I also would like polo was more popular. and its a great idea to have a polo tv channel, especialy because the few programs that cover this great sport stay on the air only during the high season. But I think that its difficult to get enough sponsors to support the cost of a 24/7 TV channel, especially because there are not a big public in one country so the channel would have to be sold to many country (translation problems in the middle) in order to get a good amount of viewers. Another problem Its to produce enough material, that only could be done covering events all over the world.
I think that it would be a good idea to start with a online tv channel, in which all of us contribute with material from there own country with much more less cost.
Maybe someone could give some ideas to over come the problems I see.
I thank you for the detailed reply and I am sure we all polo players and lovers just want the game to have more international exposure, yeah and frankly we are capable enough to make that happen. The channel idea can be that medium and as the equestrian sports do have a big international audience we may be able to find an exact strategy to materialize. Just let us keep thinking yeah.
I await your further thoughts on this.
Thanks my friend.
The idea of a Polo Channel is great, but it’s not such an easy sell to the major networks and one needs a network to transmit it!
In 1998/9 I worked very hard with my TV Production Company in Pinewood, UK, to bring Polo to the mainstream media. Kenny Jones also worked at the same time to bring some coverage to cable TV. My idea was to do a "fly on the wall" type documentary series, (which was all the rage at the time before "reality TV" overload) to bring polo to a wider audience. The problem one has with polo is that it is not broad demographic and therefore would only draw a very small audience. That means the viewing ratings would not be considered sufficient for the commissioning network to justify the budget required. Why is Polo not likely to draw wide audiences at this point in time? Because unlike football where the audience have some kind of "lovestory" with the main characters/players, very few viewers understand the game of Polo, or are familiar with the characters involved.
My program intended to make Polo more accessible for the viewer, while at the same time making the viewer familiar with the "sexy" characters and the exciting lifestyle surrounding polo, rather like formula One racing. larger non playing audiences will never follow transmisssions of polo as a sport, if they are not first drawn into the glamour and excitment of it all. That is why we need to introduce polo through lifestyle programming first in order to "sell" Polo as a fun, exciting and desirable product. It is this that turns the sponsors on to opening their wallets and endorsing your polo programs.
Polo is covered in Argentina, but I have to say the format, presentation and perspective is not only static but rather boring.
Channel 4 UK did cover The Gold Cup Final (UK) in 1999 and I also think some of The Queens Cup final (UK) and Cartier was included on Terrestrial TV, but it was more of an experiment that sort of fell flat on its face, due to lack of follow-up polo programming to keep the momentum going. Kenny Jones also workd very hard and got some Polo covered by Sky Sports on cable.
I did get a bite from the BBC at the time, but only with the condition that it includes some "name" Royals and "Cartier". Seeing as the Royal family are not permitted to do open business deals with the media, it became very difficult, to close a deal with the network by ensuring Royal participation. Especially as even though I had an "event" which included the P.O.W. I could not possibly put that in writing, as it would create difficult consequences for my "intermediators".
We also had another major setback to production when Prince Edwards TV Production Company Ardent, twisted arms at Guards Polo Club when they attempted to monopolise all filming of the sport in documentary form at Guards Polo Club. I also discovered well into my program that I was no longer able to include The headliner polo event Cartier, even though I had previously been given access, as Ardent had at the last minute, done a deal with Guards Polo Club (where the event is hosted) to keep exclusive hold of this event to the exclusion of all other documentary makers! The sad thing is, I lost my program, well into production due to this and yet Ardent failed to capitalise on their good fortune and make a production out of their exclusivity of this glamorous event and Club. Such a waste! So Waseem, the idea of a Polo Sports Channel is absolutely great, but the power politics involved in making it happen is a bloody nightmare!
Hi Laurence, It is always a pleasure to read your most detailed observations on an issue.
This is what I felt when I started polo as the player is having such a great level of excitement that one thinks that polo should be the most popular game in the world!!!!! but your observations on the lack of charisma in polo (which sadly is the only option to attract the audience) is the main obstacle which requires a thinking to overcome. As obseved by you that we need to creat/develope that before we can attract our audience.Some short term strategies are required for this and these could be disscussed between us, may be like linking PCW with every equestrian site/ creating links with the top viewed sites/ marketing on the same sites etc etc and propagating and uploading maximum videos of these charismatic event videos on medias like YouTube.
Well it is a fact that the polo community is having all the resources needed ($$$$$$$) to make it happen but if we are interested enough to do it!!!
Lets see if the polo community likes the polo to be an internationl marketable sport or.....
Shukria Laurence for sharing your experiences with us.
Now there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
Why not start with having some polo footage in equestrian programs?
Or even have a polo program on a equestrian TV?
Now the thing that's really important for TV is that you need a big audience watching.
And there is the problem.
A lot of people think polo is only an "Elite's" game, just for the rich people.
Do you think you can get a lot of people watch a sport which they are told by the media they will never be able to play even on amateur scale because you're not an elite.
And this is mostly happening in europe i think.
-Would you watch a sport/game you know you'll never be able to play even on small scale. (golf, sailing, F1, etc)
All these sports are kind of "accessible" to everyone even if they remain expensive even on small scale.
Now the thing is we need to make this sport look accessible if we want to get people involved in this sport.
You know, nobody was thinking to play golf, or even horse riding 40years ago if they weren't "rich".
What do you think about this?
I'll be pleased to hear your version about this.
And please don't be mad at me if i've hurt your feelings. ;)
I'm just being objective to this point i think.
... Hi everybody... A TV POLO Channel is a realy a great idea... But is also true then... Polo are not so popular and we need a lot of material to support a cost...
The first opportunity will be TV one line and some serial about: sexy players ( rich & no rich people) with amazing life's around the world ... If some one want to writte a pilote ???? Am there :)