Today’s new startup idea is going to solve a problem that I personally have had over and over again when watching live sports. When watching a game live I often get frustrated with the way the announcers are calling the game. They seem biased, or set on making a point that just doesn’t even make much sense.
Of course many of these things are driven by large corporations which have paid millions to air the sporting event. They usually have corporate partnerships that drive their message. They are in contracts with leagues, like the NFL or NBA, who don’t want ill to be spoken of their brands and typically try to restrict it from their partners.
One of the biggest examples is the way officials call games. I have seen frequent occurrences of bad officiating overlooked and not discussed by a game’s broadcasters. This drives me nuts and makes me want to put the game on mute. However, I also hate putting a game on mute.
My other alternative is trying to turn on the radio and try to find the game so that I can listen to those announcers while I watch. This presents two new problems. The first is that unless it is a major game or a local team I typically can’t find the game on the radio. The second is that the game I’m listening to and the game I’m watching do not always sync up, which causes even more frustration. So what’s the solution?
The Business Idea: Create a New Website & Open Up Broadcasting to All
My solution is for someone to create a website that opens up broadcasting to everyone. This would allow me to pick and choose who I listen to. I don’t have to listen to someone who has a directive on what they can and can’t say. I don’t have to listen to someone that ignores the bad calls, or someone that is biased. Or maybe I want to listen to a broadcaster that is biased towards my team.
The opportunities could be limitless! If you can get a large list of broadcasters working games then you may have several options to choose from. Plus you could provide a platform for up and coming broadcasters that don’t have the platform to launch a career because they never played a sport professionally and they don’t work for ESPN or Fox Sports.
This is why I know this business could be successful. It solves a problem for people, and it creates an opportunity for others to do something they love. So what would you need?
- A Website That Live Streams Audio (or Audio and Video) Through Members That Sign In or Get Approved in Some Way
That’s really it. If you have those two things then you can attempt to market this and take it from an idea to a business. So how would you go about marketing this website?
How to Market Your Online Sports Broadcasting Site
If I was starting this business I would set up a landing page that collected two different groups of emails while I had someone build out the website. I would collect emails for:
- Potential Listeners
- Potential Broadcasters
The landing page needs to quickly and precisely explain what you’re building so that you can collect the right emails into each group. These email lists will be invaluable when you officially open the site for business. It gives you a list of people that you can reach out to and have an audience from day one.
You will also be able to sign broadcasters up before your site launches and get many of them to do game tests as your website becomes developed. Individuals looking to bust into the sports broadcasting world will more than likely be willing to work with you in any way they can if it means building their own individual audience.
While the site is being built, having a landing page will help you reach out to publications and make them aware of what you’re getting ready to launch. Publications like talking about unique ideas. This is not an idea that has been taken to a level that today’s technology allows. It is something that if done right could gain some traction with the media before you officially launch.
One of the most beautiful things about the marketing for this business is that your broadcasters will do the marketing for you. If you can only focus on one thing it should be getting broadcasters to sign up and then convincing them to broadcast on a regular basis. If you focus on making those broadcasters successful then the rest of this business should fall into place.
You can also follow our guide to marketing online to help grow your business.
How to Monetize an Online Sports Broadcasting Site
You have a number of ways to monetize this type of site. You could monetize through:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsorship Advertising
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Listener Membership
There are plenty of products and services that appeal to audiences who religiously watch and listen to sports broadcasts. You could capitalize off of your captive audience by sending your listeners to your partners’ websites to spend money. Many podcasts and sports blogs use this type of marketing to monetize their current content.
This is the most obvious way to monetize a broadcasting website. You can work to sell sponsorship advertising for specific broadcasters, or for specific broadcasts. Your broadcasters could be required to read certain ads during their broadcasts, or you could interrupt broadcasts during timeouts to broadcast a sponsorship.
You could also include plenty of sponsorship opportunities throughout the website. For example, during march madness you could have a single category page on your website just for this one event that has all of the available broadcasts for each of the available games. The category page can be sponsored and each individual game page can be sponsored.
Pay Per Click Advertising
You can use Google Adsense or other types of pay per click advertising throughout the site, and even on the main page that your listeners are listening to their game on. This is typically the lowest paying method, but also the easiest to implement and manage.
No matter what other methods you implement you should consider taking donations. Anyone who likes your product offering is a potential customer that might be willing to donate a small amount of money either one time or on a monthly basis. It’s a great way to supplement your income from other sources.
You could charge a monthly fee to every listener who wants to participate in the program. These individuals are already paying some huge fee every month to listen to corporate broadcasters that are often bad, so why wouldn’t they want to pay to get their choice of who to listen to? Alright, this may be the riskiest method but it could also be the most successful if you can gain a large following that loves your product, and if you have plenty of broadcast options.
We would recommend that this method needs to be very carefully considered before using. However, if your broadcasts are high quality then who wouldn’t want to pay between $1 – $4 per month to listen to an unlimited number of broadcasts? (Learn how to calculate recurring revenue when forecasting how your business will perform.)
The one thing to keep in mind for all monetization methods is that you need to find a way to share at least a part of your revenue with your broadcasters. This will keep them happy and keep them broadcasting. It’s a method that has worked for YouTube, and it would likely work very well here. We envision larger percentage payouts than what YouTube offers their content producers though.
This is an idea that could take off in a number of different directions. We would love to hear your thoughts on some add-on ideas that you could do to make this idea better. For example, you could really focus on games that aren’t typically broadcast nationally. This would allow fans or alumni of colleges to listen to their obscure team or sport when they otherwise would have to just view the results online when the game is over.
There are so many opportunities as you grow the site to really make it a special business. If you’re really serious about this business then you may want to find some startup capital. Look to use a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter to get startup funds that will allow you to really build the website that will support the business from day one. (Make sure you use our tips to make your startup cash go further.)
The Smart Hack
We think this idea is great for someone with some startup capital or developer experience. Your site needs to be built the right way from the beginning or you will struggle to get broadcasters, listeners, and media coverage. However, this is an idea that could settle anywhere from making you a nice living to making you a millionaire depending on how it’s executed.