Friday, August 28, 2009

NTN Buzztime is on Facebook

I should have thought to search for this before, because Facebook has everything. But I happened to run across NTN Buzztime's Facebook page recently.

It appears that the wall content is different from the contents of the @buzztimegirl Twitter account. And there are also extensive Notes.

On a personal level, it turns out that this Empoprise-NTN blog is the only one of my blogs for which I HAVEN'T created a Facebook fan page. Once I create this fan page, I'll let you know.

Triviacs of Madison County

I've never been to Madison County, Kentucky, but I've learned all about it:

Richmond, home of Eastern Kentucky University, is a part of Madison County which has a population of approximately 57,000....

Richmond is also home to the 10th largest planetarium in the United States and the second largest on a college campus in the world, the Arnim D. Hummel Planetarium and Space Theater. Located on Easterns campus, the 164-seat theater provides students and the community with a view of the sky as it would appear from any known planet or moon in our solar system....

Richmond is also about an hour and a half from Louisville to the west and about an hour and a half from Cincinnati to the north....

Madison County is surrounded by Fayette, Clark, Estill, Rockcastle, Garrard and Jessamine counties.

But whether you're in Richmond, Kentucky or Richmond, Virginia, you pretty much find the same stores everywhere. Look at the list of the new stores that are coming to the Richmond Centre:

New eateries for students to try include Logan's Roadhouse and Culver's, a burger joint comparable to Steak-n-Shake or Dairy Queen....

This month, Chick-fil-A and Koto Japanese Bistro each opened their doors....

Panera Bread will offer free Wi-Fi for customers, in addition to its pastries and breads baked daily, and Olive Garden's unlimited soup and salad will tempt students with big appetites and small wallets....

Oh, and there's one other restaurant that's coming:

Buffalo Wild Wings will challenge Hooters and Madison Garden, two of the most successful sports bars in Richmond. With a plethora of widescreen TVs and its signature in-house trivia system, "B-Dubs" will be equipped for success in a college town.

I don't know if NTN Buzztime has ever conducted any demographic studies of their players, so I don't know if college students form a large part of the NTN Buzztime player empire, or whether they're just a small part (since significant numbers of college students are below the legal drinking age in the United States).

But in this town, Buffalo Wild Wings will have to duke it out with Galaxy Center and Gillums Sports Lounge for Richmond bragging rights.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teams and prizes in the non-NTN Buzztime experience

When I play NTN Buzztime trivia, I play by myself and compete for the fun of it. But other experiences vary, especially if NTN Buzztime is not used. Some people play in teams:

For those who don't know, trivia nights are held in every city, usually in a restaurant or bar. It's free to play, and you can have an unlimited number of people on your team, although it's wise not to have too many or you'll have to divide the spoils (we play with 6-8). Much like a sports competition, the night is broken into two halves, each half asking 9 trivia questions. After each question is asked all the teams have one song to turn in their answers and must decide on how many points you will wager for that question. They throw in a bonus question at "half time" and at the end as well as some "double point" questions during each half. The top three teams win some sort of prize.

And some people play for prizes:

Because we play at Buffalo Wild Wings, the 3rd place team wins 12 wings, the 2nd place team wins 24 wings, and the 1st place team wins $50--enough to pay the tab for all the beer and margaritas you drink.

From the description, these games are not NTN Buzztime games, and are restricted to the specific location, but they sound fun nevertheless.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Farricielli leaves

On August 24, NTN Buzztime filed the following with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:



Change in Directors or Principal Officers

Item 5.02. Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors;
Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

(b) Effective August 18, 2009, Joseph J. Farricielli, Jr. resigned from our board of directors. At the time of his resignation, Mr. Farricielli was a member of the audit committee of our board and the chairperson of the nominating and corporate governance committee of our board. Our board appointed Jeff Berg as a member of the audit committee and as chairperson of the nominating and corporate governance committee. Mr. Berg is a current member of our board. Our board determined that Mr. Berg is "independent" under applicable Securities Exchange Act of 1934 rules and NYSE Amex rules, and that Mr. Berg met the financial literacy requirements of the NYSE Amex. Mr. Berg was a member of the nominating and corporate governance committee immediately before his appointment as chairperson of that committee.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Atlantis is approaching (September 14-17)

I recently blogged about NTN Buzztime's past quarter, but now it's time to look toward the company's future. All summer NTN Buzztime has been building up for a big event, an event that transcends the company itself. It's almost time:

Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas is preparing to welcome 25 of the greatest legends in sports history and 25 world famous Poker Pros for the first-ever Poker News Sports Legends Challenge presented by, a four-day sports fantasy and gaming experience that will take place Sept. 14 - 17, 2009.

And NTN Buzztime isn't the only sponsor:

Corporate partners for the Sports Legends Challenge include PokerNews,, Rovia, WorldVentures, Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, FOX Sports Radio, NTN Buzztime, Inc., VegasInsider, World Championship of Fantasy Football, The World Poker Store, Legendary Auctions, Golf Now powered by The Golf Channel, JetBlue Airways, World Series of Poker Academy, Magellan Jet, Alchemy3, Bluff Media, World Poker Association, Playboy Golf, and Imperial Jets.

This blog has chronicled some of the ways in which NTN Buzztime has been building up toward the challenge. See my posts from June 9 and July 15.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Better late than never, in all respects

I blogged about the pending release of NTN Buzztime financial results, but never got around to blogging about the results themselves, released back on August 13. The company is still losing money (though their quarterly losses are no longer measured in the millions), but the team is exuding confidence that they're on the right path. Excerpts:

Revenues for the second quarter of 2009 were $6.3 million, compared to revenues of $7.0 million for the same period of 2008, primarily as a result of a decrease in average revenue generated per site related to a strategic reduction in pricing.

Pricing is a tricky issue for any company. If you price too high, you won't get customers, but if you price too low, you won't get revenue. NTN Buzztime took a chance with a price cut, which did adversely impact their quarterly revenues, but did have the desired result regarding the number of customers.

The Company ended the second quarter of 2009 with 3,871 subscribing venues, compared to 3,746 at June 30, 2008, and 3,777 at March 31, 2009. During the second quarter of 2009, installations were up approximately 48% while terminations were down 19% compared with the second quarter of 2008. Customer churn improved to 4.9% for the quarter from 6.1% in the prior year period.

But NTN Buzztime worked on the cost end also:

Selling, general and administrative expenses declined by $2.1 million, or 31%, to $4.9 million from $7.0 million a year ago. The improvement was attributable to several factors including a $0.5 million decline in salary expenses due to staffing reductions; a $0.5 million decline in severance expense due to the resignation of the CEO in the prior year; a $0.5 million decline in marketing expense related to a change in the Company's marketing strategy; and a $0.4 million decline in consulting services.

Will the momentum from these changes result in profitability in future quarters? Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Second quarter financial results about to be released...and discussed

This announcement was released during my 2+ week vacation in the Midwest (no, I didn't see RoadDog), but it's timely since it announces something that will happen tomorrow, August 13.

CARLSBAD, Calif., August 6, 2009/ PRNewswire – NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN - News), today announced it will conduct a conference call to discuss its financial results for the second quarter of 2009 at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, August 13, 2009.

Hosting the call will be CEO Terry Bateman, CFO Kendra Berger and COO Kenneth Keymer.

To access the conference call, please dial (866) 360-7027, if calling from the United States or Canada, or (706) 643-3291, if calling internationally, and use passcode 23874047.

A replay will be available until August 20, 2009, which may be accessed by dialing (800) 642-1687, if calling from the United States or Canada, or (706) 645-9291, if calling internationally. Please use passcode 23874047 to access the replay.

The call will also be accompanied live by webcast over the Internet and accessible at the Company's Web site at

About NTN Buzztime, Inc.

NTN Buzztime, Inc., a leader in interactive entertainment for 25 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 3,900 restaurants, sports bars and pubs throughout North America. Buzztime entertainment is also available on electronic games and in books. For more information, please visit

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

Buzztime is a registered trademark of Buzztime Entertainment, Inc. and Playmaker is a registered trademark of NTN Buzztime, Inc.

# # #

No trivia tonight...

A rare Empoprise-IE/Empoprise-NTN cross-post. My plans for trivia at Tequila Hoppers in Upland, California hit an unfortunate snag.