How DOOH Network Barvanna Uses DIRECTV As Its Distribution Channel In Bars, Other Venues

October 26, 2022 by Dave Haynes

There are many, many stories of ad-based digital signage networks starting up in bars and restaurants, but many and perhaps most of those stories have bad endings – because of the high cost of the hardware that needed to go in and the limited ability to manage that tech.

A company called Barvanna is taking a different approach – effectively operating as a free channel on satellite TV receiver boxes. So if a sports bar in the U.S., for example, uses DIRECTV to drive the screens around its seating areas, staff can switch on the Barvanna channel by grabbing the remote and just switching to it. No logins. No software to manage. No dedicated box to tie in to local WiFi.

On the other hand, there’s no localization on ads and no ability for local managers to do things like create and run spots for things like drinks specials. 

Barvanna co-founder Sean Riley comes out of the broadcast business and gets all of that, stressing his service is not intended as an alternative to what a digital signage platform might do for a bar. It’s complementary.

I had a good chat with Riley about his company’s business model and footprint, and his team’s challenge of making some 300,000 DIRECTV business customers aware that there’s a new channel they can switch on to drive conversations in bars, and ideally get patrons to stay for another round or two.

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Sean, thank you for joining me. Can you tell me what Barvanna is all about? 

Sean Riley: Hey, Dave. Thank you for having me. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. Barvanna is an out-of-home entertainment network. So the network itself, the content is a combination of trivia questions, conversation starters, and action sports videos. So we do all short-form content. 

Nothing in the network is more than three to five minutes long, for the most part, and if you are at an out-of-home location and you see Barvanna, what you’re gonna see is what we call glance-digestible content, and by that I mean you can glance up at Barvanna at any time on any screen, and immediately digest what’s happening on the screen. So it could be a trivia question, it could be a conversation starter would you rather, or what would you do if… 

And to break up the text, we also deliver action sports videos in a way that works really well with our customers. We’ve got a lot of really positive feedback thus far.

So what’s the business model? 

Sean Riley: So we are primarily an ad-driven model, right? What that means is that our primary revenue stream, of course, is gonna be in the form of advertising. So we need to find ways to measure the audience that we have in out-of-home, which we can talk about in a few minutes, and deliver a lot of value to advertisers that are interested in reaching these out-of-home consumers.

You know better than I do, Dave, about the out-of-home environment. I have an entertainment background. I spent 25 years in the television business with Fox Sports, with Liberty, Latin America, in the Caribbean, and some time with the Golf Channel, and so my focus is delivering a really top-notch entertainment network that works very well in, out-of-home with or without audio and with respect to the monetization, it’s all about delivering tens of millions of impressions every month and showing advertisers that we can get them results. 

Because you come out of the programming side, by the sounds of it, you understand that you can’t just put something and run ads and just assume people are gonna watch it?

Sean Riley: Yeah, that’s exactly right, and that is, one of our biggest challenges, so our distribution model is a little bit different, right? So you have other out-of-home networks out there that are delivering Android boxes or Apple TV boxes, DirecTV in locations, and delivering networks that way, and that is really easy to measure because you know exactly how many screens you have, you know where they are, and you can do estimates on how many viewers are in each location. 

In our case, because I have a distribution and entertainment background, we’ve taken a different approach and we’re working with distributors. So distributors like Direct TV and other cable and satellite providers, as well as really any distributor that can get us into these homes. I can’t really go door to door or deliver boxes to these out-of-home locations. I just don’t have the resources at the moment, so we feel a better model is to go through distributors, and so that creates some challenges, right? Our DirecTV agreement, for instance, has us in 300,000 locations. So what that means is that any out-of-home location that is a subscriber to DirecTV for business can access Barvanna just like they would ESPN or the Golf Channel or any other network.

And it’s my job to work with our partners like DirecTV to market the channel to let people know that it’s on, it’s available, on their lineup, in their location. Whether it’s a health club and people are working out, or a cart, a service shop, or a bar or a restaurant. That’s the biggest challenge is getting people to know it’s on, turn it on and then step two is measuring that viewership, and then the final step is monetizing that viewership with advertisers, and so we’ve done a lot of tests and we’ve learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work in terms of what viewers like, and we’re getting a tremendous response thus far and we believe that we can, like I said, deliver tens of millions of impressions every month through that distribution. 

So would this be like when I’m late at night reading and I just want some company and I’ll go to Channel 585 on my cable box and it’ll be the Fireplace channel? Is it one of the sorts of higher-level channels or a set of channels that you would just select using a remote and off you go?

Sean Riley: That’s correct. It’s not exactly a fireplace channel, but correct, it is a TV network on the lineup. It’s designed to complement ESPN and the Golf Channel and complement regional sports networks that are commonly seen in out-of-home locations.

It’s not available on the residential lineup of DirecTV, but it is available to every one of their businesses. Every hotel lobby and every car dealership, health club, bar and restaurant, et cetera. So that’s how our model works. Now look, we have the technology, Dave, and we do have a number of customers that take our network directly. We have delivered Android boxes out under the street. There are bars and restaurants that have our network today. We can do more customization with those, but we really believe in the distribution model. You get a lot of benefits from working with a large distributor who can help you market the channel, can give you massive distribution. 

If you think about our competitors, and we don’t even look at them as competitors, I’ll tell you why in a second. If you think about people like Loop or Upshow or Atmosphere, I think the maximum number of screens for any of these guys you probably know better than I do is less than 25,000 or 30,000. Now I think that’s from those that have been publicly announced and when you look at Barvanna, we have 300,000 screens out there. We have 10 times the distribution of our nearest competitors, and so granted, we’ve gotta get people to turn it on, we’ve gotta get people to watch. But even if only 10% of our base, of that 300,000, is using us for a few hours a day, that is 30,000 locations right there, times X number of user viewers in each location, and you can see how the impressions at an ad load of 8-12 minutes an hour can add up really quickly, and so that’s our approach, and thus far it’s we’re very confident that we can generate significant ad revenue and deliver great value for advertisers using this model.

So your challenge is less about technology and raising the capital to deploy boxes in all these locations, you’ve got this big installed base, but you have to drive awareness and then usage based on that awareness, right?

Sean Riley: Yeah, exactly, and that’s a battle for sure. It’s gonna be a challenge, right? 

So what do you tell them, or what do you tell the bar owners and the restaurant owners like, why use this?

Sean Riley: So at the end of the day, what Barvanna does for any location is it allows the location to have an alternative entertainment option. All these locations naturally already have DirecTV in the example we’re talking about and so what happens a lot of times, as Dave, during the day or into the early fringe hours, early evening hours, there aren’t any live games in most cases, especially during the week, and even in the summertime, in particular, there are only one or two interesting games that are on. And so Barvanna gives patrons in the bar another entertainment option. It’s designed to have something interesting all the time. It helps drive engagement. So it’s not exactly a fireplace channel, it’s not exactly a background channel. , it’s designed to drive engagement, to get people talking. Everyone loves trivia and, at the end of the day, because everyone loves trivia, it is family-friendly, it’s fun, and people get it as soon as they see it. 

So once a bar owner or a health club owner turns it on and leaves it on for a little while, they totally get the value because they see people engaging with it. They see people laughing along with some of the, would you rather questions and the engagement that they’re receiving thus far. Based on our tests both in the United States and in the Caribbean, we’re getting really positive results, and so from our perspective, when we go to a bar owner and we send them a direct mail piece and say, Hey, this channel’s available now, check it out. We remind them that it’s just another way to enhance the experience in the out-of-home location and that ultimately there’s been research that shows that drives repeat business, keeps your customers happy, keeps them engaged longer, increases the dwell time, and again, provide another option because Dave, who wants to watch 16 screens of a talk show on ESPN when the guy is muted? 

So look, I mean ESPN is a great channel, don’t get me wrong. ESPN, Golf Channel, regional sports channels, these are fantastic channels that every one of these locations has to have, right? Our theory is you really can’t, in particular, if you’re in a bar or other out-of-home home locations like a health club, it’s really hard to cut the cord. You can’t say, I don’t need these other channels. You need them, and those are great channels, so we’re placing a bet that all these locations will continue to have a package of networks, whether it comes from DirecTV or another cable operator, or even some of the new emerging platforms.

We’re convinced that the package that includes sports channels like ESPN sports channels like Fox Sports One, and sports channels like the Golf Channel, will continue to be delivered in these out-of-home locations, and we just wanna be there right alongside them. Man, we just wanna say, look, this is another cool, fun option for people to have when you’re not showing games or alongside a game, right?

Are the businesses paying for these channels? Is it an upcharge on their DirecTV subscription or does it just come with it? 

Sean Riley: Barvanna is part of the basic package, so everyone who gets a subscription to DirecTV for business receives Barvanna at no additional charge. 

Okay, and how many channels are there?

Sean Riley: We have one main feed at this point of Barvanna and at some point, we’ll be expanding and growing and spinning off various versions of our channels. 

Can you do any kind of localization? 

Sean Riley: Not yet. So when we talk about the challenges, some of the challenges are that we can’t tap into programmatic ad networks yet. Like a lot of out-of-home and a lot the fast channels can do today. So it’s gonna be up to us to get out there and pound the pavement and get advertisers excited about the impressions that we’re delivering. 

We can’t regionalize the feeds yet. So I can’t provide regionalized advertising. But over time, a lot of these savvy distributors are getting really smart with how they’re delivering their content, and it’s only a matter of time before we can do some more regionalization that will allow us to do customization. For instance, if we had a betting company like DraftKings that wanted to advertise on Barvanna, which is a perfect advertiser for us, we would be able to essentially serve ads in regional locations, if that makes sense. 

So all the ads you’re selling are national ad buys?

Sean Riley: Yep. So we’re doing a hundred per cent national ad buys and we have different programming blocks that we think are gonna appeal to advertisers. For instance, on Saturday morning, when you go into a bar or a restaurant to watch the college football games, that day one of Barvanna is showing College football trivia all morning, and so it’s a great opportunity for a bar or restaurant to entertain their guests before the game, and the same thing on Sundays, we’ll do pro football style trivia every Sunday morning. So if you come into a bar and you’re there an hour early, rather than having to watch those muted pregame shows right on some of the networks. And that’s okay. If you do at least one or two screens, we’ll have a Barvanna on and you and your friends will be able to play along with pro trivia in those locations and it just delivers a great amount of value. It’s really fun for the bar and restaurant, and it gets customers engaged and hanging out both before and after the game to play sports trivia along with their friends.

I think you did a deal, going back a little bit, with Radiant, a CMS software company involved in digital signage. That’s a little bit different. Is that a different distribution model? 

Sean Riley: It is, yes. Radiant’s a slightly different distribution model. Dave, with respect to Radiant, it’s a great company. They’re really savvy in terms of getting their software technology out there and we wanted to align with them, with Barvanna, and we look at them as a distributor, right? I don’t know the number of screens that they have today, what I do know is that they’re out there pitching our network in a slightly different manner than DirecTV does, but at the end of the day, it allows their customers to access Barvanna as part of their portal.

So Radiant provides a tremendous amount of really high-quality options, and these are folks that are looking for display-style menu boards and the traditional, I think display networks, and they love the fact that they can offer some entertainment-style content and so we did one of our first deals with them early on, and we’ve been really happy with the success they’ve been having, and in their case, there’s a fee for aligning. If you have Radiant, you pay an additional fee to access Barvanna, and we’ve been pretty successful with that. People really like it, and so that’s where some of our feedback is coming from. Radiant customers have reached out to me directly and said, could you do more of this or less of this? Or we love what you’re doing and so it’s pretty easy to access my information, and so they’ve been getting some good feedback from them.

Are you working with any other CMS software companies, and if you were to work with them, what do they need to do at their end?

Sean Riley: We aren’t yet. Look, as I said, we have our own technology. If there was a location that wanted to access us directly, we can certainly talk to them about doing that.

We haven’t focused on really many partnerships yet with other companies, we’ve spoken to all the companies that you’d imagine with, RockBot and UpShow and Loop and Atmosphere and they’re all doing similar entertainment networks in this vein in terms of what Chive TV does with all their action sports and their user-generated videos and what Loop does with their music videos, and so everyone has their own kind of unique offering and look. I don’t really look at them as competitors, Dave. I really don’t. I don’t look at them as a competitor any more than I look at Fox Sports as a competitor, or ESPN as a competitor or in Canada, TSN or Rogers Sports.

And that, I think, our channel is designed to compliment them, and so if a bar’s got Chive TV, great, that’s fine. They’re still gonna have a DirecTV subscription. They need that for all the great stuff that DirecTV delivers, and so if they’ve got Chive TV on one tv, great, it doesn’t mean that they’re not gonna take another monitor in the bar restaurant and put Barvanna on. So we don’t really see them as competitive. We’re offering a complimentary service that ideally is going to deliver value in any out-of-home location, whether it’s a hotel lobby or a health club or a spa, you get your haircut or get your car fixed or even in a hospital, hospital waiting room.

So in some cases, going back as Bar TV networks have been around for as long as digital signage has been around and digital out-of-home home the venue operators have said, this is nice to have, but this does nothing for me. I need screens that are going to help me push drinks and appetizers and things like the high-margin items. How do you counteract that or address that? 

Sean Riley: Yeah, that’s fair, and I get that and we do hear that, and I think there are solutions out there that are designed to drive food and drink, whether it is your own display network with menu type style, traditional type, advertising, traditional style display networks, I think there’s inexpensive software, that you can get off the shelf, that you can create those types of offerings inside your location, and so you’re right, in some cases, if I had to go out there and say, look, I’d like every bar or restaurant to pay $80 a month or $100 dollars a month for this service, that would be a tough sell if it was just a network. Now I can customize, I can certainly send that location a box, an Android box with our content on it, and I can customize that location and you could get, and I’ll tell you right now, we have gotten over a hundred dollars per location in some instances for customized versions of our channel but if you think about the labour-intensive model that, we think it’s way more effective and just as good for really the location to have Barvanna as the network feed, right? The nationwide network feed, and we’re constantly making tweaks and changes and we’re very cognizant, Dave, about what’s going on in the bar, right?

On Halloween, what are you gonna see on Barvanna? You’re gonna see six hours, from 5:00 PM till midnight and beyond just creepy, Halloweens type stuff. You’re gonna see a little bit of Halloween trivia, but for the most part, we wanna complement what’s happening in these out-of-home locations. On St. Patrick’s Day, the whole channel just completely converts into a green sea of Ireland and trivia about St. Patrick, and we really try to make sure that we’re complimenting what’s going on in those out-of-home locations because that’s the kind of stuff that really adds value.

And on Halloween, we get so much positive feedback from all the creepy, fun, Frankenstein-style videos that we put on Halloween night because it just adds to the ambience. So during the Super Bowl, a great example, I don’t expect bars and restaurants to turn on Barvann on six screens during the Super Bowl. They wanna devote all their screens to the game, and so, during that time, Barvanna will put up something a little bit different. We’ll put up some Super Bowl style trivia or some NFL-style trivia that if they wanna turn on at halftime or before or after the game, that really adds to the ambience, right?

So that’s the kind of thing we try to do. It’s a good question, right? Because this has been tried before. It’s a distributor, bars and restaurants kinda shrug and say, nice to have, but wouldn’t wanna pay extra for it, and so this is why DirecTV said, look, there are companies out there propagating a cut the cord message. They’re saying, you don’t need it, you don’t need DirecTV, you don’t need cable. You can just take our Apple TV box or our Android box, and we have enough “content” on there to satisfy your location, and that’s just not the case, and so what DirecTV is saying is, look, we can do that too. We can deliver these types of networks, and so when they found out what I was doing, we talked to them and they and they decided to do an agreement with us. They don’t like to work with companies that are trying to undercut them, undermine them, and so we look at ourselves as very friendly to cable and really any distributor, we’re very interested in working with them because we think it’s a good business model for us, and we get a lot of value from them just as much as they get value from us. They get to deliver a high-quality network that these out-of-home locations seem to like, and we get the benefit of broad distribution combined with some marketing and the ability to generate some advertising revenue.

So this isn’t a case where you, as an operator, have to decide, this is gonna be my digital signage solution. I can’t use anything else. I’m just gonna go with this. You could in theory have Barvanna, you could have Atmosphere and you could have UpShow running in the same venue at the same time?

Sean Riley: Absolutely, and that’s really how we look at it, and that’s perfectly fine with us because from our perspective, I think the more entertainment options you can give in these out-of-home locations, I think the better off everybody’s gonna be. I think they could let the customers choose what they wanna watch and we would encourage anybody listening, when they go into a bar restaurant, ask them and see if they have DirecTV, and ask them to turn on Barvanna that’s part of our business plan, and see how people respond to it and see how bars and restaurants like it and go from there.

There was a variation on this roughly 10 years ago with a company called RMG Networks that no longer exists at least not in the form it was in back then. They did a deal with DirectTV and at that point, I believe they had software that could do things like reverse-L wraparound bars and squeezers and things like that, and I thought at the time, oh, this is interesting. They’ve got a lot of distribution as you’ve laid out and everything else, but it didn’t really go anywhere. 

Was there any history and understanding of that within DirecTV when you engaged with them? 

Sean Riley: We didn’t actually talk about that in particular. One thing we have talked about is interactivity, right? I think there’s another company that came out several years ago that really went all in on the technology and they had iPads on the tables, and you could interact with them, with trivia and things that are happening on the screen and we decided not to go that road. We just don’t think it’s necessary. We think that’s a huge tech expense. We didn’t feel like when people are in these locations they don’t wanna do anything more than really glance up, play a few trivia questions with their friends, have fun with it and go from there.

We’ll eventually create some complimentary apps and things, but I think that the networks that have tried this in the past and failed, have invested a lot of money, and all the interactive stuff and made all these promises to their investors about all this great cool interactivity we’re gonna do, and we’re going to collect all this information from these users, and we’re going to get them to play along with all of our trivia, and it’s just at the end of the day, when you’re at a bar or a restaurant, when you’re at a health club, you’re on the treadmill, you wanna glance up, be able to have some fun, answer a few trivia questions, maybe goof around with your friends, if you’re at a bar. But the idea that you wanna take your phone out or a tablet out and start interacting, I’m not convinced that is something, even for people in their twenties, in their teens and twenties. I just don’t think it’s something that is as engaging. 

Look, we wanna get people off their phones and engage and entertain and so that’s our model, and so I’m not concerned about looks, as I said, I don’t expect all 300,000 of these locations to turn Barvanna on, Dave. I think I expect a large percentage as we grow and as people learn about it, to understand the value and leave it on for long periods of time, and as I said, if we get 8-20% usage, we’ll be thrilled. We’ll deliver great value for DirecTV, we’re delivering great value for our advertisers and at the end of the day, customers are gonna have fun. 

And do the restaurant operators get a piece of the action or their piece of the action is that they get a free channel? 

Sean Riley: That’s it. It’s just another value add from DirecTV that doesn’t cost them anything additional. They don’t pay for putting it on. Look, there are ads on ESPN, there are ads on the Golf Channel, there are ads on all the channels they deliver, and we want people to look at this as just something that naturally blends in. With the 5 or 10 or 15 other channels that you’ll often put on in your location, and frankly, in some cases it is a better option for, say, a doctor’s office where you have The View on all morning with muted sound, or you have CNN on, even these days, like news channels that become so polarizing that it’s more challenging to put on a news channel these days because people create an opinion of your business based on your news network.

And so DirecTV has said, look, let’s give them another option, let’s give them an out-of-home channel that’s only designed for out-of-home. It’s specifically designed to entertain people when they’re waiting to get a haircut or when they’re about to go into the doctor’s office. It’s fun, it’s entertaining. There’s always something interesting on, it’s family-friendly, and it’s not controversial. It’s designed to be used with no audio, and so all those checks, all those boxes, and when their competitors come out when DirecTV competitors come out and they say, cut the cord, take our out-of-home networks, distributors like DirecTV can now say, look, we have a channel just like that guys. We have a channel just like that, go to this channel on DirecTV, it’s called Barvanna, check it out, and we’re gonna deliver more over time so you don’t need to do that. We have those and all the great sports channels. That’s how we look at it.

I assume that your business partners, investors, I’m not quite sure how you’re funded and backed and so on, but the people who are helping this growth are pretty happy that there’s not a big capital cost involved in this? 

Sean Riley: That’s fair. There’s certainly a fair amount of capital with respect to acquiring sports videos and creating the content and curating the hours of content. There’s certainly a fair amount of that, but you’re right, I feel really confident with our business model that the numbers work. We’re still a pretty small company with less than 10 employees, and we are growing really fast.

There are definitely some costs involved. Technology is also an expense, and because we still have to create a network, we program it full-time, and we still have to have a master control style playout system. In this case, it’s cloud-based. We still have to deliver that to DirecTV. We have fibre costs and all that. Not to mention all the content costs. So there’s a cost basis. I think it’s better than probably most, but at the end of the day, there’s still some cost there that we have to contend with.

And as we grow, we look to maybe start launching additional style networks that might work in the residential space and or other networks or DirecTV maybe we do roll out, we’re looking at a channel called Easy Vibe TV, which is more of an Atmospheric type channel that you’re talking about, where it’s more of scenery and calm beach views and things along those lines that might also work out-of-home. So we intend to pitch those networks to our distributors as well and say if you like Barvanna, why don’t you go with this type of channel as well for your out-of-home customers, because that seems to be working? 

Would that be the same 300,000 seats, so to speak? 

Sean Riley: Potentially, we would hope. That’s what we’d want and look, we talk about DirecTV has 300,000 customers, that’s just step one, Dave. Having worked in the cable industry and the entertainment business for as long as I have, we’re certainly reaching out and we’re talking to at least two other large distributors right now about Barvanna as well.

The idea would be to get Barvanna off the ground, let’s see if we can generate some great value for our advertisers, deliver a really high-quality product for DirecTV, and expand it to other distributors if they like it, let’s talk to them, let’s talk to these locations, let’s talk to our distributors, see what else they might be interested in and try to create products that meet their needs.

What’s in it for the DirecTVs and the other distributors? Like, why do they wanna do this? Is it just another carrot for getting people to sign up or to retain them? 

Sean Riley: It’s for sure a retention model, and there’s cord-cutting going on at the residential level, and when I say cord-cutting, sometimes it just means you’re cancelling your Comcast subscription and you’re signing up for Sling TV or Hulu or YouTube TV. So all you’re going to do is come from one package of channels to a different package of channels. You could argue that’s not necessarily cutting the cord, you’re still getting a great package of channels. But regardless, I think bar owners, and health club owners said, look, I cut the cord at home and now I’m just getting all my stuff from on demand. Could I do that in my business? And in most cases, the answer is no. In most cases, the distributors are still out there providing great packages of channels.

It’s too difficult, David, if you’re trying to run a sports bar, if you’ve got an office building or a hotel or lobby and you’re trying to find stuff on Netflix and on other subscription services, which are great for all of us, we love those services, but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t work for a business. You wanna have a package of channels that you can easily flip through, that when your customers say, I wanna watch the game or they wanna be entertained, you can easily go to networks like that. I believe in the model. I think that’s growing, but at the same time, as I mentioned earlier, there are people out there saying, you don’t need it, you don’t need a cable operator or a satellite provider in your location. Just get rid of that and just take our music video service, and I don’t think there’s much of a threat right now. I think DirecTV is very well positioned. Even, despite the fact that you hear reports about some other subscribers going down, I think every location that wants to entertain their customers when they come into their location is gonna need a package of channels. That’s my theory and my belief and that’s why I think Barvanna is gonna continue to succeed really long term. 

Yeah, and certainly my impression of people who run or work in bars and similar kinds of entertainment environments, is they’ve got five seconds to make a decision and change something on a screen or whatever. They can’t be standing there for 10 minutes going down the rabbit hole of what I should put on. So it’s gotta work quickly. 

Sean Riley: Yeah, it’s a good point. I think DirectTV recognize the value in that, and they’ve said, look channels are coming to come and go. Who knows what happens with the Sunday ticket package in the US and who knows what happens in Canada with some of the Premier League packages? And so you never know, when these things are gonna go, are they gonna come and go? Are other players gonna pick them up? And so I think smart distributors like DirecTV say, let’s put the most entertaining content we can on in the out-of-home space so that if we do have a weakness here and there over time, then we’ll be able to show what we’re really trying to provide unique, different family-friendly options, entertainment options to retain our customers and to provide a ton of value for them. 

Your website says you have about 8,500 sites right now across the Caribbean and the US. How many do you expect to have, let’s say a year from now?

Sean Riley: So we launch DirecTV officially next Monday so that will be the 24th of October, so we’re gonna be in 300,000 locations starting on the 24th of October. We have now close to 12,000 locations in the Caribbean. That deal is also through a distributor. A distributor called, Cable and Wireless, which is owned by Liberty Latin America. I don’t if you’re familiar with those guys in the Caribbean, but there are a number of countries they deliver us to, and, in their case, they have us in almost every hotel room as well.

I went to St. Lucia recently and I went to my hotel room and I was happy to find that Barvanna was on the channel lineup, so me and my friends hanging out having some rum in the Caribbean as we typically do, and, playing along with would you rather… would you rather be Super Man or Batman? We had a big debate about that. It’s really great to see that they’re having success. That was because our first launch was across those countries in the Caribbean. We do a different feed down there. 

Dave, the sports fans in the Caribbean are all about cricket, man. They love cricket and in Canada, they love cricket. They love football, of course, meaning soccer. They love track and field, Olympic-style sports because of all the great sprinters that come out of Jamaica and Barbados and Bahamas. So our sports trivia is a different feed in the Caribbean and we focus on all of those sports. We can’t really show aside from the Dominican Republic, can’t really show baseball trivia in the Caribbean and certain American sports. So we focused on Olympics soccer. Cricket and it’s been very well received, and so we, again, it just goes back to being aware and cognizant of what’s going on in these locations and what our viewers want and doing our best to serve them and to make it as relevant as possible for anybody who’s partying or waiting or dining or having fun with their friends.

All right. This has been great. If people wanna know more about Barvanna, where do they find you online? 

Sean Riley: Yeah. So thanks for taking the time to chat with us. It’s been really fun, Dave. I’m glad we had a chance to talk. So you can go to, and we have contact information on there, but we’re gonna continue to grow and provide new products. So check back from time to time and you’ll see other products that we’re rolling out, and if you have suggestions, if you have videos you wanna send us and put us on Barvanna, we’re certainly happy to put your videos up. We’re certainly happy to take trivia questions and suggestions, and as I said, because we’re a small company, I love having access to the viewers and access to bar owners and access to all of our customers so we can really get that feedback and make the channel as engaging and as relevant as possible, and look, you guys are doing great work at 16:9, I read you guys every day and we really appreciate all you’re doing in this space. You guys are the experts. I’m still learning this space, Dave, so I’ll be probably reaching out to you too, for more advice and feedback, but thanks for having me on, man. I really appreciate it. 

All right thanks again. Have a good one!

  1. Nick says:

    How are you validating audience (plays / screen time) for the advertisers, if you are reliant on the venue turning it to the right channel across all their screens?

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