Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NTN Buzztime and Texas Hold'Em Poker at Bikini Joe's in Cape Coral, Florida

In my various NTN/Buzztime writings, I have tended to neglect their Texas Hold'Em Poker games - perhaps because the one time that I did play poker on NTN/Buzztime, I failed miserably. But some people are getting enjoyment out of it, as the Fort Myers (Florida) News-Press notes:

The playing cards and poker chips have been replaced by a television and electronic devices as NTN Buzztime - a company that produces interactive entertainment - and Bikini Joe's have teamed up for Texas Hold 'Em Video Poker tournaments each Tuesday.

"I enjoy offering the Texas Hold 'Em tournaments," said Roger Lowe, owner of Bikini Joe's. "It brings in a lot of great people, and I really like having the opportunity to visit with our poker regulars."

The tournament is free to enter, and Bikini Joe's offers a $20 tab to the winner.


Bikini Joe's Buzztime info is at http://players.buzztime.com/bt_site.php?sid=32937. There's also a wi-fi listing and a MySpace page.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ken Jennings on NTN Buzztime

I was nosing around in a Google search for NTN Buzztime (I'll confess; I wanted to see if this blog was gaining traction in Google yet) when I ran across a message board at the site kenjennings.com.

Yeah, that Ken Jennings. Understatement of the bio: "Much to his surprise, Ken's Jeopardy! appearance extended beyond a single game in June...." He ended up winning 74 Jeopardy games before losing 1. (Total haul: $2.52 million.)

Someone started a thread on NTN Buzztime, and Jennings eventually weighed in. Here's some of what he said. Note that these responses were written in June 2006.

Buzztime doesn't get much attention, but it's huge. I've been talking with them on and off about doing some kind of cross-promotional project together, and the data they sent me claims that they have 12,000 screens, 1 million daily "viewers," and 16.5 million annual "players." Obviously there's some wiggle room in those definitions, but it sounds like they have a pretty good claim to be the world's most-played quiz game.

Talking to the hardcore NTN players was interesting, since they're not just your average viewer, perched on a barstool with a beer, casually playing along. The real fans congregate by the dozens and play as teams, competing with other elite bars on the nationwide rankings, and use elaborate strategies for team play. One bar I talked to in DC actually looks for local faces on Jeopardy! and Millionaire, so they can look them up in the phone book and recruit them onto their NTN team.


I guess a cross-promotional project between NTN/Buzztime and Ken Jennings would have been interesting earlier, but now I wonder if anyone knows who Ken Jennings is any more.

And if anyone assumed that Jennings automatically participates in all trivial pursuits, they're wrong.

I was never really a trivia exhibitionist before I went on TV either...I guess I played trivia board games with friends, and college quiz bowl, but those aren't really public pursuits. If I had a pub trivia or NTN team I played with regularly, I'm sure I'd keep that up. But showing up at somebody else's trivia night, with all the expectations that might entail? No thanks. It's odd, but I have to admit I don't have much of a competitive trivia jones anymore. Maybe 75 straight games of Jeopardy are pretty good aversion therapy.

He has a point. I've probably played more than 75 NTN Buzztime games over the years, but it wasn't necessarily that much of a high pressure environment.

P.S. Ken's blog is here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stephen Colbert on NTN Buzztime

I missed this event, but The No Fact Zone didn't:

Tonight is the NTN Buzztime Trivia Topix game featuring trivia from The Colbert Report. I love playing trivia, and I’m going to take a break from packing tonight to be at Ten Sports Grill in downtown Dallas to see if I can actually beat my husband at a trivia game. The game starts at 9p CST, and I’ll probably be there early for a beer and a burger. If you’re in the area and you’d like to come, put a comment here and I’ll watch for you when I get there. My NTN user name is “NOBLET”, so be watching for that on the National tally screen.

After the fact I found Noblet on the Ten Sports Grill page, but her profile is not available for some reason.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Empoprise-NTN High Noon - Buffalo Wild Wings (Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY)

I plan to take a trip to Louisville in August, and this is the closest NTN/Buzztime site to my convention.

http://players.buzztime.com/bt_site.php?sid=10088

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NTN/Buzztime promotes recycling, sort of

Carl Martens wrote this on July 17:

Stout, Buckhead’s newest Irish Pub located next door to East Andrews!

Located at in the former McDuff’s location, this renovated Buckhead neighborhood pub will provide a full premium bar....

In addition to a welcoming patio, the bar features 19 TVs with international satellite, a pool table, dart boards, Golden Tee, NTN Buzztime Trivia and juke box....


If this story looks familiar to you, it's because I reported it back on May 30, after buddyfeed reported it, again on May 30.

I suspect that Carl Martens must be like me. He doesn't get out often.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Peter J. Boylan - from burgers to buzzers, but no - I repeat, no - television experience (and that's a good thing)

I missed this when it came out, but NTN Buzztime issued this press release on July 15:

Buzztime Adds Boylan to Top Sales Spot
Hospitality Industry Expert Brings Vast Relationship Network and Innovative Sales Strategies to Interactive Leadership Team

CARLSBAD, Calif., Jul 15, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- NTN Buzztime, Inc. (Amex: NTN), an out-of-home interactive entertainment company, today announced the appointment of Peter J. Boylan III to the position of Executive Vice President of Sales. Joining NTN Buzztime, Inc. (Buzztime) from Enterprise Media Networks - EMN8, Inc., a San Diego-based provider of customer self-service solutions for quick-service and fast casual restaurants, Boylan's extensive business development experience within the restaurant industry combined with his technology vendor relationships fit flawlessly within the Buzztime team.

"Peter has been pairing ground-breaking technologies with restaurant businesses throughout his career. He brings an impressive track record of revenue growth for partners in both sectors," said Buzztime's Chairman and interim Chief Executive Officer, Michael Fleming. "We have great confidence in his ability to grow the existing business while taking Buzztime into new channels."

Boylan adds his own extensive hospitality industry contacts and 17 years of professional and executive experience to Buzztime, including a strong strategic focus and a track record of leading successful teams and outperforming financial targets. Prior to his Vice President of Sales position at EMN8, Boylan held increasingly responsible executive positions within The Coca-Cola Company between 1995 and 2005. He joins Buzztime effective immediately.

Boylan earned an MBA from Wake Forest University's Babcock Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

About NTN Buzztime, Inc.

NTN Buzztime, Inc., a leader in interactive entertainment for more than 20 years, is based in Carlsbad, CA. Buzztime is distributed in-home and out-of-home across broadband platforms including online, cable TV, satellite TV and in approximately 3,800 restaurants, sports bars and pubs throughout North America. Buzztime entertainment is also available on electronic games and in books. For more information, please visit www.buzztime.com.

Buzztime is a proud member of the OVAB/Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements which reflect management's current views of future events and operations including but not limited to estimates of financial performance and cash flows, trends in subscriber preference and engagement and results of marketing strategies. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include the risk of changing economic conditions, failure of product demand or market acceptance of both existing and new products and services and the impact of competitive products and pricing. Please see NTN Buzztime, Inc.'s recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks that may affect the Company. All forward-looking statements included in this release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. These statements speak only as of the date hereof, and NTN Buzztime, Inc. does not undertake to publicly update or revise any of its forward-looking statements, even if experience or future changes show that the indicated results or events will not be realized.

SOURCE: NTN Buzztime, Inc.

October Strategies for Buzztime
LaRae Marsik, 303-471-4511
larae@octoberstrategies.com
or
Joanne Dant, 303-346-5527
joanne@octoberstrategies.com


I read up a little on Boylan's time with EMN8, and found this press release from March of this year:

Boddie-Noell Enterprises and EMN8® Introduce Self-Service Kiosks at Hardee’s Largest Franchisee

New Self-Service Kiosks Provide Quick and Easy Ordering for Hardee’s Customers

SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 10, 2008 – Boddie-Noell Enterprises (BNE), the largest Hardee’s franchise operator in the United States with 345 restaurants in four states and EMN8®, the leader in technology-based, rich-media self-service systems for quick service restaurants (QSRs), today announced the introduction of EMN8® kiosks in BNE Hardee’s restaurant locations.

According to BNE Director of Field Information Systems Jody Smith, a three restaurant pilot is underway that will test the level of guest adoption of the technology, improvement in speed of customer service, and lift in average check the franchisee can achieve. “The pilot period enables us to learn and improve the self-service program from both a customer service and store integration perspective,” said Smith.

EMN8®’s self-service software features vibrant graphics and a user friendly interface that allows Hardee’s customers to order their food quickly and easily. The menu presents products, suggestions and options in such a manner as to influence customers’ decisions at the point of purchase, increasing average ticket and menu awareness. “We are in the early stages, yet customer feedback has been very positive and the increase in the average check amount exceeds our expectations,” noted Mike Boddie, president of the BNE Restaurant Division.

BNE’s selection of EMN8® as its self-service partner was driven by EMN8®’s experience in the QSR industry, its expertise in user interface design and point-of-sale (POS) integration, and its product’s ability to accept both cash and credit card payments. More than 60 percent of the orders processed to date at the kiosks involved cash payments.

“The Boddie-Noell program is a true collaboration between our two companies that successfully leverages the knowledge EMN8® has gained through our ongoing market research, previous QSR implementations and POS integrations,” said Peter Boylan, vice president of sales at EMN8®.

About Boddie-Noell Enterprises Inc.

Boddie-Noell Enterprises, www.bneinc.com, is a diversified family-owned business engaged primarily in restaurants and land development. It is the largest Hardee's franchise operator in the United States with 345 restaurants across four states. The company owns the Texas Steakhouse & Saloon and Café Carolina and Bakery restaurant brands. It also operates Moe's Southwest Grill franchises and the historic Rose Hill Conference Center in Nashville. Boddie-Noell has major land-development projects completed or underway along the North Carolina coast and in Virginia. It employs more than 12,750 people and is headquartered in Rocky Mount.

About EMN8® Inc.

EMN8®, www.emn8.com, is the leading developer of consumer self-service order and payment systems for the quick service restaurant and fast casual dining industries. Its products leverage innovative technology and designs, cash and payment card handling capabilities, integration with leading point-of-sale (POS) application, and compatibility with industry leading kiosk and POS hardware. EMN8® systems increase average check, improve speed of service and deliver consistent in-store brand messaging while reducing an enterprise’s overall operating costs. EMN8® systems have been deployed within major QSR brands including Arby’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Jack in the Box. EMN8® is headquartered in San Diego.

Press Contact:

Jerry Allsbrook
Boddie-Noell Enterprises
252 937 2800
jerryallsbrook@boddienoell.com

Madeline Pantalone, Vice President of Marketing
EMN8®, Inc.
858.784.0800 X106
mpantalone@emn8.com


So Boylan definitely knows machines, and he definitely knows restaurants. But Buzztime neglected to note that Boylan definitely knows resorts, according to this June 24, 2008 article from The Oklahoman:

The Grove Public Schools superintendent voiced his opposition Monday to a tax proposal designed to rebuild a Grand Lake luxury resort....

The proposal would provide $25 million in tax revenue over 25 years to developers of the Peninsula Resort, a four-star hotel where Shangri-La Resort once stood....

Shangri-La Resort, a luxury resort near Grove, was known for its golf courses in the 1970s and 1980s before hard economic times produced multiple ownership changes and bankruptcies.

The resort was purchased in 2005 by Peter J. Boylan III, who has spearheaded the drive for the tax district.

Revenue would be redirected from Grove Public Schools, several Delaware County agencies, Emergency Management Services, and the Vo-Tech facilities, said Leon Hurt, Delaware County assessor.


But the interesting part of that article was the sidebar. According to the story as printed in the sidebar, Boylan also knows about the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is normally a good thing for a publicly traded company. Normally.

One point of criticism levied against Peter J. Boylan III was a $600,000 fine imposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Boylan disputed the accusation, saying there was no admission of fraud.

Boylan is the former co-president, co-chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors of Gemstar, parent to TV Guide. He was later reprimanded by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for inflating the company's revenue figures.

Without either admitting or denying guilt, Boylan consented to a fraud injunction and agreed to pay a $600,000 fine in disgorgement and civil penalties, SEC records show.


Funny, NTN Buzztime didn't mention Gemstar in its press release.

And there's a good reason - Peter J. Boylan III never worked for Gemstar. Peter C. Boylan III did:

Peter C. Boylan, III

Director

BOK Financial Corporation (BOKF)
www.bokf.com Industry: Finance

Overview

Mr. Boylan, CEO of Boylan Partners, LLC (investment management and advisory organization) since March 2002. From April 2002 through March 2004, Mr. Boylan served as Director, President and Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Broadband Interactive Television, Inc. (technology company providing software, services and products to cable and satellite television network operators worldwide), a company controlled by Liberty Media Corporation. Prior to April 2002, Mr. Boylan was Co-President, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Member of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. (media, entertainment, technology and communications company).


Compare with the press release for J's promotion at EMN8:

Prior to joining EMN8®, Boylan served as director of national sales for the Coca-Cola Company. During his ten-year tenure at Coca-Cola, he assumed increasing responsibilities culminating in the management of a national account team that generated $66 million in annual revenue.

Boylan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984 and his Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University in 1996.


I just hope that the SEC can tell Peter J. Boylan III and Peter C. Boylan III apart.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Buzztime wrap-up

My 7:00 Wipeout game was ranked 139th in the network.

My 7:30 Buzztime game had a higher score (11828 vs 10483), but the network score was 230th. I won't make leaderboards (other than local leaderboards) with that.

I'm skipping Know Your Server. Good night.

Finally playing...

Ever since I've started the Empoprise-NTN blog, events have conspired to keep me away from the games.

Until tonight.

I am currently sitting in Tequila Hoppers in Upland, California, struggling through a game of Wipeout. Actually, I'm doing halfway decently (for me); I just earned my bonus points.

Plus, they have an extended happy hour from 2:30 to 8.

P.S. 10483 points in Wipeout.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Empoprise-NTN High Noon - Buffalo Wild Wings (Mall Ring Circle, Henderson, Nevada)

Turns out this isn't the only Buffalo Wild Wings in Henderson, but this is the only one that I've visited (although I got there too early to play).

http://players.buzztime.com/bt_site.php?sid=14211

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Good news, bad news from Henderson, Nevada

The good news is that the Buffalo Wild Wings on Mall Ring Circle is open 24 hours a day. (It's Nevada.)

The bad news is that NTN/Buzztime games don't kick in until 11am...and Costco should be done with its tire installation by that time.

But this info WILL be filed for future reference.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Empoprise-NTN High Noon - TGI Fridays (Yorba Linda, California)

I'll have lunch here on occasion, and a couple of regulars are always there.

http://players.buzztime.com/bt_site.php?sid=9598

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Know Your Server - if only Alice were still around to see this

NTN/Buzztime continues to do stuff:

Buzztime Gets Personal with 'Know Your Server' Debut
NTN Buzztime, Inc.

CARLSBAD, Calif., June 30 -- NTN Buzztime, Inc. (Amex: NTN), an interactive entertainment company, debuts a new game series today called "Know Your Server" geared towards showcasing servers and revealing all their stories for the entertainment of restaurant and bar patrons. Buzztime interviewed 27 contestants from Buzztime locations and asked them a series of questions about their opinions, personal lives and experiences. Buzztime players will attempt to answer those questions. Ladies First; the first 27 contestants chosen are from far flung locations including Salmon Arm, British Columbia; Trabuco Canyon, California and Sellersville, Pennsylvania. Each week starting June 30th three contestants vie for patron popularity votes, with the grand finale winner taking home a $2000 prize package while her employer receives 6 months of free Buzztime service.

Once the Ladies First edition of Know Your Server concludes, Buzztime is planning for the male servers to get in the game as well.

"Restaurant and bar visitors have two main interactions when they visit a Buzztime location -- they love to play Buzztime's interactive games, and they interact with their server" said Jake Tauber, Executive Vice President, Content & Marketing for NTN Buzztime, Inc. "We combined the two, creating a unique game where patrons are entertained by answering questions about the servers who are competing and representing their workplaces against others nationwide."

Customers may even see a bit of themselves in the contest, as several questions have to do with the customer-server interaction, including "What's the weirdest thing a customer has said to you?"

First up to play is Leeann from Ten Sports Grill in Dallas, Texas; Safira from Beef O'Brady's in Davenport, Florida and Jeri from the Frosty Mug in Marion, Ohio, followed each week by three new contestants. The game schedule and the rules for the game can be found at http://players.buzztime.com/kys

Buzztime developed the Know Your Server contest for bar and restaurant operators who want to enhance their concept and engage more patrons through Buzztime's entertaining games.

About NTN Buzztime, Inc.

NTN Buzztime, Inc., a leader in multi-point social interactive entertainment for more than 20 years, is based in Carlsbad, CA. Buzztime is distributed in-home and out-of-home across broadband platforms including online, cable TV, satellite TV, and in approximately 3,800 restaurants, sports bars and pubs throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Buzztime entertainment is also available on electronic games and in books. For more information, please visit http://www.buzztime.com.

Buzztime is a proud member of the OVAB |Out-of-home Video Advertising Bureau.

Forward-looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements which reflect management's current views of future events and operations including but not limited to estimates of financial performance and cash flows, trends in subscriber preference and engagement and results of marketing strategies. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include the risk of changing economic conditions, failure of product demand or market acceptance of both existing and new products and services and the impact of competitive products and pricing. Please see NTN Buzztime, Inc.'s recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks that may affect the Company. All forward-looking statements included in this release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. These statements speak only as of the date hereof, and NTN Buzztime, Inc. does not undertake to publicly update or revise any of its forward-looking statements, even if experience or future changes show that the indicated results or events will not be realized

For More Information Contact:
October Strategies for Buzztime
303-471-4511 or 303-346-5527
larae@octoberstrategies.com

SOURCE NTN Buzztime, Inc.


According to NTN Buzztime, the game has already started in the United States and Canada (Mondays 8:00 pm Eastern/5:00 pm Pacific), and will start in the United Kingdom tomorrow (Wednesdays 9:30 pm).