I don’t pay attention, but I heard something about paying for eSports?

So this is totally random of me to post, and I’ll admit, I have paid little to no attention to this whole discussion because I don’t pay a ton of attention to gaming anymore minus the hours I waste after work late at night on League of Legends/DotA 2/World of Warcraft/NHL 12. However, I still follow all the big dogs in gaming to see what’s happening in the world I spent about five years in. I keep seeing things about “monetizing” eSports, and I heard LordJerith ranted about it on his last podcast, etc.

After all of that, I kept seeing people say they won’t pay for it, or they can’t afford it, or some other stupid excuse. I mean…do people realize how much money we all spend anyway? I just sit here and think about the stack of games I have next to my two 360’s and PS3, and realize I’ve probably spent well over $1,000 on games alone in the past few years (20 new games is $1,200 at $60 a pop). Take out the subscriptions I pay, my high speed internet so I have no lag, and Lord knows how much I’ve spent traveling to events over my lifetime, and people are complaining about paying to watch gaming?

When watching MLG events while conversing with my friends, I keep hearing ads going off in the background, or them complaining about how crappy the SD quality is because they don’t want to pay. It’s almost worth the $30 a YEAR to hear them whine event after event.

So the whole idea of PPV has come up, and people are throwing around numbers like $25 an event or something (keep in mind, UFC is $55 for HD per event) and how no one will pay that. UFC has what, like 10-15 events a year compared to MLG’s 4? (let it be known, I am not a big UFC fan, and the little bit I watch is what is on FX or Fox) But where was UFC a few years ago compared to now? UFC is huge, and I’d be willing to just take a shot in the dark and say that PPV revenue has something to do with it.

My first point is – why does it have to be per event? Why can’t you add something to the gold membership for MLG (using MLG as an example) to allow a package to watch events on PPV? ESPN GamePlan (their college football package) is $115 for a whole season. That gets you all the PPV games (smaller market games, or when big teams play little teams) for 13 or so weeks, which is about $9 a week. If you just get a single Saturday’s worth of games, it’s $29.99, so we’re talking about a huge discount if you just get the whole package. Can you not do that for gaming? Instead of $25 an event, you pay $50-$60 for the season or something (which is like a year of XBL gold, or one game).

My second point is – all the loving eSports and kumbaya in the world isn’t going to get the money flowing like it should. Advertising and sponsors are one thing, but paying for something you love is another. You spend enough money as it is, why wouldn’t you spend it where it really counts?

I mean, the money wouldn’t only go to increasing prize pools, but it would also allow for better equipment for better quality (so you can watch it on your TV and make it worth it), maybe adding more games, allowing for just more of everything we all want, and always seem to complain about when we don’t get. The bottom line is pay for what you want. Things you really want don’t come free in this world, if you want it, you have to pay and work for it. I am by no means saying you just have to open your wallets and let the rest automatically happen, but you can’t just sit around and hope something happens for you without putting a little initiative into it yourself.

Anyway, back to work…so I can make money…to buy stuff with.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.