Friday, August 10, 2012

Public Speaking Business Marketing - Leased Access TV

Leased Access TV

Did you know that you can buy a half hour of air time on a cable station for as little as $15.00? This is not pie in the sky or hocus pocus. This is “leased access” TV.

The government mandates rates for one channel on all cable stations in the USA. Of course, the cable companies hate this, but they really don’t have a choice in the matter.

Here’s how it works: You contact a cable station and ask to speak to an advertising sales representative. Don’t mention “leased access” or they will most likely try to put you off as long as possible. Remember you are going to get a severely discounted rate that is forced on the cable company so they are in no mood to talk to you.

Once you get through and start talking to them and they find out you are calling about leased access you can expect them to throw barriers in front of you. One of their major barriers is that they want you to have a producer’s license and insurance. This is totally unneccessary, but apparently a loophole in the law.

You would have to pay thousands of dollars to obtain this license and insurance. Sometimes you have to threaten them with a formal complaint to the FCC before they become easier to deal with. And yes I know all this sounds like a hassle. I’ll have a solution for you shortly.

The Money

Let’s first talk about the savings you can get from running on leased access and also about some of the deals you can make. The $15.00 figure mentioned above would be for a very small cable company with a very small number of homes in their market. You can expect to pay more for most larger cable companies.

Even though I don’t live there I ran my first show in Phoenix/Tucson for $117.00 for a half hour.

The regular cable rate for this area was approximately $760.00 for a half hour. This area had approximately 1 million homes in that service area. I also checked out San Jose, California. They had 398,000 homes in their market and the cost of a half hour leased access was $51.00 for a half hour. The time slot I was looking at was 12:30 AM which would be right after Letterman and Leno was over.

Prime time rates could be two to three times as much, but still far cheaper than the regular rates. One way to reduce your costs even further is to sell commercial space in your show. In the Phoenix area I get the entire thirty minutes and in some areas you only get 28.5 minutes. I made my show 28.5 so I would only have to have one version of it that would work with all stations (if your show is shorter, that’s OK, they will fill the space with ads or public service announcements).

Since Phoenix sold me the entire 30 minutes I had an additional 1.5 minutes of ad space that I could sell and keep the money. My show already included 2 minutes of ad space so in total I had 3.5 minutes of ad space that I could sell during my 30 minute time slot. This amounted to seven 30-second ads.

Let’s say I could get $15.00 a piece for these ads. That’s $105.00 revenue against my $117.00 cost. With this scenario I’m only paying $12.00 to run my show in front of 1 million people. With a little effort you can become a celebrity all over Phoenix for only $60.00 a week. In some cases the ad revenue would exceed the cost of the half hour and I would make money each time my show ran.

Then what? . . . Rinse and repeat in other markets. What kind of show? I’m using a simulated national talk show instead of the standard infomercial format. This drives people to opt in to a freebie site where I get affiliate commissions if they buy something.

You can see the Internet MarketingTraining Center show on Youtube:

I went out to Palm Springs to CBS studios, which is the same place they shoot the evening news. Each of the 4 cameras cost a half million dollars and they had an entire crew, makeup artist and the host. I was in and out in a couple hours with the gorgeous show you can see at the link above.

Not only can you show it on TV, but before it even aired on TV it paid for itself because people saw it on the web and on DVD and joined my mentor program. So, the video paid for itself within a week after it was shot. The other end of the spectrum is a simple web infomercial designed to sell one product.

See an example at