Viewers Put Money Where Their Mouths Are, Bet Cash On Outcome Of New TV Shows

In a novel approach to media research, TV viewers are being asked to put their money where their mouths are, literally make cash bets on which new TV shows will perform the best in Nielsen's TV ratings. In fact, several thousand people have already begun betting money on whether Fox's new "X Factor" will open big, or whether Ashton Kutcher will succeed as a replacement for Charlie Sheen's on CBS' controversial "Two and a Half Men." Their bets are being made with cash given to them by New York-based media researcher Media Predict, which had been operating a "fantasy" version of the TV predictions Web site that enabled users to bet with virtual dollars.

"Betting gets at the real truth," says Brent Stinski, founder and CEO of Media Predict, which has been a fixture at Mitch Oscar's "Collaborative Alliance" meetings, where Stinski and his team have greeted attendees with offers of winning premiums like iPads if they could guess the right number of jelly beans in a jar. The jelly bean guessing game was a way of demonstrating to ad executives that betting can in fact get close to the truth.



Media Predict, which has been selling research to TV networks based on the outcomes of its fantasy betting system, believes the new "pro league" version in which people bet real money will generate more attention and better results.

The league participants won't actually be betting their own bank accounts. Media Predict is giving the best players who qualify to be in the pro league the cash accounts of $10 to $50 to play with. Stinski said the company plans to issue up to $100,000 in real money accounts to create a panel of thousands of pro league predictors.

Stinski says the service, which launched in April as a private beta, is already generating interest among Media Predicts biggest clients, which he says includes "two of the Big 4 broadcast networks, four cable networks, a major film studio, a major television studio and a major magazine publisher."

2 comments about "Viewers Put Money Where Their Mouths Are, Bet Cash On Outcome Of New TV Shows".
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  1. Jacqui Chew from iFusion Marketing LLC, September 12, 2011 at 8:33 a.m.

    I am not sure if putting real wagers will get at the truth because gambling generally attracts extreme risk takers who could skew the results. If Stinski's methodology accounts for these anomalies, then perhaps it could work.

    Math geniuses: care to comment?

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, September 12, 2011 at 12:32 p.m.

    The Government can shut down skill-based Pokerstars and Ultimate Poker, but this primetime gambling site is legal?

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