How to start A Hunting TV Show

How to Start a Hunting TV Show
By John p. Stallone
Each year we get tons of questions. “how do i start my own TV show?” Well to get on TV there are 3 common ways: 1) become a prostaff for a major company by winning archery or shooting competitions , competitive calling contests etc. 2) Shoot a top 10 P&Y or B&C animal on film and open doors for sponsorship. 3) or like the rest of us poor slobs, get a camera, film your hunts and chase down sponsorship money to pay for production and airtime.
Making money in hunting entertainment takes a lot of effort but that being said a hard day doing what you love is better than an easy day doing what you hate.

We are going to talk about #3 since it is the most realistic. When I started out in my career, I had a few good trophies under my belt but nothing to shout out from the mountain tops for. I didn’t have TV experience, I didn’t even know how the industry worked. But what I did have was drive and sales experience. Most of us look at some big name guys that their careers are carried by big industry these are your “Realtree” “Mossy oak” guys without taking anything from their achievements this is the fairytale version of having your own hunting show and as you could imagine it is the hardest to obtain. The reality of it all is you need to put a lot of time money and effort into producing a few shows, paying for some air time on your own so you have something to show potential sponsors. Most big name sponsors won’t look at you if you don’t already have a show contract on TV.

So let’s look at this first. You need to speak with one of the hunting networks to figure out what your airtime costs will be, then you have to look at production cost: editing, cameramen, traveling, hunts etc. and lastly you need to figure out how you can have enough money left over for your efforts. A low budget show is looking at $20-40,000 per quarter. I have seen some shows make it on less but they often don’t last long.
Once you have figured out your operating costs you must then “hit the bricks” and start cold calling on potential sponsors. Start with smaller mom and pop type companies, show them how and why going with you will help their businesses. Be creative in your pricing and programs so you will have a solution for every opposition you get. Once you have secured a few pre production sponsors it is time to take the leap and get an airtime contract. Get your show up and running and do things to prove your viewership. For instance drive people to your website and have a place for them to login to capture their emails and names that way you have something to show some of the bigger companies.

So now you are airing on TV, you have trackable viewership, and starting to get a feel for the industry. Get out there and show these big companies that you can help them grow their business. A little secret the tracking viewers thing almost no one dose that, it is my number one closing feature for my sponsorship sales. If you can prove a connected following you’re a far bigger asset to them .

I have two more secrets for you:
1) If you want to take less of a financial risk you can get you show on the web and start gaining sponsors. The Hunting Channel Online, has one of the best programs available for new start up shows, THC makes it possible for you to get paid while building your business, email to find out more about this opportunity
2). Market My hunting Business can help you develop a brand, website and show then bring it to market and handle production and post-production for you.

Check out a video Prostaff Dustin Warncke did on starting a hunting show