Cable Network Proposal


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This is a detailed proposal for a cable network that was written for a media programming course.

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Cable Network Proposal

  1. 1. Executive Summary The purpose of this paper is to outline a proposal for a new cable network, which will betitled “Knockout TV.” The network will be dedicated to providing 24/7 coverage of the sport ofboxing, and has been created in an effort to raise awareness of and grow the sport of boxing. Included in this proposal are the reasons why the network will be successful andprofitable, an explanation of the audience that the network will be trying to reach, how thenetwork will position itself to consumers, the importance of the network having strong andcredible talent, what the network will have to do in order to be better than its competition, anexhaustive list of the programs that will drive the network’s success, and ways in which thenetwork will integrate other media besides television into their programming. Other minor topics that this proposal will touch on include how the network will planand schedule their programs, how it will sell its programs to advertisers, and the tools that thenetwork will use perpetually to evaluate its programming and use of other media. This proposal will go in-depth with regard to the technology that Knockout TV will use,specifically the use of 3D technology. This is a market that has not been tapped to its fullestpotential, which creates a tremendous opportunity for any network that has the type ofprogramming that would be compelling if viewed on a 3D technology. The evaluation of Knockout TV will be based on advertising revenue, Nielsen ratings,Web traffic, and responses from electronic surveys that will be distributed periodically tosubscribers of the network’s weekly online newsletter. [1]
  2. 2. Programming Strategy Boxing has been a major part of the American sports scene for nearly a century. Eventhough it is a popular sport and a big-money sport, it does not get as much coverage as otherpopular American sports. If horse racing, golf and tennis all have cable and satellite networksdedicated to providing 24/7 coverage of the sport to their fans, then there is no reason why thefans of boxing shouldn’t have a network dedicated solely to covering their sport. Up until 1975, every major prize fight was televised through a terrestrial televisionstation such as CBS or NBC. When HBO televised the Thrilla in Manila in 1975 between JoeFrazier and Muhammad Ali, however, everything began to change for the sport. The Thrilla inManila is considered by many to have been the greatest heavyweight fight of all time andunfortunately, it was not seen live by anyone who did not have access to such premium cablenetworks. Ever since the advent of premium cable networks such as Home Box Office (HBO) andShowtime, the best events that the sport has to offer have only been available to consumers ata premium price. While cable networks such as ESPN and regional sports networks such as FSNcarry some boxing events, none of them have coverage that is up to snuff with the coveragethat HBO and Showtime provide. On top of that, FSN and ESPN tend to only show fighters thatare either washed-up or have yet to make any sort of name for themselves. This is why anetwork that provides 24/7 coverage of the sport will have a good chance at being successful ifit provides enough meaningful content to satisfy advertisers and their target audience. The name of the cable network will be “Knockout TV.” It is important that the networkdoesn’t get branded as “KOTV,” because of the fact that it could lead to legal issues since KOTV [2]
  3. 3. is the ABC station that is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The goal of this network will be to give fansof boxing a reliable source for boxing news, event coverage, and profiles of current and retiredboxers. Target and Core Audiences When you watch a major boxing match on pay-per-view, you tend to see a lot of oldermen dressed up in nice suits sitting near the ring. While this may seem like it is the sport’s“biggest” audience, it is a little misleading to say that these are the individuals that Knockout TVneeds to specifically target. Some of the programming that the network will air will beappealing to this demographic, most of the programming will be aimed at a younger and lessaffluent demographic. Most of the programming that will be aimed at an upscale audience will be produced in3D, since it isn’t very likely that many households within our target and core audiences will haveeasy access to 3D television technology. The target audience that Knockout TV will be trying to reach will be primarily composedof men aged 18 to 40, who have access to networks such as HBO and Showtime, and whooccasionally purchase major prize fights via pay-per-view. The core audience will consist of males aged 24 to 36 who are avid followers of thesport, and regularly purchase major prize fights on pay-per-view. Knockout TV will have to keepthis audience satisfied and get into the channel repertoire of these peoplein order to be viableand sustainable. [3]
  4. 4. Planning and Scheduling Knockout TV will air a wide variety of programs focused on the sport of boxing. Theseprograms will include pre and post-fight coverage of major boxing events, a nightly show thatdiscusses news and other events taking place in the world of boxing, live coverage of secondand third-tier professional fights, and digitally re-mastered replays of historical fights. There will also be a weekly show titled “Boxing Magazine.” Boxing Magazine is a 30minute show that will show highlights of fights from the previous week, profiles of currentboxers who are preparing for fights in the coming weeks, An innovative show that Knockout TV will show will cover everything that goes behindthe “gambling” part of the sport. It will be a weekly ½ hour program that goes into detail aboutwhat goes on during the days and hours leading up to major fights at casinos in Las Vegas andAtlantic City. Salability and Profitability This network should be an easy enough sell to cable and satellite systems, as they caninclude it in a tier that has networks such as ESPN2, NFL Network, and NBA TV. If this networkwere made available via DirecTV, I would want to put it on channel number 219, as this wouldbe right in line with most of the other sports networks that DirecTV carries. An issue that could come up in the area of salability and profitability is the fact that itwill be difficult to maintain an audience during live events since the network may have to takecommercial breaks in between rounds in order to generate revenue. A way to combat thiswould be by having companies sponsor different rounds throughout the fight, and have their [4]
  5. 5. logo superimposed on the screen. Still, this could lead to problems because if you sell a “round”to 12 different advertisers and the fight only lasts 6 rounds, you could have problems. When it comes to our target and core audiences, something that will sell is sex. Themajority of the individuals we are trying to target will be men, so if you can find a way to putbeautiful women in front of them, they will stay tuned. In between rounds, if we can show thering girls carrying the sign that shows what round it is around the ring instead of showing whatis going on in each boxer’s corner, viewers will be more likely to stay tuned. Some of the advertisers that will be willing to purchase ad space will be beer companiessuch as Budweiser, Coors Light, and Miller Lite, automobile companies, Gatorade, and othercompanies that typically advertise during sporting events. Knockout TV will also use productplacement advertisements during some of their programs. They will also have certaincompanies sponsor some of the programs, such as “Kellerman’s Korner presented byGatorade.” 3D programs will be more salable to upscale brands since the majority of the viewerswill have higher income levels than viewers in the primary audience. Some brands thatKnockout TV should be able to sell itself to will be male enhancement distributors such asViagra and Cialis, upscale automakers such as Lexus, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz, and expensivealcohol brands such as Hennessey, Bacardi, and Grey Goose. Competition For live boxing events, no network provides better coverage than HBO. They haveexcellent broadcasters and analysts, excellent camera angles, excellent music, and the overallflow of their broadcasts are very smooth. In order for Knockout TV to be successful, it will have [5]
  6. 6. to find ways to make their coverage of live fights as good as HBO. This could be difficult,however, since Knockout TV will have to air commercials during most of their live broadcasts.Unlike HBO, the network won’t have the luxury of having the cost to produce and distributetheir broadcasts partially offset by subscriber fees. Since most major fights are broadcast through an HBO channel, Knockout TV will haveto find ways to offer fans better pre and post-fight coverage of those events that ESPN. Whenthe fight is over, people will want more coverage, and frankly, ESPN does not do a very goodjob of covering boxing. This is something that Knockout TV will have to capitalize on if it is goingto be successful. A big challenge for Knockout TV will be the ability to come up with video of pay-per-viewevents. Production companies do not release footage of the fights to other media outletsbecause of the fact that it will cheapen the value of paying to watch the event live. Instead,most networks show only still photographs of the fight when they are analyzing it. This is theroute Knockout TV will have to go, unless they can work out a deal with the pay-per-viewproduction companies that would allow them to show actual footage of the event. If anagreement were reached, it would come with a big price tag for Knockout TV. As of right now, there is very little competition in the 3D sports broadcasting industry.This is another area where Knockout TV can capitalize by producing and distributing live eventsusing 3D technology. 3D technology is still in the introductory stages of the product life cycle, so it won’tmake a lot of sense to pour large amounts of money into producing programs right away, but it [6]
  7. 7. won’t be a bad idea for the network to consider producing a live 3D broadcast once a month fora few months in order to gauge how much potential 3D technology has for the network. Product Differentiation Knockout TV will be different from the competition in that they will be the only networkthat is dedicated to covering the sport of boxing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other sportsnetworks such as ESPN cover boxing, but they do not do a very good job of covering the sport.This is something that Knockout TV will have to capitalize on if it is going to be successful. The network will use several scheduling techniques to compete with other specializedspots networks, including blunting and lead-in. The network won’t be able to usecounterprogramming as a strategy because they will not be producing any programs that arethe exact opposite of what ESPN, FSN, NFL Network, and NBA TV air. Even though ESPN produces and distributes some of their programs using 3Dtechnology, the market for 3D sports programming is still somewhat un-tapped. This is an areawhere Knockout TV will have a lot of potential to grow and make itself better than thecompetition. If the network can produce and distribute 3D programming in an efficient manner,it will set the bar higher for all networks that air live sports programming. Positioning Since the products that Knockout TV will be selling to its advertisers and audienceappeal primarily to a male audience, it will need to be positioned as a “tough and manly”network. The positioning statement for Knockout TV will be “All the boxing you want, fromsoup to nuts.” This positioning statement will be fitting for the audience that the network willbe trying to appeal to, because “soup to nuts” is an idiom that signifies a sense of toughness, [7]
  8. 8. and since boxing is a sport that is viewed by many as a “tough” sport, so this positioningstatement will fit the network very well. In order for Knockout TV to achieve this positioning, they will have to use appropriatemusic, visual aids, and use language during their broadcast that will appeal to their targetaudience. Since most major boxing events take place in Las Vegas, this is where the network’sprimary studio and business offices will be located. It will be an attractive place for talent tolive, and will be more cost-effective for the network as they won’t have to spend a great deal ofmoney to travel to the site of a major event. In order for the network to accomplish its goals in reaching its target audience, it willhave to show some things that most sports networks don’t show during live events. Forexample, one of the most important parts of a live boxing event occurs when each fighter isshown in their corner in between rounds. Sometimes, the images are very gruesome and thereis a lot of inappropriate language picked up by microphones. While this may not be appealing toeveryone who is watching the event, it adds to the drama of the broadcast. Since Knockout TV wants to have as many appeals as possible during their programs, thenetwork will have to add some sort of sex appeal to its broadcasts. Since the network istargeting a male audience, one of the best ways to do this would be by having an attractivefemale reporter as a part of all of their live broadcasts and studio shows, and by occasionallyshowing the “ring girls” in between the rounds of live events. [8]
  9. 9. Promotion Before the network is launched, it will have to be promoted through various mediums. Itshould be easy enough to have HBO promote the network during the fights that they show,since HBO doesn’t provide pre and post-event coverage. Knockout TV can produceadvertisements that will be super-imposed on the television screen during segments whenadvertisements are shown. A typical message will include details about the programming thatthe network provides, and a line that says “Contact your cable or satellite provider for detailson how to subscribe to Knockout TV.” The network will promote their 3D broadcasts during its own programs, as well asthrough other media. ProgramsBoxing Axxess The most innovative program that Knockout TV will air will be a program that focuses onwhat happens in the days and hours that lead up to major prize fights. This would be aninteresting program because it will allow viewers to see what goes on behind the scenes in LasVegas as the fights approach. Not only will this program show what is going on in Las Vegascasinos, but it will also show some of the things that are going behind the scenes with eventmanagement, television production crews, and the fighters themselves. There will be somethings that can’t be shown to the public, so Knockout TV will have to do their homework andmake sure they aren’t putting anything that invades privacy or endangers ill will at these eventson television. [9]
  10. 10. It’s possible that this program will be produced and distributed using 3D technology.This will help Knockout TV expand their “footprint” and possibly attract a whole new targetaudience to the network.Rags to Rings This is a show that will chronicle the lives of boxers who had to overcome a lot ofobstacles in order to get to where they are now. This is a show that could create a lot of humaninterest among individuals who want to see what it takes to get to the highest level of boxing.This program would also appeal to a lower-income audience because it will show them that nomatter how bad things may seem, there is always a chance that things can get better. Thiswould also appeal to a younger (12-18) audience because it will also show them the importanceof hard work and persistence in achieving their goals and dreams. This is a show that will alsoappeal to people who are of a lower socioeconomic status. Since this is a program that will appeal to younger viewers and viewers of a lowersocioeconomic status, it won’t make much sense for the network to invest any money inproducing the program using 3D technology.Boxin’ All Over the World Boxin’ All Over the World is a program that will profile boxers from countries outside ofNorth America, and will place an emphasis on the popularity of the sport and of specific fighterswho hail from countries underdeveloped and poor countries. The goal of this program will be to give viewers some sort of insight as to how muchpeople, specifically children, look up to high-profile boxers from their home country. It will alsogive viewers an idea as to what takes place during boxing events in these countries. The [10]
  11. 11. program may have some appeal to a female audience, and will air at 9:00 eastern time onWednesdays, and will re-air at 9:00 pacific time in order to accommodate the west coastaudience. Because there will be a great deal of overhead involved with the production of thisprogram, it is highly unlikely that it will be produces and broadcast using 3D technology untilthe cost of producing 3D programming comes down.Sunday Night Boxing From January 1st until the NFL season kicks off in September, there is very little to watchon Sunday nights in the world of sports. ESPN has Sunday Night Baseball from April untilSeptember, but aside from a few NASCAR races, there are very few programs that are aimed atsports fans. This is why having a program that airs live fights on Sunday nights has the potentialto be successful. The program will begin at 8:00 eastern time, and 3 fights will be shown. This will be anopportunity for the sport to showcase up-and-coming fighters that don’t get much exposure, aswell as established fighters who are trying to get a chance at one of the sport’s coveted titles. Once the Sunday Night event concludes, there will be a 30-minute post-fight show towrap up everything that happened during the event. The event itself will be replayed several times during the week in order to fill up some ofthe hours during the day. It will be replayed at 8:00 pm on Tuesday nights to give anyone whodidn’t get to watch the original broadcast a fair opportunity to see the event in prime time onceagain. [11]
  12. 12. Sunday Night Fights is the primary program that will be produced using 3D technology.It will be produced in 3D once a month for the first year or so of the network’s existence, andfrom there, the network will determine whether or not they should consider producing moreprograms in 3D. An interactive element that will be included in the broadcast of Sunday Night Fights willbe the ability for viewers to vote for the winner of each round via text message. In order to“dangle a carrot” in front of viewers, text voting will be sponsored by an airline or major LasVegas hotel. The purpose of this will be to reward one lucky voter with 2 tickets, airfare, and ahotel room for an upcoming prize fight in Las Vegas. This will give viewers another reason tostay tuned in to the broadcast and have them participate.Classic Fights ESPN Classic always shows replays of classic fights from previous decades. While someof these fights provide nostalgia for viewers who lived during those eras, there isn’t very muchappeal to the younger audience. With that said, the way to make those programs more appealing to a younger audiencewill be to make the presentation style more modern. This can be done by taking the originalfilm of the fight and using modern graphics, modern announcers, and modern audio in order tomake the fight seem like it took place in the contemporary era. It would take a while to producethese programs, but if it is done the correct way, it will be successful.Kellerman’s Korner Max Kellerman is a very insightful personality when it comes to boxing. He has beencovering the sport for many years and has a great deal of knowledge about the sport. He has [12]
  13. 13. hosted his own show in the past, which is why he will be successful in hosting his own nightlyshow on Knockout TV. While Kellerman will be the primary host of the program, he will also be assisted byother personalities and special guests because it would be unreasonable to expect someone tocarry an entire television program by themselves for 60 minutes. In order to counterprogram some of the programs that ESPN and FSN air such asBaseball Tonight, SportsCenter, and The Final Score the show will last for 60 minutes and airbeginning at 10:30 pm eastern time from Monday through Thursday. A special edition of theshow will air following Sunday Night Fights, and begin at 10:30 eastern time. The programwon’t air on Friday or Saturday, since Knockout TV will be airing other programs. The program will also contain an interactive element, as fans will have the opportunityto email questions about the show and have them answered by one or more of the analystsand/or special guests that are co-hosting the show with Kellerman. Another element to this program will be having a 10 to 15 minute sit-down interviewwith the two fighters who will be participating in a major (pay-per-view) prize fight on theThursday before the event. This would only be able to happen if both fighters agreed to do so,however. The interview would be moderated by Kellerman himself. One issue that could arisewith these, however, could be a significant language barrier, especially if you have two fighterswho speak a language other than English. Still, this would give fans of boxing somethingintriguing to watch before a major fight, and could help boost pay-per-view sales of the event ifone of the fighters says something controversial. [13]
  14. 14. Due to the fact that producing 3D programs requires a separate set of cameras and canbe very expensive, it is highly unlikely that the program will be produced using 3D technologyuntil it is more affordable for consumers to access, and more affordable to produce.Women’s Boxing Women’s boxing is something that is very popular amongst men, despite the fact that itis rarely aired on cable sports networks. For whatever be the reason, men seem to enjoywatching two women beat the hell out of each other for 3 minutes at a time, even though mosttraditional women don’t find it very attractive. Women’s boxing will air every Friday night because that will be a good time for all of theguys to get together, have a few beers, and unwind after a long, hard week at work. Eventhough Friday night is the worst night of the week for TV, a program like this would have thepotential to be successful because in addition to being aired in people’s homes, it can be airedin sports bars such as Buffalo Wild Wings. Since this is a show that will be aimed at an older and more mature audience, it willlikely air at 9:00 or 10:00 eastern time so that it will be less likely to be viewed by youngeraudiences. The show will be replayed at 9:00 or 10:00 pacific time in order to accommodate theviewers on the west coast. The program will be re-aired at least twice during the week in order to give viewers whomissed the original broadcast the opportunity to watch it or DVR the event. Once 3D technology has fully penetrated the market, it is very likely that these eventswill be produced and distributed in 3D. There is a small possibility that one of the broadcastswill be produced in 3D within the first year of the network’s existence, but that will be [14]
  15. 15. dependent upon the success of Sunday Night Fights and the success of 3D programs that areproduced and distributed by other networks.Pre- and Post-Fight Coverage of Major Fights Even though most major fights are covered by ESPN, they are not covered as extensivelyas other major events. This is due in part to the fact that the individuals who will be viewing thefight will be doing so at a premium price, and thus, they aren’t as well-represented as viewersof other major sporting events. Before the event starts, the pay-per-view companies are doing everything they can topromote the event and get cable and satellite subscribers to pay for the event. A live show thatbuilds up the event will be a great tool for the cable and satellite companies to use to enticecustomers to pay $50-$75 for the event. Knockout TV could charge the cable and satellitecompanies to run a crawl at the bottom of the screen that says “To Order Pacquiao vs.Margarito, call 1-800-DIRECTV Now!” Following the event, avid followers of boxing don’t always have a good source to go tofor coverage of the fight. ESPN provides some coverage, but it isn’t nearly up to snuff with thecoverage they give to the NFL, NBA, MLB, and college football and basketball. This will giveKnockout TV a huge opportunity to draw viewers to their network. Something that has to be considered when airing post-fight coverage is that it probablywon’t be viewed by a great deal of people who live in the eastern and central time zones. Mostof the fights will end at 1:00 AM and 12:00 AM, respectively, so it won’t be feasible to expectthem to stay up and watch more coverage of the event. [15]
  16. 16. In order to accommodate viewers in the eastern and central time zones, Knockout TVwill air an encore presentation of the post-fight show beginning at 9:00 AM eastern time, andrepeating every hour the following morning. Since most fights take place on Saturday nights, itwill make the most sense to start the encore presentation at this time because it will allow thepeople who viewed the fight the night before to sleep in, and will give them something towatch on Sunday morning. It is highly unlikely that pre and post-fight coverage of major events will be producedusing 3D technology because of the fact that 3D programs are very expensive to produce, and itis not known whether or not the program would generate enough revenue to justify 3Dproduction costs. Talent Having the right on-air talent is something that will be vital to the success of KnockoutTV. Like any other sports network, Knockout TV will have to hire analysts and broadcasters whoare knowledgeable of the sport. There are several knowledgeable individuals out there, but themost important person for Knockout TV to have will be Max Kellerman. Kellerman serves as a color commentator for HBO and is very insightful about the sport.He has a great broadcasting style and doesn’t make the broadcast about himself. If all goes asplanned, he will have a nightly show titled “Kellerman’s Korner” where news from the world ofboxing will be analyzed, and upcoming events will be previewed. In addition to Kellerman, the network will need to make sure that they hire theappropriate people to give play-by-play commentary. Three individuals who provide great play-by-play commentary for the sport are Jim Lampley, Bob Papa, and Gus Johnson. There are other [16]
  17. 17. capable announcers who will be hired by Knockout TV, but the trio of Lampley, Papa, andJohnson will be our “Big Three,” similar to how Mike Breen, Mike Tirico, and Dan Schulman arethe “Big Three” NBA announcers for ESPN and ABC. Fans of a sport ant the people who analyze the events they watch to be credible andknowledgeable about the sport. A true fan will know whether or not someone knows what theyare talking about, so in order for the network to be taken serious by both the target and coreaudience, Knockout TV will have to ensure that they hire analysts who have experience and areknowledgeable about the sport. In order to make this happen, the network will also recruit retired boxers and boxingtrainers to provide insight about the sport. The more knowledgeable the talent is, the morecredible the network itself will be, not only in the eyes of the target and core audiences, but inthe eyes of sports fans in general. Since most of the programming that Knockout TV will be airing is aimed at a maleaudience, it will be important for the network to have at least one good-looking female as apart of every live broadcast. This will add a degree of sex appeal to their programming, and mayhelp the audience stay tuned in longer if they are “teased” and told that the good-lookingfemale will be giving her special report following the commercial break. Syndication Some of the programming that Knockout TV will air will be syndicated from othernetworks. HBO airs a program called “24/7” in which two fighters who will be facing each other ina major fight are followed by a camera crew for 4 or 5 weeks leading up to the fight. Knockout [17]
  18. 18. TV could air each separate episode of “24/7” periodically, and then show the actual fight onceall episodes have been aired.- Tiering Since most specialized sports networks such as the NFL Network, NBA TV, and FoxSoccer Channel are part of an extended basic package, this is where Knockout TV will also fall.Most people who have a niche for a certain sport and go out of their way to watch it are willingto do so at a premium price. The 3D tier of the network will be made available to cable and satellite companies, butthe network will only air a handful of 3D events once it is launched. This will allow the networkto gauge how well the 3D broadcasts are doing in terms of viewership and revenue generation,and will allow the network to determine whether or not there is enough demand for 3Dprogramming to justify producing more programs. Technology Every program that is produced by Knockout TV will be available in high definition. Thisis very important because most sports fans won’t watch a live event if it isn’t available in highdefinition. Some of the live programs that the network airs will be made available in 3D. This willbe somewhat challenging, however, as 3D programs have to be produced separate from thenormal standard and high definition broadcasts, and have to be aired on a separate channel.Because of this, Knockout TV will only air one 3D broadcast per month, and may produce moreas time goes along and 3D televisions become more affordable to consumers and 3D programsbecome more affordable to produce. [18]
  19. 19. As of right now, most 3D televisions range from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on thebrand and size of the television. This is something that doesn’t fit well with the budgets ofKnockout TV’s audience, however, it will give the network an opportunity to market itself to amore upscale audience. During 3D broadcasts, EVERYTHING will have to be done perfectly. Knockout TV will betrying to maintain the upscale audience, so they will need to choose advertisers that appeal tothis audience. Some of the companies that they may consider selling themselves to are maleenhancement pill distributors such as Viagra and Cialis, upscale alcohol companies such asHennessey and Grey Goose, and upscale automakers such as Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. The network will also have to ensure that their talent will be using the right languageand will be showing some of the “behind the scenes” things that go on during the fight. Oneidea would be to show the ring girls walking around the ring and holding up the sign thatindicates what round is coming up. In order to measure the success of 3D programming, various methodologies will have tobe used. The easiest way to measure the success of the programming will be to look at thepenetration of 3D television subscriptions in various markets. This can be done by gatheringdata from cable and satellite systems such as DirecTV, Dish Network, and Comcast, and thenlooking at the ratings of 3D programming. This will be an accurate method because it will givethe network an idea of the penetration rate of 3D televisions, and show them whether or notthey are doing a good enough job of promoting the network. [19]
  20. 20. Other Media Used By Knockout TV As is the case with most other television networks, Knockout TV will use a wide varietyof media in addition to television. The most prevalent media that the network will use will be various forms of onlinemedia. The network will have a web site, with a URL of This Web site willcontain loads of information about the network itself, profiles of all Knockout TV personalities,and profiles of several boxers, past and present. The Web site will also offer a wide variety of audio and visual content, such as livewebcasts of press conferences before major fights, replays of original Knockout TV programs,such as Boxing Axxess and Rags to the Ring, bonus segments of “Kellerman’s Korner,” andadditional analysis about fights that were covered by Knockout TV and on pay-per-view. Inorder for this content to be viable and worth the time that will be but in to it, it will benecessary for Knockout TV to have 30-second advertisements shown before the content itself isbroadcast to the viewer. In order to place some sort of value on watching the events the firsttime they air on television, none of the episodes of “Boxing Axxess” and “Rags to the Ring” willbe made available online until 3-5 days after the original broadcast. Each program that Knockout TV airs will have its own section on the Web site. Withineach section, there will be some sort of interactive element that will enhance the program. Inaddition to television ratings, tools such as Google Analytics will be used to evaluate the successof every program. If a program is getting high ratings and generating a decent amount of Webtraffic, chances are that the program will not change and will stick to the same formula until the [20]
  21. 21. network determines that they need to pull the plug on the program or find ways to make theprogram more appealing to the audiences they are trying to reach. The Web site will also host weekly live chats involving network personalities such asMax Kellerman, Jim Lampley, and George Foreman. This will be another way to generate moretraffic for the Web site, and will give viewers the opportunity to get insight from networkpersonalities in a unique way. In addition to the insight that will be given by Knockout TV personalities, there will be asection dedicated to boxing writers, and a section where there will be a discussion forum whereviewers of the network can discuss boxing news and other events related to the sport. Another interactive element that will be integrated into live Knockout TV broadcasts willbe the ability of viewers to vote for the winner of each round via text message. This will giveviewers another reason to stay tuned in to the broadcast, and if some sort of contesting isinvolved, it will give them more of a reason to participate in voting via text message. Anexample of a contest that Knockout TV could use during their live broad cast would be havingan airline or hotel chain sponsor the text voting, and selecting one random winner to receive 2tickets, airfare, and a hotel room for an upcoming major prize fight. It won’t be feasible to do acontest like this on a regular basis, so the people who text their vote for the winner will have tobe entered into a large pool of contestants that will be accumulated over a specified period oftime. Having enhanced coverage of live events may be an option that Knockout TV willconsider, but since the network is a subscription network and not an over-the-air network likeNBC, CBS, and ABC, enhanced coverage of live events will be very limited. An idea would be to [21]
  22. 22. consider showing the first round of a fight online, then going back to the studio for round two,showing round three live, and so on. If the online viewers (who are presumed to not haveaccess to the network via television) are impressed with the coverage but want to have theopportunity to watch the entire event, they may be enticed to call their cable or satellitenetwork and upgrade their service and pay for a tier that will allow them to have Knockout TV. Network Evaluation In order to evaluate the overall success of the network, several steps will need to betaken over a long period of time. The first of these steps will be to evaluate the network’s ratings through Nielsen. Thiswill be important for programs like Boxing Axxess and Rags to the Ring, because of there isn’tenough viewership for those programs, the network will have to consider producing newprograms that will appeal to its target audience. If programs such as Kellerman’s Korner, SundayNight Fights, and Women’s Boxing aren’t getting very good ratings, the network will have tofigure out what it needs to do in order to create a larger audience for those programs, as theyare the programs that will drive the success of the network. Another tool that the network will constantly be evaluating is the success of its Website. Tools such as Google Analytics will be used to analyze web traffic and how long users arestaying on the site. It will also be important to see where visitors to the Web site are locatedgeographically, so that the network can figure out what it needs to do in order to better marketitself to consumers in geographic areas that aren’t generating a lot of Web traffic. This will alsoallow the network to see if there will be potential for the network to be profitable on a global [22]
  23. 23. scale. The Web site will also have a section where viewers will be allowed to submit commentsabout the network, the talent, and the programming that is being aired by the network. The network will allow viewers to sign up for a weekly newsletter. It will be importantfor the network to get as many viewers as possible to sign up for this newsletter in order tobuild a database of Email addresses and physical addresses. If enough physical addresses aregathered, the network could look at the ZIP codes where the most subscribers are located, anduse Claritas, a service that breaks down demographic and psychographic information of certainZIP codes. This information will help the network develop new strategies about how it canmarket itself to the people that are most interested in the network, and where the networkneeds to improve its marketing strategies in order to reach a more broad audience. Having a database of Email addresses will also give the network the opportunity to sendelectronic surveys to individuals who have subscribed to the network. This will allow thenetwork to do more qualitative research about its programming, and find out ways in which itcan improve its programming. The more feedback, the better. So, the network will need todistribute monthly surveys to a random sample of its Email newsletter subscribers. Conclusion Due to the fact that there isn’t a network that is committed to providing 24/7 coverageof the sport of boxing, Knockout TV will have tremendous potential to be successful. Once thenetwork is launched, it will be imperative for the network to constantly be evaluating itsprogramming and monitoring what is being said on its Web page. The network will also have toperpetually evaluate what the court of public opinion is saying about the network, and [23]
  24. 24. evaluating what the primary audience of the network is saying through the electronic surveysthat will be distributed periodically to subscribers of the network’s online newsletter. The biggest market that Knockout TV will have to capitalize on will be the market for 3Dprogramming. This market is expected to grow significantly over the next 5-7 years, so thesooner the network enters the market the better. The network may turn out to be a flop, but if the proper steps are taken to perfect theviewing experience of the target audience, the network will have the potential to fit into thechannel repertoire of its target audience. [24]