A/S/L: 48/M/Port Townsend, WA
I just got finished watching the Barbasol PBA Tournament Of Champions, and while the matches were great and all that, there was something missing, and this has been passed on since 3 years ago, when the TOC had a 1 MILLION dollar total purse, with $250,000 going to the winner, and that is simply this.......... how much the winners of each tournament gets, there have been literally no mention of prize money at all, why? It's because if Mike J and Randy mentioned any of it (in numbers) it would be too embarrassing because it is that low.
When Belmo won the TOC this past Sunday, he only got $40,000 for winning it, now that may be acceptable first place prize money 30 years ago, but this is ridiculous that the PBA is giving these players only that much money, and that in this economy and with the annual rise of inflation, it is unacceptable by today's standards, in 2001, the PBA guaranteed that the winner of each standard tournament would get a minimum of $40,000 and if a player wins one of the 4 majors, they would get a minimum of $100,000 ($120,000 if they win the World Championship), THAT was something back then, but where's the money now guys???
The players have gotten better over the past 30 years I've seen on Tour, guys like Norm Duke, Danny Wiseman, David Ozio, Brian Voss and Walter Ray were dominating the Tour, I myself idolized Brian Voss and even though he has committed himself almost exclusively to the PBA 50 Tour, he still is one whom I'd copy the form and game of, of course Danny Wiseman and Norm Duke round off my all-time favorite bowlers in the BIO section of my official website, BIGHMW.com.
I just wondered, why hasn't the PBA gone after more sponsors, it's become almost a joke when half of their commercials during the telecasts, happen to be for "As Seen On TV" products like the X-Hose, Tag Away, Sobakawa Cloud Pillow, Fast Brite, and of course everyone's favorite, the Wax Vac.
The PBA also has yet another, long-known problem, ESPN decides to screw over the PBA by putting the telecasts opposite of the NFL on Sundays, and the majority of them are taped well in advance, when just 10 short years ago, all the TV shows were LIVE as they happened, the PBA lost me as a viewer because of it, and now at these days, I could just simply wait 'til our good friend bowlingvideos4all (a.k.a. "BV4A") uploads the shows onto YouTube, well before and with better picture quality than the PBA does. or PM any of you guys for a spoiler so I'll know who won and how much they won, rather than be gouged a fee to view it on Xtra Frame.
If all goes according to plan, the players of our Tour will become irrelevant, half of America doesn't even know whom Belmo or even PDW or Sean Rash are, you'd think our lane heroes would be household names today much like Richard Weber, Don Carter, Earl Anthony, Marshall Holman or Mark Roth were in the 1970s.
Hopefully, some of us will buy some of the PBA High 5 Gear shirts and wear them out in public so that some of our favorite players can get noticed, it works in every other sport, why not professional bowling? When PDW, Osku, Mike Fagan, Sean Rash, and Belmo start becoming the talks of not only the lanes but also in office water cooler conversation (imagine gossip at work about Belmo's 2-handed style and how devastating it is when it strikes, my boss at work, Matt Garnett, had never heard of Jason Belmonte until I mentioned him and his great win at the TOC this past Sunday), it will be a HUGE victory for our great sport, hopefully we can do it, or else, let them and the PBA disappear into oblivion and fold.
We can do something about it, all of us!!!
Peace Out, Ray Jackson HEAVY METAL WARRIOR, LTD. Where the fans come FIRST!!!
The reason the PBA almost went bankrupt in 1997 is because it had been dying for a long time, and ABC no longer saw fit to keep it on air. The only reason all that money was available on tour in the early 2000s was because the rich execs who bought the PBA poured money into it to try to make it be something it had proven it wasn't.
This has been going on for over 20 years. There have been some bright shining moments since then, but all signs are pointing at bankruptcy again.
If the PBA wants to survive as a professional sport, it needs to figure out how to survive in the 21st century, not 1965. Its not generating enough of an audience to get TV sponsors, and since it has to pay ESPN for the air time, its losing money every show.
Accept that unless you're too big to fail (NFL) you don't belong on TV. There's other ways to make money. Xtra frame produce great coverage. If we could get a million USBC members to pay 10 bucks a year for a subscription we could have a fully funded tour. No more worrying about sponsors, TV slots, ratings, etc. I say its a blessing and an opportunity, but too many people can't accept the fact that TV is a dinosaur industry. It simply can't provide anything beneficial to something as small as the PBA is or ever could be.
Nowadays, I open bowl practice and go to Nationals every year.
USBC Open personal bests: 226/602/1690 USBC Open career average: 174.66 (45 Games)
A/S/L: 30/M/Bellingham WA
The PBA has gotten after every major sponsor. Tim Clark has stated on multiple pod casts that they are banging on the doors, the sponsors just don't see the ROI, the audience that watches the PBA is too small or just doesn't buy the products advertised.
Why would USBC members want to fund the tour? A small minority of the people feel the way you do about the value of the tour, or else they'd watch it, the numbers would be there, and we wouldn't be having this conversation.
I thought they did a good job with the ToC, many things posted on these forums were incorporated into the show. They had tech tips, they have knowledgeable commentary, the dyed oil is helpful and interesting, they had "name" bowlers in the final.
The best thing for the PBA to do is to cater to it's core aging audience and just hold on for as long as it can. Pro Bowling just isn't interesting enough for the younger generations.
Do you think sponsors should pay to keep bowling on TV? Here is an experiment. Try watching all 21:59 minutes of the following international darts competition. These guys are great. They hit bullseyes like today's PBA pros roll strikes. Did you make it to the end of the video? My guess is probably not. It may be fun to watch for aficionados of the sport, but not for the general viewing public. Would you think any differently if you were a potential sponsor? Probably not. In my opinion, the PBA needs to forget about TV, and embrace YouTube and other social media outlets. Some ad revenue is better than paying for coverage. The lost fans who won't pay for Xtra Frame might even return.
To raise additional money, I would suggest the USBC, PBA, and Team USA work together and add $1 per year to the regular USBC sanction fee and $2 per year to the sport league sanction fee. For non-sport league bowlers, a national winner should receive a paid entry to bowl the USBC Open. For sport league bowlers, if the sport league uses PBA patterns, a national winner should receive a paid entry to bowl a PBA event (ex: US Open). If they use Team USA patterns, a national winner should receive a paid entry to bowl the Team USA trials. The huge surplus should be divided between the USBC, PBA, and Team USA.
Moving PBA coverage to the internet reduces expenses. Directing a portion of sanction fees to competitive bowling provides a new revenue stream. Ah, competitive bowling is profitable again, accessible to millions, and preserved for future generations. Really want to supercharge viewership? They bet on horses, don't they?
A/S/L: 53/M/Virginia Beach, VA
I also think the PBA's TV days are numbered, but if we move in the direction that most experts think, cable and satellite subscriptions will continue to decline to the point that many providers will no longer be able to remain profitable. More people will be able to stream content from online sources and pay for channels a la carte, so these bundle packages that are offered will be a thing of the past. The PBA, if they are able to survive long enough, may be able to take advantage of this. They need our help, though. If we're not supporting the tour, how do you expect people outside their target market to do it? If you're waiting for the telecasts to be uploaded to YouTube, you're part of the problem. Their ad revenue is based on viewership, so if you want the tour to be here in 2 years, watch it on ESPN (DVR it if you have to), spend a few bucks on Xtra Frame, and patronize the sponsors they do have. No sponsors who actually agree to support the tour should be considered a joke. Without them, there would be no tour.
Experience is something you get immediately after you need it most
A/S/L: 30/M/Merritt Island, FL
I think some of this could be alleviated if the PBA fully grabbed the streaming idea and ran with it. Not on their own site that you can only find if you watch a show on TV or go to the PBA website, they need to broadcast/stream it to as many places as possible. A big part of marketing well is exposure, if the only exposure you have is on a site that is linked from your own site, you are wasting valuable avenues.
They could be streaming to places like:
YouTube (paid advertisements, free streaming) Twitch TV (paid advertisements, free streaming) Justin TV (paid advertisements, free streaming)
Why only stream on Xtra Frame when you can stream to multiple networks and gain max exposure?
Instead of allowing someone else to upload to YouTube and nobody makes a dime, why not stream it yourself and pull some revenue from it?
Storm Amatuer Staff Member BowlersMart.com Staff Member Logo Infusion Staff Member IAB Staff Member
PBA Member USBC Level 1 Certified Coach Head Coach - Cocoa High School
Career 300 games - 5 Career 800 series - 6 High Scratch Series - 823
More people will be able to stream content from online sources and pay for channels a la carte, so these bundle packages that are offered will be a thing of the past.
I'm willing to pay for Xtra Frame but I haven't been able to find an App plugin for my Roku Streaming players. You would think by now the PBA would have something available being that many people now have smart TV's, DVD players and other add on boxes for streaming. I guess there's not enough public interest in bowling to create third party - open source plugins. I don't want to be limited to using just my computer for viewing the content. There's ways to use a computer as a streaming server to the Roku's, but I don't want to pay for the subscription without knowing for sure how it will work. This is one of many examples that indicate the PBA's lack of promotion and marketing in keeping the sport alive.
League: High Game 300 High Series 803 ------------------------- Motiv: Raptor P7 MoRich: Aggressive Motion Storm: VG,Crossroad,NP Hammer: Spike,Psycho,Raw Anger, Cherry Vibe,Taboo Plastic/Spare, Black Hammer Columbia: White Dot
A/S/L: 48/M/Port Townsend, WA
Maybe it's about time the owners of the PBA bail out and perhaps sell the PBA and all of its assets to Vince McMahon. Hey, he turned World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) into the billion-dollar global empire that it is now, maybe he can do the same for the PBA as well. Before Vince inherited the WWE from his late father, Vincent J. McMahon, the WWE was just a small, northeast-based promotion, that just needed something to go over the edge and become the mecca of Sports Entertainment that it is now.
I'm not saying that we will be having PBA RAW or Xtra Frame ThrowDown! or maybe even see WWE Superstars in the audience, but anything other than the runaway disaster the PBA has become today. Don't forget, wrestling on TV up until 30 years ago was mostly small audiences here and there, watching live in-house shows in either 3/4-empty arenas or on TV (remember Championship Wrestling, kids?) on high-numbered UHF channels with notoriously weak signals, but obviously it's a lot bigger today, if the WWE can do it, why can't the PBA?
Why not? The PBA has nothing to lose.
We already have available to us now, the very same awesome-looking jerseys (made by High 5 Gear) the PBA players wear during both tournament proper and on TV, that is our equivalent of the t-shirts of the various WWE Superstars on their rosters, how 'bout also, this season's PBA League Jerseys like what Gemini put out last season, I'm sure High 5 will be putting the 2013-14 versions out for sale soon (my VISA card awaits their arrival) with the PBA League ready to be commenced very soon.
Ball caps, tees, scarves and other merchandise might follow and I hope they take a page out of the other pro sports leagues and put out yearly/seasonal review DVDs for us to get so we can relive the seasons that were, maybe with some added off-lane features and interviews unavailable anywhere else. Even football clubs like Arsenal (yes, I am a Gooner, an Arsenal fan) do this every year, why not?
Peace Out, Ray Jackson HEAVY METAL WARRIOR, LTD. Where the fans come FIRST!!!
A/S/L: 50/male/Arlington, Va
I dont understand why the ratings are so low and no one watches but true fans. As a sports fan in general if I am sitting around on saturday with nothing to do, I will watch pretty much anything skiing, golf, heck I have even watched pool. How can pool have more viewers than bowling. I dont even participate in those sports but I will still watch, its all about the competition. There doesnt seem to be any advertising. I know ad time is expensive but you dont really see ads the days before the show. Youd think espn would want ratings for all their time slots. Why not show a promo on saturday when you are running duke unc basketball to tune in tomorrow to watch the biggest bowling tourny of the year. If you look at espn.com there was no headline link on breaking news that belmo just won the biggest bowling tourny of the year on your own damn channel. All the stories are on pba.com or bowling digital.com. Yet there are links to the winners of xgames or skating competitions. You cant even get writers to watch and right a story on a major tourny. It is very sad i didnt even bowl as a kid but still watched ever saturday in the 70s. It isnt about the sport its about watching the competition.
A/S/L: 50/male/Arlington, Va
One more thing, ESPN in their efforts to monopolize college sports and buying rights to every conference leads to low rated shows on television that take up prime viewing slots. No offense to anyone interested in other sports because I like them all and I'm a proud supporter of my own school, but ESPNU shows all the college olympic sports and small conference football and basketball. Are the rating numbers for a volleyball match or wrestling match or NAIA football or basketball really that high. Are the ratings for high school football and basketball really that high on ESPN. I dont even watch the high school sports, why do I really care about the two best teams from california playing a high school football game in a prime slot when I live in Virginia. How do they get advertisers for these lowly rated shows. Now I know ESPNU is dedicated to college sports but I can't believe the ratings for most games are that high. Why do advertisers pay for those games.
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