Friday, November 12, 2010

Profitability - now that's a welcome change

A company announcement of its quarterly report consists of a company statement, followed by the numbers. You can tell when a company isn't doing all that well by looking at the first line of the company statement. If the first line says that the company is poised for growth, or that it's entering a new era, or something, then you know that quarterly performance wasn't all that good.

In that spirit, let's look at the first line of NTN Buzztime's recently quarterly report:

Company was profitable for the quarter

To long-time watchers, this is significant and is good news. Here are some other excerpts:

Revenues for the third quarter of 2010 were $6.5 million, compared to revenues of $6.7 million for the same period of 2009. The 3.2% decrease in revenue was the result of lower average revenue generated per site, a lower site count compared to the prior year period, decreased advertising revenue and a decrease
in certain non-recurring hardware sales we recognized for the period in 2009.

The Company ended the third quarter of 2010 with 4,015 subscribing venues,
compared to 4,051 at September 30, 2009, a decrease of 1.0%. During the third
quarter of 2010, installations were down approximately 26.7% while terminations
were up 38.1% compared with the third quarter of 2009. Customer churn was 6.7%
for the quarter up from 4.9% in the prior year period.

Huh? That doesn't sound good. But read on:

Gross margin as a percentage of revenue increased to 77% in the third quarter of
2010, compared to 74% in the third quarter of 2009.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $4.7 million for the third
quarter of 2010 compared to $5.5 million for the three months ended September
30, 2009. Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased during the
three months ended September 30, 2010 primarily due to decreased sales and
marketing expenses of $258,000, lower facilities expense of $126,000 due to
reduced rent, telephone and maintenance costs, lower software disposal costs of
$135,000, decreased payroll and payroll related expense of $94,000 primarily due
to a decline in incentive compensation, lower consulting expense of $83,000 due
to reduced reliance on consultants, decreased travel expense of $60,000 and a
net decrease of $55,000 in other miscellaneous expense.

Depreciation and amortization expense (excluding depreciation and amortization
included in direct operating costs) decreased $253,000 to $163,000 for the three
months ended September 30, 2010 from $416,000 for the three months ended
September 30, 2009 primarily due to fully amortizing an intangible asset we
acquired in 2009.

Net income for the third quarter of 2010 was $124,000, or $0.00 per basic and
diluted share, compared to a net loss of $768,000 or $0.01 per basic and diluted
share in the same period a year ago.

OK, so they weren't THAT profitable. But they were profitable. And that, quite literally, is the bottom line.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Take off to the NTN bar, take off, it's a beauty way to go

Some of my best NTN experiences have been in Ottawa - sadly, at a restaurant that no longer exists. But there is a strong Canadian following for NTN, and NTN has rolled out a game for the northern set. The NTN technology allows such targeting of games to specific audiences - I believe that Buffalo Wild Wings outlets have their own games - so it's only a matter of time until I can play a California-themed game which will be completely incomprehensible to much of the rest of the planet. (Hmm..."what type of meat can be found in a double double?")

CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- NTN Buzztime, Inc. (Buzztime) (NYSE Amex: NTN), a leading venue-based interactive restaurant and bar entertainment network, announces a new bar trivia game for its partners throughout Canada. Buzztime's new Canada Eh? game features a mix of history, politics, sports, entertainment and geography trivia specific to the country.



The one-hour Canada Eh? trivia game, launching on October 26, 2010 will air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5:30 PM ET, 5:30 PM CT, 8:00 PM MT and 7:00 PM PT. To celebrate the launch of its newest bar trivia game, Buzztime is offering prize packages valued at $25 (CDN) encouraging restaurant and bar patrons to try out Canada Eh? The more times a registered player plays the game, the better their chances are to win one of five Buzztime prize packages.

"Buzztime has been active in the Canadian hospitality arena since 1987, and we are always looking to enhance the game experience of our customers and players. The new Canada Eh? trivia game allows our Canadian partners to attract and retain new and existing clientele with relevant, compelling content," said NTN Buzztime CEO, Michael J. Bush. "We conducted research to develop the game and even polled Canadians on the name of the game. Starting today, Canada Eh? will be available to all of the 280 current locations utilizing Buzztime's bar entertainment and marketing solutions and the more than 46,000 active players."

Canada Eh? sample questions include:

Toronto's Rogers Centre showcases the world's first…

(Clues: Don't Use Bleach, Not in Left Field, Raise the Roof)

1. Revolving bleachers
2. Supersonic sound system
3. 40-story parking lot
4. Full retractable roof
5. Flip over field

He plays the lead role in the 2008 Canadian movie "Passchendaele…

(Clues: No Day at the Beach, No Will Power, Tall Paul)

1. Roy Dupuis
2. Adam Beach
3. William Shatner
4. Michael J. Fox
5. Paul Gross

The Inuit, a hunter-gatherer culture in Canada's arctic, eat `kuannig,' AKA edible…

(Clues: No Eggs and Ham, Don't Bark Up That Tree, Seaweed Salad)

1. Spruce tree bark
2. Pine tree needles
3. Walrus blubber
4. Seaweed
5. Arctic char fish eggs

For more information on NTN Buzztime, Inc and its restaurant and bar marketing and entertainment solutions please visit Additionally, interested parties can follow Buzztime on Twitter follow @BuzztimeTrivia or via Facebook at

About Buzztime

NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE Amex: NTN) is one of the most popular interactive bar and restaurant entertainment networks. Trusted for over 25 years by restaurant, bar and pub owners, Buzztime develops trivia, card and sports games and broadcasts them on the Buzztime Network to 4,000 locations throughout North America. More than 1,000,000 registered players use a blue Playmaker or their Apple iPhone® to compete in more than 4,500,000 games each month. Players spread the word and invite friends and family to their favorite Buzztime location to enjoy an evening of fun and competition or unwind from a hectic day. Buzztime ups the fun factor – turning visitors into regulars and attracting new players every day of the week. For the most up-to-date information on NTN Buzztime, please visit

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 new game offerings and content, number of locations, players and games, prizes, and attracting and retaining players. 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 adverse economic conditions, failure of customer and/or player demand or acceptance of 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.


Don Williams
Williams Group Public Relations

SOURCE NTN Buzztime, Inc.