$250.00 to broadcast a high school game? I don't think so!!!
December 11, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
As most of you know, RadioTroy.com has been following Richmond athletics since we started in 2011. We have been broadcasting upwards of 350 sporting events every season, more than any other broadcast media in Richmond. We in fact are the only ones that bring you more than just football and basketball. We are covering sports all year not just when it is convenient. But this time we must take a stand.
The Richmond boys ‘basketball team is scheduled to play in Louisville this Saturday night. The Red Devils will play a team from Kentucky in the final game of the day which in all probability will not tip off until 8:30-9:00. The starting time isn’t the reason for our decision NOT to broadcast the game.
The reason is the tournament director is charging broadcast media no less than $250.00 to broadcast the game. You saw that right, $250.00 for one HIGH SCHOOL basketball game. He is charging video broadcast media substantially more (a figure he didn’t quote me but he did say it would be a lot more than audio only).
This is something I refuse to pay for one basketball game, especially a high school game. The tournament director told me he needs to cover his expenses because they pay each team to come (buy them t-shirts, etc.) and play and if he lets the media broadcast the game without charging, all the fans may stay home and he can’t afford that. Well he isn’t going to make it on my back!
I am beginning to see this a lot more in high school sports today, generally from athletic directors who are trying to make up for losses in their athletic programs or from tournament directors who believe their product is so good you should be willing to sell your soul to watch or broadcast the game.
I hate to tell the director but very few fans are going to make the three hour trip to see Richmond play. Let’s put this in perspective. The parents and some rabid Red Devil fans will put in the expense to follow the Red Devils. The casual basketball fan isn’t spending the money to travel that distance no matter who the Red Devils are playing. There are other basketball fans who can’t afford to make the trip. Others physically can’t travel that far. And then there are the Red Devil alumni who live too far away to attend Richmond games no matter where they are. So as you can see, the crowd isn’t going to be a big one from Richmond.
When I started to add up the cost of doing Saturday’s game, it just didn’t add up. Let’s say I paid the $250.00. Add to that the gas money, the food and the six hours on the road and I can guarantee, as a businessman, it doesn’t make sense. Plus, as I said before, no tournament director is going to sucker me into paying $250.00 (or higher) to broadcast any game.
It really comes down to the principle of the thing. It is one game and I refuse to support a “showcase” that is trying to pay their bills with my money, especially when he can’t give me solid proof that our broadcasts are keeping people at home. When this showcase was put together, did the director take into account how much money he was paying each team? Was he taking into account how far fans would have to travel, especially from Richmond? Did he take into account how much it will cost for Richmond fans to travel to Louisville when gas is still $3.45 a gallon? Did he take into account it is Christmas season and people may not have a lot of extra money to make the trip?
We have been to several showcase tournaments in the last three seasons including Indianapolis and Ft. Wayne and wasn’t charged a single cent for broadcasting rights. And even if I were to pay upwards of $250.00 to broadcast in Louisville, I wasn’t given exclusive rights! That means he can make at least $750.00 off of my company and two radio stations from Richmond. If I am going to pay over $250.00, I better get exclusive rights to the game!!!!
So if the radio stations are willing to be suckered into paying the money, go for it. That means there will be a sucker willing to pay the money again next time…..but it won’t be me!!!