Is outdoor hunting tv dead?

Big Fin

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This is a really good article from goHUNT.com about the future of outdoor TV. I expect some feedback from folks at the network when this gets more play. Thanks to the goHUNT crew for having Kristen work on this.

This winter I was doing a podcast with Lorenzo, Brady, and Chris from goHUNT. Afterwards we got into this deep discussion of our digital traffic and engagement. I shared my analytics from Amazon, YouTube, and Hunt Talk Radio. They asked the question, "How is traditional media going to survive now that you and a few others have convinced sponsors that digital media is worth more than TV and print?"

I answered with my opinions. They said they would like to do an article about the trend. I offered to help in any way I could. They got after it.

The article is about our platforms, Steven Rinella/Meateater, HUSH, and Born and Raised Outdoors. It talks about the huge audience increases and ability to connect and interact in manners not available on TV. And how the data we are collecting is making sponsors not only comfortable, but excited, to fund digital outdoor content.

Traditional TV always operated on the premise that sponsorship money would never be comfortable with anything other than TV. Good luck with that theory; not the kind of logic upon which I would base my business model.

Link here - https://www.gohunt.com/read/life/is-outdoor-hunting-tv-dead#gs.=DBh9r4

goHUNT outdoor TV.jpg


Hope you like it.
 

rustneversleeps

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I remember when I had to order the Outdoor Channel separate with my cable package....I dont even have cable anymore - all of the hunting shows I watch are on youtube/Netflix/Amazon at this point
 

wllm1313

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I think the old model is definitely going out the window... especially as more and more of us cut the cord. Boggles my mind that there is literally no possible way for me to watch a show like Uncharted (someone needs to tell Jim most people started chucking the DVD player 5 years ago). Regardless of the popularity of new platforms like Youtube and Amazon, which are clearly the way most content is headed, if Sportmans and Outdoors do get there act together and create a Roku, Apple TV, etc. channel or an HBO style access platform hosted on their website I think there days are numbered. I don't know a single person including my parents that still pay for cable or satellite.


Also any scuttlebutt on the meateater crew? It's been 18 months since the last episode and I haven't heard a peep about a new season on any of their social media. I assumed there was some contract term with Sportsman's that they were waiting out or something like that... I know Netflix likes to release an entire season at once but it seems like they should have had time to wrap up production on 12 episodes by now.
 
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ErictheRed

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Soon the semi-live hunt will be Live. Eric Chesser takes us fishing with him live on face book. Quality isn’t great, but it’s compelling and most important totally genuine. No stupid music lead ins and scripted moments. Just hanging with Eric. My whole family feels like we’re friends and we’ll likely never meet! LOL! This is the future.
 

shoots-straight

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Honestly, I haven't tuned into a hunting show of any kind for several years now. I got so tired of the FAKE BS hunters. Hunting has been a passion of mine my whole life, and what the Video hunter wannabe has done to skew how hunting really was, is, makes me want to puke. With that said, I do turn more to the Internet to watch whatever type of hunting I wish too. Just my .02 cents worth though.
 

CampRipleyLF

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Sort of, I mean a lot of the other platforms you still need to pay for and have many things that are similar to TV. Even youtube has commercials now. I think a lot of people who have gone away from the regular TV programing, done so because they either don't like the host or format and the shows that they do like now are online. Really I only like to watch the DIY hunts because they are more realistic and actually takes effort from the host to harvest an animal. I know this is short sighted of me but really it takes more effort to hunt public land or at the very least manage your own land to produce trophy quality deer. I do realize some of these people have god awful amounts of money to manage but at least they are doing something to get their results. I really don't like to watch anything with an outfitter. I really think a lot of people like the thought that they can do that on their budget or try to get similar results. Off my rant now and back to the topic. I really think its going to the online format more because of the ease of retrieving the show when you want to watch them. I don't have all day to watch every show I like, especially at the times they are on. With this online format I can watch them at my leisure.
 
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justdada

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It seems like cable tv took 30 yrs to put a choke hold on us all and then 30 months for its abandonment... I won't say I'm excited about our reliance on the new digital life, but it certainly has proven to be the way of the new world. I watch all the hunt talk videos on you tube now and already feel like I'm behind the times.
Randy, whatever you can do to connect with the youth of our nation is likely good practice, though it surely changes daily!
 

VikingsGuy

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Unfortunately, the over produced, steroid driven, yahoo hunting shows will just migrate platforms too. My objection to, and despising of, these shows is not the distribution format, but the content they are distributing. I liked Randy on TV, and now on Amazon. I hate Chris Bracket on TV and I am sure I will hate him when he moves to digital distribution.
 

Keeptrying

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Dead. Amazon and Netflix soon to follow if they don't respect the wishes of their clientele and get some content up. :)
 

BrentD

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I don't think the platform is the issue. Junk will accumulate there too.

Randy, I don't watch much video hunting, but I did stumble across yours and found I liked it quite a lot more than the others. That lead me me here, which I really like, but the myriad of platforms and products you put out are confusing and overwhelming. I don't even try to follow all of them.

I'm a simple guy and what I liked best in terms of televised or video hunting was Curt Gowdy's "American Sportsman". Best show ever. It wasn't because of or in spite of the platform. It was just a quality show that was really well produced, offered a lot of variety, and was interesting and informative to the average kid with big dreams. I bet you liked it too .
 

Big Fin

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I don't think the platform is the issue. Junk will accumulate there too.

Randy, I don't watch much video hunting, but I did stumble across yours and found I liked it quite a lot more than the others. That lead me me here, which I really like, but the myriad of platforms and products you put out are confusing and overwhelming. I don't even try to follow all of them.

I'm a simple guy and what I liked best in terms of televised or video hunting was Curt Gowdy's "American Sportsman". Best show ever. It wasn't because of or in spite of the platform. It was just a quality show that was really well produced, offered a lot of variety, and was interesting and informative to the average kid with big dreams. I bet you liked it too .
I watched American Sportsman every Saturday on ABC. Took a serious conflict for me to miss it.

I completely understand that our volume of content and different platforms can be overwhelming. The goal isn't to get all followers to be dialed in to every platform. The goal is to have the self-guided public land message in the places our potential audience can be found. Some are avid podcast consumers. Some want nothing but video. Some love the forum. Some love a combination of each/all.

We continue to explore new content ideas and distribution possibilities. The technology and distribution models are changing so fast. The end goal is to provide information mixed in with a bit of entertainment that accomplishes the WHY of our business plan - "To promote self-guided public land hunting and create advocates for that cause."

Like all audiences, the hunting and conservation audience is far more complex than most think. As we work harder in the digital arena we are learning so much. From that effort we will slow down on some content, increase others, explore new distribution options and eliminate some others, same as we have with TV.

The article took a half-hour interview and boiled my comments to a few sentences. TV isn't "dead," it will always have an audience. Just a matter of what that will look like and what those changes mean for the image of hunting. And as much as we are scrambling to stay up on the emerging platforms, I can't even imagine what platforms will be available ten years from now.
 

SandyCreek

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I enjoy the content on the youtube channels far better than what i see on outdoor tv.. I don't want to see some kill-reel glory fest with some guy screeching boo-ya every time something dies. I much prefer something story driven, oh and good ethics are a must.. I don't care to support any network that supports someone who shoots an elk and leaves it to rot, or someone who who shoots a buck then shoots another bigger buck but only has one tag. I cancelled my outdoor tv package after all that stuff went down. to me the outdoor world should've cut ties with the brackets, busbices, nugent etc. I think Randy's platform is great and i enjoy the story and knowledge
 

Yellowstoner

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I know I really enjoy how compartmentalized information can be - Youtube especially. If I want to see how Randy likes to clean grouse, I just plug that in the search bar and voila! I think that's a major (and majorly underrated) advantage of Youtube. I don't have to look through a bunch of 'season _ episode _' I can just type in the topic that interests me. I also enjoy the authenticity that live hunts have offered.
 

LCH

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Since getting a ROKU and ditching satellite, I've been amazed at the amount of good hunting content on YouTube. Watch what you want when you want, no commercials.
 

Nameless Range

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I'd say the most popular hunting personality today is a TV personality - Steve Rinella. So no, TV isn't dead. It's tough to get a pulse though, because of the 100 hunting shows out there, I only care about half a dozen or so.

In terms of the platform, TV is inferior. I no longer have TV, and outside of sports, don't miss it. Why would I watch something on someone else's schedule, commercials every 6 minutes are BS and ruin the experience of the consuming the content. We never knew that until online content loaded the commercials at the front or the end, and gave us an intact experience. Now we know. When I stay in a hotel and do have tv all I can think is WTF are these commercials, so I get out my phone and watch what I want.

What we refer to as TV will continue to morph into an online-ish thing. On demand viewing, mobile viewing, no commercial interruptions, no packages to purchase for access. The market is taking it there. I'm excited about your platform moving forward without the limitations, without the 22 minute template. Years ago when Mark Seacat made "Searching For West" and put it out on vimeo, it was incredibly well-done and I remember thinking, "This is unlike any hunting show I've seen before". There's so many possibilities, and TV doesn't lend itself to most of em.
 
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300stw

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i usually never miss fin or rinella no matter what, dont have a computer hooked to a tv have dish or something similiar, havent seen either show in such a long time i am forgetting about outdoor tv,,,,,

i just want to sit in my easy chair when time allows and watch the 2 best shows out there,,,,, i mentioned to the wife the other day we should just cancel this dish thing,,,, cant watch fin or meateater,,,,
 

maxx

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Is it dead nope does it need to change yes?

Two different issues being discussed on here.

Online Streaming
Content

Very different discussion. The content is the content. Streaming vs TV is how you consume it. The content of outdoor TV has become waterdown. Every tom dick and harry with a go pro can put something on Youtube, hell it seems like if you have enough Jack you can put it on one of the TV platforms also. I video all my hunts but I am not very good at it. I enjoy the heck out of trying it and I really enjoy going back and watching them. One of my favorites is my daughters first deer. I didn't even get the shot on video but it is something I will cherish the rest of my life.

People have tried to kill radio for years but it is as strong if not stronger than ever. I see TV being the same. I still have a large direct TV bill I pay every month but my family loves watching live sports. Who knows one they figure that out streaming and even more importantly as the internet infrastructure becomes more reliable then I may make the switch. When this starts to happen you are going to see prices rise in that avenue also. It is just going to shift dollars.
 

beginnerhunter

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"Rinella believes that the next step for digital platforms is figuring out a way to create a more efficient system to find trusted sources for content, saying, “[Consumers] won’t want to hunt it down piece by piece by piece.”"

This is true. Sometimes it is laborious trying to cut through the crap on YouTube to find decent channels. I'd like to know more about how the digital hunting platform folks think this could be accomplished.

The only other concern I have is the sheer monopoly YouTube has on user content. Without serious competition YouTube is free to eliminate or censor hunting videos altogether if they desired (did they not just eliminate some how-to gun videos??). Although, at this point there's a lot more freedom on YouTube than outdoor TV...
 

ShootsManyBullets

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Yeah what's the word on Meateater? Haven't seen an episode in forever on Netflix. I enjoy being able to fire up YouTube on my tv and watch good hunting content from time to time. So much more convenient.

Putting too many eggs in the YouTube/Amazon/Netflix basket is a little scary b/c it's so easy for one of them like YouTube to censor our type of content out on a whim.
 

Matty B

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I grew up watching the outdoor channel and sportmans channel but I have not had cable/dish/direct since 2012 since moving to CO from MN. I am one of the "cord-cutters" in my late 20's that has been discussed on many of the podcasts.

Traditional TV content is morphed to what the network needs/wants and must be within their time constraints. This makes both the producers and the viewer adhere to when and what content is put on the network. I kept traditional TV around to watch live sporting events.

Digital content gives the viewer a much more personal experience in which we can relate to and feel like the viewer is part of it. Big Fin, HUSH, BRO and MeatEater all relate to the regular guy much more than anything available on TV. Sponsorships displayed on digital platforms feels more realistic and gives examples and reasons as to why each of you use what you use other than the $$$.

Traditional TV and radio are on their way out. Podcasts and video streaming are replacing traditional radio and TV in large part by making it a more personal experience for the audience. Why would I turn on the TV or radio had hope what I wanted to watch/listen to are playing when I could just hop on a steaming service or open a podcast and watch/listen to exactly what I want and when I want it.

Watch the Fresh Tracks episode of Randy and Corey Jacobson archery hunting in NM in the normal 30min TV structure with commercials and then watch the same hunt in the day by day format on Youtube. I know what structure I am picking every time.
 
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