Wed

Sep

23

KENTUCKY CUP

Mt. Brilliant Polo LLC

Time TBA

Orchard Hill

Faraway

Wed

Sep

23

NATIONAL PRESIDENT'S CUP

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

5:00 PM ET

Skaneateles

Hardscrabble

Wed

Sep

23

BUTLER INTERNATIONAL

Oak Brook Polo Club

6:00 PM ET

Germany

TBA

Wed

Sep

23

BUTLER INTERNATIONAL

Oak Brook Polo Club

6:00 PM ET

Argentina

TBA

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DAVID CUMMINGS AND THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL POLO TV – AN ARTICLE BY ©CLICKPOLOUSA

Aug 06, 2020 12:21 PM

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David Cummings, CEO of Global Polo Entertainment. ©Diego Cappella.
David Cummings, CEO of Global Polo Entertainment.

Story Courtesy of ©CLICKPOLOUSA.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed even our most basic routines, so when it comes to sports, watching games live is among the many things people miss most. In this context, live broadcasting and livestreaming play a key role. In broadcasting polo, David Cummings is one of the most important figures as he is the CEO of Global Polo Entertainment, a for-profit, wholly owned subsidiary of USPA Global Licensing Inc. David spoke to CLICKPOLOUSA about livestreaming and what the future holds for polo.

“As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on the world of sports, regardless of the sport: football, baseball, tennis, polo or any other sport for that matter. Some sport activities have resumed without spectators. With the development of new satellite technology over the last five years, livestreaming has become most popular due to the reduced cost of production over traditional live broadcasting on CBS, NBC, ESPN and other networks,” said David Cummings. “Currently, most sports organizations do not allow spectators. On the one hand, livestreaming is a real benefit as it offers the polo enthusiast an opportunity to watch the best polo, the best players and their horses via the internet. On the other hand, there is a cost associated with it: pay-per-view.”

Why are Associations now charging for livestreamed games? Is pay-per-view here to stay?

"The cost to produce a live game with filming equipment, which includes a minimum of three to four cameras, satellite packs, a studio with equipment, camera crew and editing staff can run from $4,000 to $5,000+ per game. Especially if you include a drone, instant replay and highlights at the end of each chukker. Regardless of who has the broadcasting rights, the rights holders have no other way to offset their costs in promoting a tournament without charging a subscription fee. Supplemental income from advertisers and sponsors normally is insufficient to cover the livestreaming fees and is hard to come by. The only way to reduce the production costs is to reduce the quality of the production by reducing the number of cameras and extra features afforded with a higher price tag."

"I believe pay-per-view is here to stay. The Asociación Argentina de Polo (AAP) started the livestreaming, pay-per-view process with the 2019 Argentine Open, followed by the Xtreme Polo League (XPL) games and, this year, Cowdray Polo Club (King Power Gold Cup) and Guards Polo Club (Cartier Queen’s Cup) have followed suit in the 2020 season. Without pay-per-view, we would have missed some of the most exciting games of the season."

David Cummings 1 Diego Cappella web

What should the audience expect when they pay to view a live game?

"Most certainly a quality resolution and adequate camera coverage to catch the most exciting moments of the sport, which includes elevated cameras at center field, end zone cameras to capture goals, drone footage and instant replay in slow motion to enjoy the athletic ability of the horse and rider. I believe most fans are willing to pay a premium for this service. Coverage with one elevated camera in center field will not yield the coverage one expects, but then you pay for what you get."

What is the difference between Global Polo TV’s OTT (over-the-top) platform and a regular club's website, and what should the audience expect from Global Polo Entertainment (GPE)?

"Global Polo’s OTT platform is very different from a club's website. Our OTT platform provides for a one-stop shop of the highest resolution and is accessible through various devices, whether an iPad, television, notebook, computer or handheld. The GPE platform can be accessed via Apple TV, iPhone, Android, Android TV, Roku and Fire TV. The club website is only accessible via their website IP address. The OTT is a more expensive platform to maintain but provides a better user experience: easy to access, anytime and anywhere. We want to be the premier OTT polo platform in the world, building relationships with each polo association and high goal club to showcase the best polo, players and horses in the world. Our goal is to do what is in the best interest of the sport, the clubs, the associations and the subscribers."

David Cummings 1 Diego Cappella web

What are Global Polo TV’s short-term, mid-term and long-term goals?

"We have reached our first goal or threshold of 5,000 subscribers. Currently, at 6,800 subscribers, our year-end goal is to reach 10,000. We want to be the one place a polo player or polo spectator can go to find live game content, polo news, videos-on-demand, information on the best horses, player interviews, along with other highlights and short-form content. Coupled with our marketing campaign to promote high-goal polo worldwide alongside our U.S. Polo Assn. brand, we hope to attract more advertisers and sponsors to help underwrite the cost of maintaining our OTT platform."

"Our ultimate goal is to provide year-round content to our subscribers by offering multiple subscription-based packages to include premium annual content, the GAUNTLET OF POLO® and seasonal subscription packages or pay-per-view for domestic and international tournaments. Of course, most of our content, other than livestreamed games, will remain accessible for free. Another important long-term goal is to leverage Global Polo TV to drive non-polo fans into the polo lifestyle by creating custom player and horse content and other relevant stories that are intrinsic to polo. One of our biggest hurdles is to educate the polo audience as to who we are and why they should subscribe, while gaining their acceptance and loyalty."

All photos courtesy of ©Diego Cappella.

USPA

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