BAYSIDE, CALIFORNIA, December 3, 2008 – StreamGuys, Inc., a streaming media and content delivery provider based in Northern California, announces that Philadelphia Force, one of the six women’s softball teams that comprise National ProFastpitch (NPF), is using StreamGuys’ new RevenueStream subscription platform to stream live and on-demand video of its games. The RevenueStream platform generates a significant new revenue source for the team while entertaining its global fan base, with plans to expand the service for the 2009 season to produce an even greater return on investment. During the 2008 season, subscribers accessed live Philadelphia Force games as well as select exhibition and international games from the team’s website at www.philadelphiaforce.com. The teams in the NPFP league include the Philadelphia Force, Chicago Bandits, Washington Glory, Rockford Thunder, Akron Racers, and New England Riptide. StreamGuys enabled Philadelphia Force to launch this brand new subscriber-based video service by providing a variety of cost-effective services including consultation, technical support, streaming media, archiving, conditional access and subscription management.
“When we decided to startup this video streaming service for our 2008 season, we were very budget challenged and had very little lead time to get up and running before our first game. StreamGuys took us from a concept to a finished product in less than a week, providing a consistently first-rate service far more cost-effectively than any of their competitors,” said Barry Eisenberg, director of broadcast operation for Philadelphia Force, in Allentown, PA.
When Eisenberg first proposed the streaming media service to Philadelphia Force and other teams in the league, the immediate concern was affordability. Philadelphia Force management gave the green light provided Eisenberg could launch and operate a streaming service within a specific budget. When Eisenberg took to the phones and Internet in search of a company that could meet their requirements, he said he discovered the perfect “partner” in StreamGuys.
“With my limited technical knowledge, their Senior Sales Executive Barry Klein and his associates walked me through the entire process—advising me what to buy, how to set it up, pitfalls to avoid, how to download the Windows Media Flash encoder software, how to stream our live signal to them, and even timely technical support and troubleshooting. Because of their advice, I was able to cut my upfront equipment expenses by more than 70 percent,” said Eisenberg.
Eisenberg’s equipment purchases came in under budget, including four Sony HD-500 video cameras positioned around ECTB Stadium at Bicentennial Park. The press box studio includes a Data Video switcher, two microphones, and two monitors: one with a quad-split display of the four camera inputs and one displaying the live streaming program. Eisenberg also employs a Canopus analog to digital converter to feed the video into a laptop PC running Windows Media Encoder software. StreamGuys receives the signal and re-broadcasts the video stream over the team’s website. The RevenueStream service enables the subscriber controls necessary to manage customer access to the stream.
For the 2008 season, Stream Guys charged Philadelphia Force a flat rate plus per-subscriber usage fees for 24 regular games, several exhibition and international games, plus on-demand access to archived video of the last two games played. Philadelphia Force was able to retain 100 percent of the revenue from subscriptions priced at $3 per game, $8 per series, and $20 to watch the entire season.
“Because time and money were both very tight, we did absolutely no advertising or marketing. Despite that, we quickly had 500 people who paid to hit the stream, most of whom chose to pay $20 for the entire season,” Eisenberg said. “I soon realized that our subscriber base included international fans from countries like China, Chinese Taipei, Australia, Japan, Italy, Canada and The Netherlands where interest in the sport runs very high.” Subscribers also included fans in the stadium who wanted to tune in during the games to hear Eisenberg’s play-by-play broadcast over their laptops.
Based upon the overwhelmingly positive reception and impressive revenues generated from fans worldwide, Philadelphia Force intends to continue working with StreamGuys—expanding the scope of its streaming media content as well as selling commercial sponsorships—during the 2009 season beginning June 1, 2009. Eisenberg intends to expand the video streaming service’s program content to include ondemand archive of every game and video clips of players’ clinics offering tips and techniques. He also plans to add a Pre-Game, Wrap-Up, and Score Board show, all three of which would be advertiser supported, as well as 30 second commercials at the top and bottom of each inning.
“We anticipate that during our 2009 season, this video streaming venture will realize a return on investment, and from that point on, will become our primary source of revenue—outpacing ticket and team merchandise sales,” said Eisenberg. “This service is bringing much needed revenue into our cashstrapped organization while giving this sport’s passionate fans around the world a virtual seat at our live games.”
“We’re projecting that we can generate an additional $3,000 per game just from commercial sponsorships during 2009, which will speed us to our breakeven point and promote greater profitability. We also anticipate generating new revenue by offering live streaming of games for other NPFP teams as well as other regional and college teams’ games—with the goal of expanding this service to become the ‘Philadelphia Force Online TV Network,’” said Eisenberg.
“I can’t say enough great things about StreamGuys and the service they provide. They are helping us generate significant amounts of new revenue, while raising the profile of our team and sport worldwide,” Eisenberg said. “StreamGuys treated us as if we were the N.Y. Yankees, at a price that was not out of our league.”