continue to pay the tab all the time with little ROI.

 

Watching online is still cheaper than buying a ticket. It's the way sports are going, folks, not just wrestling. We don't have the benefit of McDonalds and major sponsors like pro sports have.

 

With innovation comes cost. If it were just some webcam with no graphics and no updates or commentary, I could see not charging, but with these events, you know exactly what's happening including a ticker to help you follow other mats. I think the innovations Fenn, USAW, Flo/WVS have done with streaming in the last few years should have actually quashed more of the complaints. There is more wrestling available to watch online than ever before, but we still have a problem with that?

 

We, as a sport, and Adam, as a single person who started this out, don't have unlimited funds to "donate" -- to get things done right, you have to pay people. Not too many businesses can survive by giving everything away, losing money on every live event. It's not easy getting sponsors to cover costs, especially when the ones willing are being pulled in 20 different directions.

 

$20 to watch the World Team Trials is a bargain.

 

As far as flo's membership issues, those are valid concerns as a consumer. If you give away the product, it has no value. It's a lot harder to secure 10-15K sponsorships for dozens of events than simply saying "people need to work harder."

 

This has constantly improved in the last three years. Fargo went from only finals, to full one mat, to 4-6 mats to 18 mats and this year, all 23 mats. But that cost should be absorbed by the developers for the sake of people wanting to watch for free? It's a service.

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Thanks JB for the informative reply. I'm one who HAS and WILL continue to pay the $20 for the events, AND I don't cancel my "monthly" membership until about 28 days after I subscribe. I've hung up my Asics a couple of decades ago so I'm not sure how technique wave will help me, and $20 isn't a burden for me. I've directly suggested to FLO that they consider multiple subscription options for those who are still competing either as a wrestler or coach, and those who are retired from the sport but want to access live events. I think these two subscriptions should be different.

 

I still think that lowering the price will increase viewers which will enable sponsors to participate and support the expensive burden of presenting a live wrestling event. As a person who has run an internet company over the past 15 years I'm well aware of the expenses which can and should be supplemented by advertising which only becomes a more attractive option with larger audiences.

 

Just a theory (not an argument to your thoughtful post that I pretty much agree with):

Theoretically, lower the price of $20 to $5 is 1/4 the cost which could result in 4x the audience. Result is same revenue, but double the operation expenses. Throw in 4 times the ad revenue from sponsorship and the end result is a larger profit and everybody wins.

 

Again, I'm not complaining so much for my own behalf but it just seems that Flo should, and likely will consider additional options as they evolve and grow.

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$20 mth is a great deal. Compare that to the cost of one 2 hr movie at a theatre with gas, popcorn and drinks. You get more viewing with Flo, behind he scenes interviews and can watch again if you like. Same when compared to a concert.

I do not get to coach much anymore but advise from time to time so I still watch some technique wave.

 

Maybe JB can educate us on how Internet advertising works. How far off the traffic or number of hits is themat and Flo from gaining the attention from non wrestling related companies? I assume that if a web site gets X amount of hits per day that companies would line up to sponsor your site so they are seen by a bigger audience. JB, do you know if themat went after non wrestling related sponsors or had the traffic to pursue that option?

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I have no problem with the cost. There are very few things I'd rather spend $20 on than a great day of watching wrestling. But I emailed Flo and told them I won't do a recurring charge. I'd gladly pay the cost of a PPV every time I want to watch, but I'm uncomfortable with a recurring charge, especially with issues some have expressed with cancelling.

 

Just give me a one time option and you'll have me as a customer many times.

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To Jstock's point it's actually as low as 12.50 per month if you pay the year in advance, and I agree with Barrett's recurring charge beef. As I mentioned in my posts I think they need to offer "different" subscription rates for those who benefit from technique wave and those who don't. I think the $20/ppv which is in "ESSENCE" what I end up paying (and have paid this time around for the WTT) will only invite stiff competition to the bidding process for the rights to air such events. Flo is definitely breaking barriers with the Universities side-stepping former contracts with other video streaming companies (who still cover basketball and other more mainstream sports and have certain rights to cover, but don't, non revenue sports like wrestling) but once the floodgates open and more competition has access to bidding on rights, the rates will surely fall.

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Maybe JB can educate us on how Internet advertising works. How far off the traffic or number of hits is themat and Flo from gaining the attention from non wrestling related companies? I assume that if a web site gets X amount of hits per day that companies would line up to sponsor your site so they are seen by a bigger audience. JB, do you know if themat went after non wrestling related sponsors or had the traffic to pursue that option?

 

I'm not an expert by any means, but in my time dealing with the sponsorship agreements for both the NWCA and USA Wrestling, there's a lot more than what you see on the surface. These sponsors aren't looking at overall web traffic, they're looking at who is clicking on their content. They're looking at how many people direct blasts get sent to and how is coming to their site. There's a lot of paperwork and back and forth that goes into any contract in the 5-figure range and much, much more when you get into six figures. It's more than just slapping a banner on a website or a webcast.

 

Advertisers are going to want to get into those markets with targeted demographics, but unlike something like women's basketball, which appeals to half the population (the women), wrestling is splintered amongst all the other male-dominated viewership demographics. Subway, for example, seems to be a no-brainer to sponsor wrestling due to the large numbers of wrestlers who live off the stuff, but they don't need the wrestling demographic, they already have them without spending any money in the sport.

 

In a discussion I'm having with another fan on Facebook, Dick's Sporting Goods was brought up. I believe there's an extreme value in sponsoring webcasts so they can be free, but businesses don't do things out of the good of their hearts, they want to see a return. It's not as simple as "going and getting a sponsor." While it wasn't in my job description at USAW, a lot of the Liberty Mutual sponsor fulfillments went beyond just the marketing department. You'll see their stuff on TheMat.com weekly, commercials on the TV show, etc. They want detailed EVERYTHING and if something isn't getting the numbers they want, they'll pull it.

 

The four big events Flo has been contracted to do are the four where there's the most demand. Most everything else was free from USAW. I spent 20 bucks on a thatch rake the other day at the Home Depot and I hate yardwork. I'd rather spend it on something like wrestling, which I enjoy.

 

With 30-something events streamed from USAW alone and Flo streams how many more H.S. and college events, we're talking two different groups. Flo has to get theirs in line to cover costs and the same with USAW.

 

Even if Flo wasn't in the picture, I believe USAW would have gone to select PPV events to stop the money suck that is online streaming. Advertisers were reluctant to do it, even with good numbers on free events. You can't make them give you money if they don't want to. Yes, there's selling involved, but we had a lot of hoops to jump through last year with Cage Fighter to get enough sponsorship money to cover the 18 mats in Fargo (and that was strictly manpower, I didn't get any extra funding from it because technically, it was part of my job). These events take time to set up and run.

 

A friend of mine is a local musician back in Virginia. In the late 90's, he put out a few independently produced CD's. On the CD, he asked people not copy the CD because "if it's not worth buying, it's not worth listening to."

 

My brother-in-law does PPV for short track and dirt track racing. It's not exactly busting at the seams with sponsorships, but their PPV buys are solid because people want to watch the event. Buffalo Wild Wings doesn't show the UFC for free, because you're coming in the door and spending 2-3 hours there, buying food and beers. In the end, to watch the UFC "for free" at B-Dubs ends up costing you probably more than if you would have bought it at home.

 

The Trials are worth paying for, because they're worth watching.

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I agree with JB's comment re: "covering costs". From a business perspective I disagree with the pricing. $20/event is a little high from a market value perspective. Lower the pricing to $5 and quadrupal the viewers while merely doubling the operating expenses while at the same time increasing advertising revenue could be a win/win for our sport by getting more viewers involved with an event, buying more products from sponsors, while at the same time increasing the profit margin for the company covering the event and help the sponsors sell more products.

 

While I've never been a proponent of PPV while we offered this at USAW, mainly because of the backlash we (past tense) would have incurred from the wrestling community, despite the events losing money every single time out.

 

Flo isn't charging you $20 per event. It's charging you $20 per month. Some months you get more than you can watch, others, it's kind of slow. I know in December, I watched 6-7 major live high school wrestling events and college events. That breaks down to less than $5 per event. If you look at all the live events offered in a given month, some might be worth 20, others might not, but that's the give and take. It's like cable, sometimes there's nothing on and other times, your DVR is full.

 

I was skeptical at first, but since I know the system was developed by Adam Fenn and runs off Trackwrestling's live time scoreclocks, it's very hard to find a production quality (speaking of who, what, when and where) in any other sport on a single machine. Other sports have larger budgets, greater global view in advertising and much more manpower. The fact Adam created a streaming system to integrate with track to work on ONE macbook pro is quite amazing. We were trying to work with 10-15K Tricasters, and that would only give you one feed with switching mat to mat, and you'd need someone to manage.

 

Even if this weren't with Flo and was a PPV model, there's the cost of equipment upkeep, manpower, lodging, and travel. Doing that times four and you're looking at a pricey thing.

 

There are quite a few successful sports that are exclusively PPV for big events. I know rugby and cricket have huge online PPV buys. They aren't Olympic sports, but we, as a sport, also tap out our greatest sponsors. Cliff Keen, Brute, Asics, et al are constantly hit up by EVERYONE in wrestling. They can't continue to pay the tab all the time with little ROI.

 

Watching online is still cheaper than buying a ticket. It's the way sports are going, folks, not just wrestling. We don't have the benefit of McDonalds and major sponsors like pro sports have.

 

With innovation comes cost. If it were just some webcam with no graphics and no updates or commentary, I could see not charging, but with these events, you know exactly what's happening including a ticker to help you follow other mats. I think the innovations Fenn, USAW, Flo/WVS have done with streaming in the last few years should have actually quashed more of the complaints. There is more wrestling available to watch online than ever before, but we still have a problem with that?

 

We, as a sport, and Adam, as a single person who started this out, don't have unlimited funds to "donate" -- to get things done right, you have to pay people. Not too many businesses can survive by giving everything away, losing money on every live event. It's not easy getting sponsors to cover costs, especially when the ones willing are being pulled in 20 different directions.

 

$20 to watch the World Team Trials is a bargain.

 

As far as flo's membership issues, those are valid concerns as a consumer. If you give away the product, it has no value. It's a lot harder to secure 10-15K sponsorships for dozens of events than simply saying "people need to work harder."

 

This has constantly improved in the last three years. Fargo went from only finals, to full one mat, to 4-6 mats to 18 mats and this year, all 23 mats. But that cost should be absorbed by the developers for the sake of people wanting to watch for free? It's a service.

 

Where can I send a donation to help with these costs?

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Someone else posted about that issue, but didn't see a solution. People shouldn't reboot their PCs apparently as it's not the computers or your internet at this point. I think they are just short on bandwidth at the arena.

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my vid was lagging so I rebooted my pc. Now it's saying I'm already logged in. Asking me to log out of other sessions?

 

Any suggestions?? This is very frustrating.

 

 

I got the same thing and made a separate thread. Got no response from customer support or the flowrestling twitter. Basically we are screwed

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Someone else posted about that issue, but didn't see a solution. People shouldn't reboot their PCs apparently as it's not the computers or your internet at this point. I think they are just short on bandwidth at the arena.

 

Having streamed from Stillwater, it's not the arena bandwidth. I had buffering issues early, but haven't had any issues in about an hour or so. I logged out, closed by browser and logged back in and have zero issues since. Using CenturyLink as an ISP, which isn't known for it's stellar download.

 

Just what I've found to work on my end.

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