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Pay Per View

in glhf

Welp, here we go.

The good

How long has the market value of streams been kinda artificially depressed? Ehh, quite some time. I think this part of the argument holds a great deal of water. Esports fans have been belly-up to an endless smorgasbord of free content for years.

Fans pay the way for professional sports. Whether it’s through ticket sales or apparel or being marketing targets, they’re the end consumer. They’ve got to pay their way somehow.

MLG doesn’t have a large fan base that is also buying tickets or apparel in large enough quantities frequently enough to make a dent. I mean, I don’t think the MLG hats are flying off the shelves at Lidz. And there certainly aren’t large enough proportions of the crowds at events who are buying spectator passes to really make a dent either.

This smells more like a model that could actually bring some solvency.

The bad (Groundhogs Day)

Sooo…it would seem that MLG hasn’t found that right formula yet, eh? Is it not profitable yet, or just not profitable enough?

Yup.

It’s not as though we’re just on the other side of the largest year in esports history, or anything.

There’s two sides to this coin, in my opinion. There’s not enough coming in from advertising towards MLG’s audience at it’s current size for ends to meet. On the flip side, MLG continues to run a model in which their spending continues to outpace their revenues regardless of audience growth.

Go ahead, bark at me to produce the numbers that you and I both know aren’t public. (Except of course for SEC filings – those are quite educational.) What other explanation can you offer?

‘This year is the year’ was already said. A year ago.

The ugly

Where else do they have to go after this, if it doesn’t work? In Feburary 2013, will we be hearing that there’s not enough of us to sell PPV passes to?

Yea, it’s all very un-hype. Bro.

All we heard about was how many streaming records were smashed, obliterated, but we’re still taking on water. Drives me nuts. But I’m just a nutjob with a blog that doesn’t know anything about how they’re just running a business there.

I know this much: at some point you have to pivot from just chugging losses like a fraternity pledge doing a keg stand, and focus on getting into the black. Usually you do that right around the point where you go from being a growing new business to an exploding less-new business. In the face of what was clearly a year of growth in the revenue base, it seems they still figured out ways to keep pace with more expenditures.

The competition

Hey, so how’s IPL looking now? IPL does it in theatres instead of empty convention halls so they don’t have to truck their entire stage infrastructure with them everywhere they go. They produce a great deal of content in their home studios, and didn’t just lop entire limbs off of their content production department. Snark at em all you want, they don’t possibly have the overhead that MLG does.

MLG has to continue to appease these console communities that just don’t have the same gravity; must be a bitch, eh? Then let’s combine that with moves towards diving into the fighting game community, who are fiercely independent – how much resources need to be sunk into that new-ish effort before it pays off?

We’ve been waiting for the payoff for years. Many, many people think of me as an idiot for even suggesting that it just might not come. I don’t want to be vindicated here…