Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Follow-up on the Empoprise-NTN April Fool's post

Yes, it was a joke. NTN Buzztime has NOT signed an agreement with Denny's to put its trivia game in all Denny's restaurants.

Which begs the question - why DOES NTN Buzztime market to bars, rather than more family-oriented establishments?

One reason is that bars provide a cool demographic:

NTN Buzztime, Inc. (Amex: NTN), an out-of-home entertainment company, announced 65.9 percent of the Buzztime audience is the highly desirable 21-49 year old demographic according to a recent study conducted by The Nielsen Company....

Nielsen also documented that Buzztime players are 66 percent male and 34 percent female with an average annual income of $69,855. The audience had a dwell time of nearly one hour per visit (59.3 minutes) and 59 percent of the respondents visited the same location three or more times during the previous four weeks.

The dwell time is probably the key factor here. Owners of a place such as a Denny's don't necessarily market to people who want to stay and stay and stay, but a bar will happily serve more drinks to patrons.

Another reason for NTN Buzztime's presence in bars is because pub games have a long history. A very long history.

From Roman taverns which offered games such as Draughts (a common pub sign) to the modern pubs of the 21st century with electronic quiz machines, games have long been associated with drinking establishments. Richard Boston in Beer and Skittles reveals that the first regulation for national control of pubs was about pub games. Henry VII's statute of 1495 restricted "the indoor games which were distracting Tudor pubmen from archery". Gaming activities associated with pubs ranged from card games such as cribbage and throwing games such as darts, through physical sports such as cricket to blood sports such as cock fighting. Balls Pond Road in Islington was named after an establishment run by Mr Ball that had a pond out the back filled with ducks, where drinkers could, for a certain fee, go out and take their chance at shooting the creatures.

Just think of the outcry from PETA if NTN Buzztime were to re-create the duck pond game. Of course, if they had that game at Denny's, you could choose your own meal - and you'd HAVE to "dwell" for a bit while your meal was being prepared...

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