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View Poll Results: Should raceways charge for live feeds

Voters
63. You may not vote on this poll
  • No, provide the servide for free

    53 84.13%
  • Of course, Raceways need to survive

    10 15.87%
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Thread: Live Race coverage

  1. #1
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    Live Race coverage

    How would you feel about raceways charging a fee for providing live feeds from larger races at their facilities? Would you pay a nominal fee? or do you feel it should be provided for free?
    Last edited by RomanK; 05-30-2011 at 06:15 AM.
    There are "Racers" and there are "Talkers".....which one are you?

  2. #2
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    You want my opinion? No???

    Tough - I'll give it to ya anyway (or at least an idea...)

    You didn't have any "none of the above" or "other" option to check on your poll

    I think that not many people would pay for it, because they expect it to be free. It's also a pain to set up for excepting payments, and not many race hosts are equipped to set it up.

    I think a better option is to get a sponsor for the webcam coverage, and then embed the track cam, lap counter, & chat screens onto your track's web site, with the sponsor's banner, logo, or ad on the page.

    At least that has worked out a few times for me.

    Example


    Kum Ba Ya, Roman!
    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 05-29-2011 at 01:21 PM.
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    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
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  3. #3
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    Of course I want your opinion PK, you, more than many, know what is involved in doing such a thing.

    It seems to me that it's a lot of work for the host raceway, never quite good enough, never quite fast enough, and serving a clientele that is spending ZERO money in the hosts facility. Strictly from a business perspective, I don't see the ROI, UNLESS perhaps, the raceways efforts are part of a much larger, all inclusive business development effort being undertaken by Mfg's, Distributors, and Raceways alike to help improve slot racing on a grand scale. No such effort like that exists at this time AFAIK.
    There are "Racers" and there are "Talkers".....which one are you?

  4. #4
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    The reasons you just stated are exactly what people didn't understand, when for years they would tell me "why don't you provide live webcam coverage?" at practically every major race event. They figured that if they could chat on Yahoo, or watch girls on porno sites live on webcams... then why couldn't I do it? (cover the race live - not the porno cams!) Many expected me to fly around the country to provide this live webcam coverage for free as well. Sure - I'd LOVE to do that - but it ain't free!

    Remember the first Nats at The Track? Tony H had planned on setting up a webcam, but at that time it required an expensive high speed connection and a bunch of work & expertise to set it up. Even without the webcam, I wound up sharing the credit card phone line using dial-up connection to upload photos & post race results. It worked out... but it was real frustrating when I had to log off in the middle of uploading photos so then could run a credit card! (I believe I had the same situation at the first BPR Nats in 2000 as well) Man - how times have changed since then!!!

    Now, with free services like UStream - it is MUCH easier to do it - but it still involves a good internet connection, some equipment, and the time, knowledge, and effort to set it up - let alone to manage it all day during the races! Usually the people who set it up also have a shop to run, a race to run, and often want to race or need to turn marshal as well!

    Somehow Shontel managed to do an extremely good job of it at last year's Nats - and I for one know that this was a very impressive accomplishment and all who watched online REALLY appreciated it! Shontel somehow typed live reports between heats even while she was race director. Unfortunately - she raised the bar, and now many people think it's easier then it is and expect it.

    There is really no way to judge the ROI for race coverage - whether it is live webcam, or post race reporting. It does, however, tend to really raise awareness of the race event and the raceway - which hopefully should result in increased participation at future events.

    Doug was a big believer in this, in getting me to cover the Nats & Barnburner at Port Jeff, as was Lenore & Chris at Buena Park. But with the rising costs of travel, lodging, etc... it is just not practical any more.

    By imbedding the webcams & chat on a web page - with an event sponsor ponying up in exchange for the advertising - might be one way to help cover the overhead costs of running the race & live coverage.

    I can help to set up the webcam web pages - but then I would also want to host the page and display my advertisers (or charge for my time). The webcam would still have to be set up & maintained by someone on site, since it is definitely not economical to fly me there to do it! (especially since I'm about 10,000 miles away now!)

    Thanks for asking! Kum Ba Ya!
    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 05-29-2011 at 02:19 PM.
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    Paul Kassens
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  5. #5
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    I had this Idea last year and the track owner said that they didn't want to be the 1st one to try it at the Nats.Thinking they would get beat up by everybody in slotcar racing.I also told Chick"s about the Idea and he said that would be the only way that he would put it on U stream if he could may money with it and I told him he should go for it.If the Track can make more money go for it.And people that don't want to watch it don't have to pay for it.And U stream makes it real easy now to do a pay and view.You should be able to buy it by the day or buy it for the whole week.I know if I was putting on the Nats or Worlds race and I was the track owner It would be a pay and view event. It would also be better to pay for it than not to see at all!!Just my two cents worth
    Last edited by Mr.GoFast; 05-29-2011 at 03:40 PM.
    Tracy Brown, Owner of:
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  6. #6
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    I do not even know any way to set up a pay-per-view for using a UStream webcam feed. I don't think pay-per-view is possible unless you use your own server to host it, which would wind up costing even more... as well as the expense and expertise to set it up, once again.

    UStream makes it MUCH cheaper and a TON easier - but then since they are a free hosting service, it is also freely available for anyone to view it. Even if you set up a page like I did, with ads, it doesn't stop anyone from going directly to UStream to view it... so I think people would either do that to get around paying, or just not pay.

    Again... the time and expertise to set up the webcams and the pay-per-view payment gateway would greatly increase the expense way beyond the potential income it might generate.

    But by offering advertising sponsorship on the even page, with the embedded webcams & chat, that is a much easier solution to monetize the live coverage. Banner advertising programs, like the one I use, can be set up with "channels" or "campaigns" to track how many views & clicks on the ads, so that the owner or sponsor can view reports to judge if the ROI is worth it.

    Still... the only way to generate sufficient viewers, is to make sure they find out about it. The only way to do this really is to post announcements on the forums - like here on OWH & others, and on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    With this in mind... the most practical way to do it might be perhaps if I got involved and offered this service, in exchange for some sort of revenue splitting with the host raceway. Event sponsors would need to be recruited and set up special ad campaigns to track the views & clicks - or simply agree on a split of the prepaid advertising, just to help cover my hosting & set-up.

    Even if I helped set up the online part - this would still require someone to set up & manage the webcam at the track. Unfortunately, most of the IT guys who have the ability to do it, also tend to be busy guys (or gals?)... and some are also busy racing! If you had to hire someone - they don't come cheap!

    Another possibility is to also post ads for selling event T-Shirts on the webcam page... but I have no idea if any big race hosts have sold many race T-Shirts by mail to racers who did not attend. Usually just the racers who attend buy them, AFAIK.
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    Paul Kassens
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  7. #7
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    Here you go Mom this is U strem pay per view http://www.ustream.tv/ppv
    Last edited by Mr.GoFast; 05-29-2011 at 03:17 PM.
    Tracy Brown, Owner of:
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  8. #8
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    Wow - obviously, with entertainers also using ustream to put on their own shows... as well as sports events, they have already come up with a way to do pay-per-view!

    The article even mentions another service that has already done this, but adds that they keep 30% of the revenue. This is a big chunk of the revenue, but still it takes most of the cost out of hosting it and setting up payments, etc.

    The ustream info is here:
    http://www.ustream.tv/ppv

    It is brand new and launching soon...

    The key would still be to generate enough viewers. Right now on the Seattle Slugfest live webcam coverage, I believe there were about 9 viewers...
    Not exactly enough to make it worth it....

    I think at the recent Worlds in Pilson there were around 175 viewer (?) for the Gp 7 main. I forget how many it got up to at the Dallas Nats last year.
    Last edited by oldweirdherald; 05-29-2011 at 03:32 PM.
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    Paul Kassens
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  9. #9
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    Chick, If your watching go for it!! I'm behind you 100% Make all the Money you can anyway you can.This would be the best place to try this you are after all the Raceway of Tomorrow!!! And I had another Idea to, have a Beuf cam over his pit and charge for that to and split it with him.More money for you and him.
    Last edited by Mr.GoFast; 05-29-2011 at 04:03 PM.
    Tracy Brown, Owner of:
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  10. #10
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    Of minor note, it's "Beuf cam" and make sure none of the pics he has of me taped on his box, are showing.

    It just makes Sherri jealous. LOL
    "Get Yourself Retrofied"
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  11. #11
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    Well.... then I guess we know there would be at least 2 people paying to watch the "Beuf Cam"...

    So... if you charged $5 each, that's $10.. minus 30% for UStream... split it with Beuf... buy the IT guy lunch (at McDonalds) for setting up & running the webcam... and you might break even!

    But who knows... maybe a bunch of people might pay to watch. But as handsome a devil as Beuf may be... and as much as he may be an icon in the slot car world... he's still not likely to sell as many tickets as Dane Cook.
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    Paul Kassens
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  12. #12
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    Never know till you try!
    Tracy Brown, Owner of:
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  13. #13
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    As you all know, I enjoy posting race results, whether the race is at my track or not. In the past, I've been at home during the Nats, desperate to here some tidbit of info and results. I posted at PA's Nats, Doug's Nats, my Nats and I'll post at Chick's nats if he wants.

    For the 2010 Nats in Dallas....I charged more for class sponsorships than anyone had ever done before. BUT, it included benefits that's sponsors had never experienced before. Part of those benefits was their company name scrolling across the live video feed the entire race(s). I explained the process before hand but until racers/mfg's/sponsors actually saw it LIVE, they didn't really understand. Their banners were also in full view the entire 10 days of the Nats. 24 hrs a day you could see the banner of every sponsor. The exposure for companies was enormous.

    We broadcast every week. Its doesn't matter if there's 3 racers or 33. If one or two people stumble upon the live feed maybe they will visit a track, in whatever town they live. It's 3 clicks for me to start a broadcast. The web cam cost $60. Ustream is free.

    I do not agree with the philosophy "you should have been there". I don't look at the negative, I look at the positive. Will it help slot cars to broadcast the US Nationals??? Well it certainly won't hurt. Why wouldn't you want your track to be shown to the world?

    Racers travel from all over the world to race at the Nats. Their family and friends want to see the action. So by not having a live feed you punish the people that want to watch. Or you punish the racers that can't afford to travel or because of family or work. No racer would stay at home if they have an opportunity to attend the Nats.

    If the 2012 Nats are at Dallas Slot Cars...I assure you it the live feed, chat and live timing will be broadcast just as we did in 2010.

    Shontel
    Shontel

    Dallas Slot Cars
    dallasslotcars.com

  14. #14
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    Shontel,

    You do realize... that if you win the bid to host the Nats again in 2012... that now nobody will be happy unless you provide an additional "Beuf Cam".

    Better budget another $60 for another webcam! Maybe GoFast will sponsor it!
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    Paul Kassens
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  15. #15
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    My intention in 2010 was to have a roaming pit cam with interviews of racers and showing the pits. Unfortunately, we weren't quite prepared.

    It will definately be done at Dallas Slot Cars if we win the bid for the 2012 Nationals.
    Shontel

    Dallas Slot Cars
    dallasslotcars.com

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