The following press release was issued on December 20:
CARLSBAD, Calif. , Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: NTN) today announced that it filed a registration statement on Form S-3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a rights offering to existing stockholders to purchase up to 12,903,226 shares of its common stock at a subscription price of $0.31 per share. The Company is seeking to raise up to $4 million in the rights offering.
The Company is seeking to raise capital to support its ongoing operations and pursue its growth and product development strategies. The board of directors believes providing existing stockholders the right to purchase shares through a rights offering is the most efficient, fair and equitable approach to raising this capital at this time.
The Company will distribute to its stockholders as of the record date, non-transferable subscription rights, each of which will include (i) a basic subscription privilege and (ii) an over-subscription privilege that entitles the holder (other than Matador Capital Partners, L.P. and its affiliates), if such holder exercises its basic subscription privilege in full, to subscribe to purchase a portion of the shares not purchased by other stockholders at the same subscription price per share, subject to certain limitations.
In connection with the rights offering, the Company also entered into an investment agreement with Matador Capital Partners, L.P., whereby Matador has agreed to purchase at the subscription price, between $1.0 million and $2.0 million worth of the shares of the Company's common stock not subscribed for and purchased by holders upon exercise of their subscription rights. The exact number of shares within the foregoing range will be determined by Matador in its discretion. Mr. Jeffrey A. Berg , one of the Company's directors, is the managing member of the general partner of Matador. As of the date hereof, Matador and Mr. Berg collectively beneficially own approximately 10.5% of the Company's common stock. As stockholders as of the record date, Matador and Mr. Berg will have the right to purchase shares under their basic subscription privilege, but they will not have the right to exercise their over-subscription privilege. Therefore, depending on the collective level of investment by all existing stockholders in connection with the rights offering, Matador and Mr. Berg may, based on their common stock ownership as of the date hereof, potentially invest up to $2.4 million into the company in connection with the rights offering (i.e., up to $2.0 million under the investment agreement and approximately $419,000 pursuant to the exercise of their basic subscription privilege).
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state. The rights offering, which is expected to be launched immediately following the effectiveness of a registration statement relating to the offering, will be made only by means of a prospectus. The record date for the distribution of the subscription rights and the expiration date of the rights offering will be included in the final prospectus for the rights offering.
NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN) is a leading bar and restaurant social entertainment and integrated marketing platform. Trusted by 3,900 bars and restaurants in North America since 1985, Buzztime integrates trivia, card and sports games with in- and out-of-venue messaging and communication tools. With over 2,100,000 registered consumers and nearly 50,000,000 games played each year, Buzztime players spread the word and invite friends and family to their favorite Buzztime location to enjoy an evening of fun and competition. With Buzztime entertainment and marketing solutions, bars and restaurants attract new customers, turn casual visitors into regulars, and give guests a reason to stay longer. For the most up-to-date information on NTN Buzztime, please visit www.buzztime.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. To get Buzztime for your bar or restaurant, visit www.getbuzztime.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the completion of the rights offering and the Company's intended use of any proceeds it receives from the rights offering. All of these forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company's management that, although it believes to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of the Company's control that may cause its business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties may include, among other things: completion of the proposed rights offering, including satisfaction of the conditions to Matador's obligations under the investment agreement, adverse economic conditions, failure of customer and/or player demand, lower market acceptance or appeal of both existing and new products and services by particular demographic groups or audiences as a whole, termination of partnership and contractual relationships, the impact of competitive products and pricing and technical problems or outages and other factors described under "Risk Factors" in the preliminary prospectus included as part of the registration statement on Form S-3 that the Company filed in connection with the rights offering and in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Given these risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events, and changes in expectation or otherwise.
Chief Financial Officer
NTN Buzztime, Inc.
CCG Investor Relations
Friday, December 23, 2011
The following press release was issued on December 20:
Friday, December 2, 2011
I've previously talked about NTN Buzztime's marketing efforts toward bars and restaurants. Briefly, its sales pitch is that establishments who buy NTN Buzztime attract customers who stay longer, thus spending more money. The hope is that the increased revenue offsets the cost of buying the NTN Buzztime service.
But some people discover the benefits later.
NTN Buzztime has a website, http://www.getbuzztime.com/, that is specifically dedicated to pitching its benefits to eating and drinking establishments. Visitors can learn about the service, play a sample game, and read case studies, such as the case study (PDF) for Jilly's in Ellicott City, Maryland. It begins as follows:
Brian Reich, owner of Jilly’s Ellicott City, started playing Buzztime at neighboring restaurants. His love of the product motivated him to bring the addictive fun and compelling games that Buzztime offers in HIS restaurant.
The case study talks about the increase in visitors (sadly, without mentioning any specific dollar increases in revenue). But that may not matter, since the case study concludes as follows:
Best of all? Brian Reich can play Buzztime whenever he wants.
Jilly's has had trivia for over four years now (the first review dates from March 2007). It seems to be working for them.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sometimes the modern world seems impersonal. Luddites complain that people sit in front of computers and interact with text and pictures rather than people. The subject of this blog, the NTN Buzztime trivia game, is in essence a solitary affair. Sure you may be playing with others in the room, but you're pretty much focused on your own Playmaker (or mobile device). But now NTN Buzztime is moving into the world of real people with its recent acquisition of Stump! Trivia. CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN - News), today announced the acquisition of the hosted live trivia event business Stump! Trivia from Trailside Entertainment, Inc. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101005/LA76225LOGO) Stump! Trivia, operating mainly in the Northeastern states, conducts approximately 300 hosted live trivia events a week, providing fun and exciting competitions in bars, restaurants and at special events. Stump! was founded 12 years ago by Bob Carney who will join Buzztime and remain with the business. "Stump! Trivia has proven to be quite popular regionally as a turn-key, hosted live trivia event," said NTN President and CEO Michael Bush. "We couldn't be happier to broaden our current set of in-venue offerings by bringing them onboard. Further, we are pleased to have Bob Carney join our team and continue to grow the Stump! Trivia business alongside our core business." One of Stump!'s key assets is its staff of professional hosts, better known as "trivia jockeys" who function as part player recruiter, part MC and part advocate for the venues by encouraging incremental sales of food and drinks. Combined with Buzztime's on-screen programming of trivia content under his/her control, a good trivia jockey can attract a sizeable group of patrons on what might otherwise be a slow night. "Joining Buzztime is an amazing opportunity for us," said Stump! founder Bob Carney. "We look forward to delivering the Stump! hosted trivia experience to the Buzztime network of 3,900 bars and restaurants and base of over 2 million registered players, in addition to bringing this unique entertainment to a whole range of venues and consumers that have yet to benefit from either Stump! or Buzztime. This is clearly a growth opportunity all around." Terms of the transaction, which were structured as an asset purchase, require NTN to pay $0.25 million plus an earn out in each of 2012, 2013, and 2014 that is dependent on gross margins achieved by the Stump! business. The effect of the Stump! acquisition is expected to improve Buzztime's profitability and cash flow for the balance of 2011 and 2012, when considered on a standalone basis without potential synergies and not giving effect to the purchase price. About Buzztime NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN) is a leading bar and restaurant social entertainment and integrated marketing platform. Trusted by 3,900 bars and restaurants in North America since 1985, Buzztime integrates trivia, card and sports games with in- and out-of-venue media and communication tools. With over 2,000,000 registered consumers and 50,000,000 games played each year, Buzztime loyalists spread the word and invite friends and family to their favorite Buzztime locations to enjoy an evening of fun and competition. With Buzztime entertainment and integrated marketing solutions, bars and restaurants attract new customers, turn casual visitors into regulars, and give guests a reason to stay longer. For the most up-to-date information on NTN Buzztime, please visit www.buzztime.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. 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 statements about game offerings and content, expanded offerings, customer demographics, returns, stays and spending, market and audience reach, number of locations, and player participation. 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 risks of adverse economic conditions, failure of customer and/or player demand, lower market acceptance or appeal of both existing and new products and services by particular demographic groups or audiences as a whole, termination of partnership and contractual relationships 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.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I have a local Black Angus Restaurant (formerly known as Stewart Anderson's Black Angus Restaurant) near me in Montclair, California. The restaurant has seemed less crowded in recent years, possibly due to the economy.
But perhaps NTN Buzztime can help perk things up.
The BullsEye Bar @ Black Angus Steakhouse, a new sports bar within existing Black Angus Steakhouses, is adding entertainment technology from NTN Buzztime, Inc.. NTN provides a social entertainment and integrated marketing platform for bars and restaurants. Buzztime offers sports, cards and trivia games as well as themed-promotions and contests.
The BullsEye Bar concept offers offers food, drinks and sports in a casual environment. Buzztime's bar trivia will entertain Guests while providing the BullsEye Bar locations with a vehicle to communicate promotional offers, new menu items, and potentially increase revenue. On average, according to an Arbitron® study, Buzztime players stay 30 minutes longer and spend $5 more per visit than other customers.
Apparently my local Black Angus bar will be remodeled and reopened in early September. I'm not sure when they'll get Buzztime, but apparently the Ontario Black Angus already has it.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Lotteries often involve various levels of public-private partnership. While the public sector takes the revenue from the lotteries, there is heavy reliance on the private sector to actually run the games and advertise them.
In some cases, the public-private partnerships can get pretty interesting.
Take Atlantic Lottery, which describes itself as follows:
Atlantic Lottery is a public corporation owned by the governments of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to the more than $345 million awarded in prizes last year, Atlantic Lottery also returned 100% of its profits – that’s more than $389 million – to the four Atlantic Provinces.
So how does Atlantic Lottery get players into the games? Well, since I'm writing about Atlantic Lottery in this blog, you could probably guess who one of its partners is. Here's a portion of the press release:
CARLSBAD, Calif. (RestaurantNews.com) NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN), a leading social entertainment and integrated marketing platform for bars and restaurants throughout the United States and Canada, announced that the company is providing bar trivia games in nine of Atlantic Lottery’s (AL) Coasters locations in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
Coasters are gaming entertainment centers in bar settings – offering a superior gaming experience for players. Coasters will benefit from the strategic bar marketing solutions and interactive sports, cards and trivia games. This includes the addition of Compte a rebours – a game that’s entirely in the French language. Buzztime and Atlantic Lottery are excited to have future plans that will pit Coasters locations against one another in unique interactive challenges, with prizing awarded to the winning Coasters location.
I have no idea what a Coasters is like, but presumably it's a little more inviting than what we have here in California - namely, a 7 Eleven convenience store with a TV screen showing "this isn't really Keno" games.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
If you've read this blog for a while - kind of difficult, I know, because I post so infrequently here - you've seen some references to RoadDog. Now RoadDog is retired and travels a lot, which gives him the opportunity to play NTN Buzztime games at a wide variety of sites. Back in the 1980s, such a person would be called a "power user."
So if he has an opinion on NTN Buzztime, I tend to listen to it. Here's one that he recently shared:
[W]hat the company shouldn't be losing are the places that have their service and then drop it because so few people are playing.
This is in large part due to NTN's selling their service and then leaving the places to get people playing. Most places don't have any idea how to do this. NTN representatives should work with bar owners and show them the ropes and tricks to get customers playing. This instead of, "Here it is. See ya later."
A big thing they can do is train the bartenders. These folks are the key. On more than one occasion, we've gone into places that we saw had NTN, asked the bartender for a board and that person had no idea what we were talking about.
RoadDog speaks about turnover OF facilities earlier in his post, but by the same token there is also turnover WITHIN facilities. Maybe the NTN rep spent some time with the bartender on duty when the system was first installed, but does that do any good when the night shift bartender comes in? And does that do any good when that bartender leaves and a new bartender is hired?
To be fair, it would be very expensive for NTN reps to visit every one of the thousands of sites every month, or every week, or even every quarter. So how do you provide training to restaurant/bar personnel?
Perhaps the technology could be used for this purpose. NTN games are only available for a portion of the day. Now I have no idea what is broadcast on the NTN channels during off-hours, but if they're not being used at that time, perhaps some training videos could be broadcast. That way when people are cleaning up at 3 in the morning, or setting up at 10 in the morning, NTN has a commercial beaming directly to the staff - "Hey, encourage people to use the games so that they spend more time and more money at your establishment!"
Let's face it - NTN Buzztime has the material.
This video is on YouTube, but when I looked at it, it had less than 500 views. The entire BuzztimeGames channel on YouTube has, as I write this, five subscribers. (I am not one of them.) There should be several thousand subscribers to this account. All these supposedly social-savvy bars should be subscribing to the BuzztimeGames account so that they know how to operate the system for which they're paying big bucks.
Oh, and RoadDog also has some views on NTN Buzztime's new Site Finder. I won't venture an opinion, since I don't have a cool phone.
Monday, May 9, 2011
I never got around to mentioning this, but I guess I should devote some space to a recent announcement:
Thursday, 28 April 2011 00:00
National Sports Grill and Bar Dedicated to Using Buzztime's Restaurant Entertainment and Marketing Platform in its 750 U.S. Restaurants
CARLSBAD, Calif. and MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (April 28, 2011) - NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN), the leading digital interactive restaurant and bar entertainment network, today announced its multi-year partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD), the national sports grill and bar known for its New York-style chicken wings. Buffalo Wild Wings will utilize Buzztime's out-of-home interactive technology to enhance their Guest experience in their 750 restaurants in 45 U.S. states.
I'll spare you the quotes that the marketing people wrote up and assigned to various executives, but if you want to read them you can go here.
Unfortunately, the press release didn't really spell out the meaning of this. Buffalo Wild Wings and NTN Buzztime have been working together for a long time. Buzztime appears at BWW restaurants. Custom BWW games appear on the NTN Buzztime screens at BWW restaurants. So what's new?
To find out, I turned to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, which presumably had the inside scoop on all of this.
National sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. has entered into a multiyear partnership with NTN Buzztime Inc. that will bring interactive sports and trivia games to BWW's 750 restaurants nationwide.
Yes! They...uh, they rewrote the press release. Well, they did include, verbatim, one comment written by the marketing geeks in the back room.
(And before the marketing geeks hurl epithets at me, I'm one of you. I know the process. Write the quote, take it to the person who presumably said it, make sure they can live with it, then go to the lawyers.)
So I figured I'd go to the Buzztime website, and I began reading about the Buffalo Wild Wings Pick 'Em Challenge...which occurred last year, before this agreement was signed.
It turns out that Buffalo Wild Wings had an earnings conference call in late April, around the same time that this agreement was announced. However, the big news from the call concerned speculation about the possible effects of an NFL strike on Buffalo Wild Wings' business.
"Disruptions to the regular NFL season have the potential to present a temporary challenge for our business and many others," said Chief Executive Sally Smith on a conference call. "But the more months we have of high sales and low wing prices, the more weeks we'll be able to cover of an NFL season if we end up missing some of those weeks."
The company plans to launch promotional programs on a local level that would encourage Sunday traffic....
Hmm. Perhaps Buzztime can assist in drawing Sunday traffic via other means.
But BWW is right in noting that an NFL strike could adversely affect many businesses. For example, bars could cut costs if business goes down - something that's presumably being discussed in Carlsbad.
And no, the CFL won't pick up the Sunday slack. Most CFL games are played on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, 2011 U.S. Broadcast information will be finalized in June..
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
When you visit Facebook or certain other services, you are often asked a bunch of fun questions. Your answers to these questions often help the service, or its partners, provide targeted advertising to you, or perhaps provide the partners with valuable data.
Well, you don't have to be on Facebook to provide this data. You could be at a bar.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 00:00
Buzztime Shorts Provide Compelling Content to Keep Players Engaged Between Bar Games
CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 19, 2011) - NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN), a leading social entertainment and integrated marketing platform for bars and restaurants, announced the launch of Buzztime Shorts, 30- to 60-second mini trivia games or polls, into the thousands of locations that carry Buzztime bar games. By expanding its unique set of integrated entertainment and consumer marketing tools, Buzztime improves its ability to gain additional customer insights for itself and its promotional partners, send targeted emails based on consumer interest, and keep guests engaged longer because Buzztime Shorts air between Buzztime's games.
Specifically, Buzztime Shorts provides partners and sponsors with an unprecedented way to increase awareness of their product or service through fun, interactive, onscreen messaging. Based on the responses to the Buzztime Short questions, promotional partners are then able to send targeted email communications to interested consumers.
Recently, Buzztime Shorts provided a major motion picture studio with a unique way to connect with their targeted demographic - making consumers much more likely to take action and attend their movies. By promoting their movies through Buzztime's mini trivia games, they were able to expand beyond simple impressions to a highly interactive, engaged experience with hundreds of thousands of consumers in bars and restaurants across North America.
"Buzztime Shorts is a valuable addition for our players, bars and restaurants and sponsor partners," commented Michael J. Bush, President and CEO, NTN Buzztime, Inc. "Buzztime Shorts captures data and information that large chains and sponsor partners can use for direct consumer communications via targeted emails. This is a great way to transform entertainment, using interactive 'mini' 30- and 60-second trivia games and polls, into a unique and highly valuable marketing asset."
Buzztime Shorts polls are fully customizable to help Buzztime and its partners collect valuable marketing information from consumers. In fact, Buzztime Shorts can be thought of as an onscreen, interactive version of an advertorial as the content looks and behaves like the company's regular programming, making it more likely that the customer will engage with Buzztime Shorts as they would any other game.
Additionally, Buzztime Shorts cross-promotes full length Buzztime games by providing a 3-question sample so players get a feel for a game they may not have played before. Buzztime Shorts will also enable the company to test bar game concepts prior to creating full-length versions of the game.
Buzztime employs its network of bars and restaurants to strategically reach targeted audiences in a unique way. Additionally, Buzztime engages more than 1,500,000 players who participate in 50,000,000 bar trivia, cards and sports games each year on its network.
Buzztime provides clients with branded sports and interactive bar games that align with the brands' marketing campaigns; live hosted trivia tournaments throughout the United States; and direct-to-consumer marketing initiatives through Buzztime's social networking and targeted e-mail marketing campaigns.
NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN) is a leading bar and restaurant social entertainment and integrated marketing platform. Trusted by 3,900 bars and restaurants in North America since 1985, Buzztime integrates trivia, card and sports games with in- and out-of-venue messaging and communication tools. With over 1,500,000 registered consumers and more than 50,000,000 games played each year, Buzztime players spread the word and invite friends and family to their favorite Buzztime location to enjoy an evening of fun and competition. With Buzztime entertainment and marketing solutions, bars and restaurants attract new customers, turn casual visitors into regulars, and give guests a reason to stay longer. For the most up-to-date information on NTN Buzztime, please visit www.buzztime.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
This release contains forward-looking statements which reflect management's current views of future events and operations, including but not limited to statements about game offerings and content, expanded offerings, customer insights and engagement, market and audience reach, number of locations, and player participation. 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 risks of adverse economic conditions, failure of customer and/or player demand, lower market acceptance or appeal of both existing and new products and services by particular demographic groups or audiences as a whole, termination of partnership and contractual relationships 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.
# # #
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
This is dangerous.
While I was on an extended personal leave, I had a couple of opportunities to play Buzztime trivia in Huntsville, Alabama and Upland, California. But I was excited to learn this morning that I have other options.
Yes, people - there is now a Buzztime trivia app on Facebook.
While the primary reason for the app is to introduce people to Buzztime and lure them to the bars to play the standard game, the app does provide a pretty good gaming experience. One difference I noticed - unlike the regular game, the Facebook app does not allow you to change your answer.
Another difference is due to the nature of Facebook. When you play the regular Buzztime game, people from all over the United States and Canada are competing against each other at the same time. Because the new game is an app, the competition is asynchronous, so you aren't playing against each other at the same time, but at different times.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Phil Warren has challenged himself to meet new people this year, and one of the people that he met goes by Matt "787" Sargeant. Sargeant attended Princeton (and played basketball there; see the video at Warren's post), and has been known to quote Shakespeare at times. Which I guess comes in handy, considering Sargeant's day job:
One of the most intriguing things about him, in my mind, is that he works for NTN Buzztime- this means he actually got paid to write trivia for those games you seen in sports bars, hot wings joints, and well, other places you see trivia games.
Sargeant's public LinkedIn profile confirms what one may already suspect - he is (or was) the "Sarge" sports guru for NTN Buzztime, although he is now functioning as the producer of mobile development.