Promoting Pay Per View: Why Cable Companies Fail

Benedicte Guichard | Wed Aug 26 2015 | Industry insights


Lower tier OTT services

When you’ve got a pay-per-view event you want people to watch, the most important thing to start doing is promoting it; making your target viewers aware that what you’re broadcasting is interesting and available through you.

The industry is now seeing a huge change in the way viewers are buying their PPV tickets, as many larger commercial companies are starting to lose out to newer, more accessible online sources.

PPV events numbers

In a recent study by DigitalSmiths, only 11% of viewers purchased pay-per-view from their cable provider and this indicates a real seed-change in the way viewers get access to videos. In fact, the number of people who used this in a relatively high quantity (at an almost 70% majority) would order between just one and four events every year.Since the advent of easy access on demand content and pay per view events being readily available, the shift away from the more mainstream cable companies is clear.

PPV purchases from cable TV providers

Source: DigitalSmiths

A staggering 89.1% of respondents showed that when purchasing a PPV event, they would never consider their satellite service. In fact, the numbers for those that do start to dwindle out when the number of purchases exceed 7, with an average of 3% of those using commercial services.

Commercial failure

Industry experts are stunned by these findings, citing that it is common practice for these TV providers to target PPV towards customers they know are likely to buy it. Though they don’t undertake blanket-style advertisement to their entire subscriber base, the wealth of information and data they have access to would hint at personalized advertisements.

An example put forward would be the new Ultimate Fighter TV show, with some questioning why the targeted ads commonly employed don’t appear to be working.

Why? Because these satellite and cable companies don’t employ sophisticated discovery platforms that allow them to understand the connections between what a viewer has previously watched, and what they’re likely to buy in the future.

For the Mayweather/Pacquiao boxing match, it would have been in the power of discovery platforms to determine the subscribers likely to purchase the PPV event; using a mixture of data including the subscriber’s behaviour, device, and demographic.

These findings by DigitalSmiths suggest 11 genres that would have been perfect examples to promote the boxing match to; from Urban to Action, Horror to Live Action, having an understanding of the trends of viewers would have helped market the live event to existing commercial TV subscribers.

Well know fact : Facebook benefits from a massive number of worldwide user. That means it holds a huge potential for a large market. The inability of large commercial entities to coordinate their marketing with the statistics they already own meant they lost out to non-cable providers 9 out of 10 times.

Selling PPV in future?

Independent publishers, or those that use the clear advantage afforded to them by online traction are garnering far more attention from people interested in paying for PPV events. Their access to more fluid marketing, the experience how to sell live PPV events and understanding of how the industry reacts means that live events are far more likely to see their viewer base come from an online source.

People are moving away from traditional avenues for content, and are increasingly relying on newer and easier to access platforms like online content providers. As the report shows, PPV event just don’t get noticed on satellite and cable TV.


Create your first live PPV event and start cashing in:

Get started, absolutely FREE!

Cleeng SRM Product