Broadcasting/Networking

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Question
Patrick

I have already read some of the responses regarding starting up a television network. My background in summary is a BS in Broadcasting, worked for television stations in Midwest, worked for major satellite DBS provider, earth station work on the east coast, sports venue production, corporate video productions and currently doing some freelance production with my own equipment, albeit giving service away as part of marketing strategy.

The network I want to build is based upon an industry that exists in every state and an industry that is vital to everyone, but few people realize its importance. By actually stating the industry and with a little internet research it would become very obvious. I am doing social media (both on a business and personal level) and networking myself with what little budget I have.

I eventually want grow the business to the level of an ESPN, CNN, etc. I do realize that takes serious money. The business plan is written, financials are done, elevator speech in hand, power point ready. Trying to find high net worth individuals (angel investors) as most all venture capital folks will not give the time of day.

Like most entrepreneurs I have to work a full time day job and my passion. Where to track down serious money within the broadcast industry that is seeking to earn ROI on original program content? Networking is the key and selling me and pitching the idea to the right folks. However networking to that level is near impossible. How to expand upon networking to “join the club”? How to establish these relationships? How to break that glass ceiling?

Any help is appreciated.

Answer
Hey Patrick.....

Please excuse my long delay in responding....

I am sure I have a real answer for you here as you are correct - there is a glass ceiling and the people above it are major players. For you to get a slot on Comcast or Cox or Time Warner or Dish or Direct wold require some major legal work as well one heck of an idea that is bought into by some major players.

I am not blessed with those kind of contacts, so I can only serve as a voice to assist you - as if you were me...If it was my idea, and you had a limited budget, I might be looking into more of an Internet TV channel. Then if you were extremely successful, you could definitely take that track record as proof of your success...

But looking right now for a benefactor or business partner becomes a little like the TV show "Shark Tank"....where you have an idea and need some capital from a major investor and as to what you are interested in attempting to give up to get that money. You will need to identify and pitch the people that are legitimately responsible for working with investing in ventures like yours.

As you mentioned though, a big hurdle is just getting that space. Once again, look who is there, ABC, Scripps Howard, NBC, and FOX (who is going to start two more sports only national channels to be rolled out soon!) to name a few. How you get into that club requires Oprah-like status - did I mention OWN?

So I would start small - and see what kind of successes you can gain...you don't have to be national to be successful. On the Internet, you would be an international network! For those of us regular folks, you need to tailor it to what you can do - just like baseball only a few make it to the majors - and there are probably some that deserve to make it but just do not.

I am not sure if that helps...I know I cant help make you make big contacts but I can assist in taking what you do have and trying to make it work for you...If it makes sense to try some baby steps, I would...If you have to hit a "home run" to make it work, you may end up pressing too hard and be totally discouraged.

We can continue the dialogue if you wish to here - and if this provokes further questions or thoughts...Once again, my apologies for the delay in responding!

Best of luck to you!

Patrick Murray  

Broadcasting

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Patrick J. Murray

Expertise

Having been in the broadcast community for over thirty years, I am able to assist others in discovering their niche in the area of broadcast televison, in both production and talent, as well as sports, medical, or corporate production. This would include methods of production, purchase of equipment, or philosophy of acting.

Experience

Armed with a dual degree in TV/Radio and Theater, I began my career as a camera operator in a major market television station. Directing and production management were soon to follow. Currently, I have my own business as a freelance producer-director, and have been primarily working in field of sports production.

Organizations
I belong to NATAS (National Association of Arts and Sciences).

Education/Credentials
I hold a BA in TV/Radio and Theater from Ashland University, located in Ashland, Ohio.

Awards and Honors
I have received 10 local Emmy awards for various sports shows produced in the Northeast Ohio region.

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