Monday, 13 February 2012

Pay Per View: All-in

Leave it to Affentod to summarise MLG's decision to go pay-per-view so succinctly.

It's a secret that everyone with even the slightest insider knowledge knows: MLG is not what it's cracked up to be, financially speaking.  But rather than risk libel action or discuss things i don't pretend to fully understand, i'm going to run some simple numbers.

You see, MLG's pay-per-view scheme might have been inevitable, it might be controversial, but it certainly is not a reasonable investment for someone like me.  $20 for a single event works out at about £12.75 GBP.  For the same amount, i can subscribe to five Sky Sports channels for a month.  Even if i just want to watch football, that's just obviously better value for money.  If you want to claim MLG is a one-off showcase event, well, firstly, i think that's a flawed system to begin with but that's another issue.  Secondly, is it a big enough showcase event to be worth the money?  Having seen every MLG event since they started the PC Circuit with WoW, i'm insulted by own question.  It would take a significant improvement in production values and commentator quality to be worthwhile (part of me just blanches at the thought of paying $20 to listen to Tastosis yell "Ohhhhh!" a lot).

Okay, maybe comparing it to something as well established as Sky Sports isn't fair.  Lets look at something closer to home: GSL.  For $24.99 i can watch an entire season, with arguably better players and far more matches, spread across an entire month.  For $5 more than MLG is charging for a single weekend, i can watch a whole month of high level Starcraft?  There will be people who are willing and able to pay for both, sure, but that's not the point.  At least GSL lets my broke-ass watch bad quality for free, MLG won't even let me do that at their Winter Arena.

Even if i had the money to spare, MLG has placed itself a long way down my list of priorities.  If i was going to put my money into esports it would be as far from MLG as i could put it.  This is yet another gamble, and eventually MLG will surely run out of chips.  If they don't pull this off - and previous form isn't great - the backlash that is so deserved might finally begin.  The hype will be seen for what it is.  Where are the non-American events that were not quite promised, Sundance?  Where is the GotFrag revival that was not quite promised?  MLG might really be going all-in with this, and if consumer uptake isn't good enough, the cost of the event could break the bank.

No comments:

Post a Comment