Paintball Access: “We are not making money…”

By Lawrence Abernathy

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Just moments ago, Matty Marshal of Paintball Access made a post on the popular paintball forum, PBNation, giving paintball players and fans a “state of the webcast”. In it he states two things:

  • Paintball Access will be charging for the webcast starting at the 2014 PSP Mid Atlantic Open. There will be no free stream. Prices are $9.95 for Friday’s games only, and $19.95 for all three days of competition.
  • Paintball Access is not a profitable business.
  • Below is the full release…

    From PBA Host Matty Marshall:

    Due to market realities we have to start charging for the webcast. There is no other way forward at this time. We apologize for the timing, but we have done all we can to make the webcast available to the fans for free. Outside sponsors (the holy grail the industry has been searching for) do not have interest at this time. PBA and the biggest companies in the industry have come together in order to pitch in and provide top-notch content, and the best show in the business. For two years we were able to make this happen. But the combined might of the industry hasn’t been able to keep this level of broadcast available for free. In order to keep producing an internet broadcast of this scope and magnitude, in order to keep showcasing the best players and teams in world, we have to start charging. To spell it out crystal clear for those who may not understand the reality of the situation, that may think we (PBA) are making money: WE ARE NOT.

    We are doing nothing more than trying to find a way to make a paintball show work over the long term, to make it sustainable. We are doing this for you, the fan. And to create more fans. And for the players who deserve the recognition mainstream society doesn’t give them. And for the sport itself, creating elements that are needed to give the sport a fighting chance out in a world full of distractions, obligations, and competing activities. We are not printing money over here despite what some uneducated trolls might say. When we went to the Pay Per View model on Sunday for the first event, people who do not understand the harsh realities of the financial cost an undertaking of this magnitude incurs, thought the industry should be bearing the brunt of that cost. They have, to the best of their ability. The companies who could, and who believe in the project, have helped greatly, and they still are. But it is not enough.

    Though we are asking for your financial support, consider this your chance to help progress the sport. Without money, nothing happens, nothing moves. Without enough support even the best things will come to end. If everyone who watched the webcast for the past two years bought the feed, the sport would change for the better forever. You would get to see angles and insights, depth of story, you have never seen before. We would be able to produce more events and more content. We provide around 30 hours of content over three days, and we do this for as inexpensive as a professional production can get. We aren’t running a charity; you get something for your hard earned dollars. But you should also feel good about where the money is going. All we are asking for is about the price of movie ticket. I’d say that’s a pretty good bang for your buck.

    Everyone has heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.” If people won’t pay for a great product that everyone seems to love, then nothing is what you will eventually get. Or a severely decapitated broadcast, and a sport that has very little chance of continuing its trajectory forward towards mainstream acceptance. Great progress has been made: for the first time in over ten years all the best teams in the world are playing in one league, and you get to watch every move, learn from and be entertained by, the very best paintball has to offer. Paintball statistics exist now, and for the first time ever you can actually determine who the best players are concretely. You can use these stats to play fantasy paintball, pick your favorite players and follow them through their tournament performance throughout the season. No stats, no sport. No support, no stats. Stats alone are about $8,000 an event.

    We have made great strides in the past two years, countless hours by many, many people have been worked, and there is much more to be done. That’s where you come in. Help us help the sport. Spread the word, fight the “I want everything in the world for free” trolls, send this message far and wide, and get others you know who believe in the same dream we do to contribute, so we can make this a sustainable reality. The only reason PBA exists is to bring you onto the field, in the pits, into the lives of the players who dedicate themselves to being the best and define the sport we all love so much. But the potency of paintball’s push into the world will only be a mighty as our collective strength. Nothing is free. You all have a choice: help support the people who devote their lives to pushing the sport forward by fighting for the cause with what ever influence you have, or throw uneducated hate into the public arena, and set the sport back. It’s a real choice, every negative comment from a person who demands they should get things for free could feed another person who also doesn’t understand the meat hook realities of this life.

    I wish I didn’t have to write this and that the economy was better. I wish the mainstream companies could understand the power behind the paintball world and our demographic. I wish some people didn’t think omnipotent benevolent gift angels descend from the heavens delivering free finished products for the world to consume. I wish I didn’t have to, after 20 years in the game and devoting my life to trying to make people understand why paintball is so profound, and still have to say during random conversations, “No, not pro ping pong. Pro Paintball.”, with a sad inner sigh.

    But wishing is for fools. Work and effort is what moves things forward. Please give fuel to the engines doing work. Again, spread the word, fight the trolls, so maybe your ten year old who just got into the game won’t have to. And maybe, just maybe, our sport will get the respect it deserves someday. As much as it hurts me to say it after all the miles traveled, tears spilt, knees destroyed, battles fought, and sleep lost: that day is not today; we are still at work on the foundation.

    If I’ve learned anything over the past 20 years in this sport it is this: Paintball will only move forward because of its grassroots strength. So tear us down or help us build towards a better day, the choice is yours. Let’s show everyone how strong we really are.

    It’s $9.95 for Friday, and $19.95 for all three days weekend with the ability to re-watch the event for 30 days. Please head to Paintballaccess.com to sign up; we have a much easier, user friendly interface for payments. And have fixed the technical issues that emerged at the Dallas event for the stream.

    Thanks for you support.

    -Matty Marshall

    Source: SocialPaintball.com, Paintball Access: “We are not making money…”

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