Robb points out the chilling news for the cable / satellite TV industry: Their current business model is *dying*: The days of charging customers a flat fee for dozens of channels they don’t want for the two or three that they do is ending, and ending soon.
So what does that mean for Outdoor Channel/Sportsman’s Channel/Pursuit TV/etc. ?
Well, the same, only different.
Shooting shows have what every marketing person craves: A committed audience niche. The people who watch shooting shows are interested in the shooting sports, and we’ll watch good content on any platform, not just TV. Hickok45 has 221,143 subscribers and nutnfancy has 203,875, and then there’s the walking cluster of suck and fail that is FPSRussia, whose unsafe antics have over two million subscribers.
To put that in perspective, if he were a cable TV show, he’d be in the Top 10 for any given weekday.
So the viewership is out there, it’s the platform that’s changing. Whether or not the same formula of “Find a sponsor, send the host far off to shoot something whilst talking about the sponsor’s stuff” will work in online environment remains to be seen. Me? I’d be glad to pay $1.99 each for episodes of Shooting Gallery or Best Defense. Heck, I’d pop of the entire run of ALL of Shooting Gallery, all seasons. And then there’s the quality shows out there on channels I’ve never had, like Personal Defense TV or Student of the Gun. I’d love to give those shows a try, but I’m not willing to pay $100+ a month in order to do so. Give the shows I want, in a format that I can watch when I want to.
We arm ourselves because we believe in personal empowerment, and we flock to the Internet because we can decide what news is important to us and not have a TV news anchor tell us what we need to know.
Sometime soon, we’ll also have shooting shows that accept that fact that we, the consumer, want their content, but without paying for cable or satellite to get what we want.