January 16, 2024

Manage video entertainment to maximize your revenue

Take advantage of available options and make your operation the place to be any day or night of the week.
Group of people watching a game on a TV

Host viewing parties for special pay-per-view games or fights or annual sporting events to make your restaurant the go-to place.

Each new year brings new opportunities, some of which may be hiding in plain sight. One of the best ways to capitalize on these business-building opportunities is to take a little time to think about your customers and what they want. 

Guests come to your restaurant or bar for the food and beverages, but they also come for the camaraderie and the entertainment that going out with family and friends provide. What you offer in the form of video entertainment can influence where they go and how long they’ll stay once they arrive. 

“Having the right mix of video entertainment content can create more loyal customers, let you stand out from the competition, attract new customers, and encourage customers to stay longer, increasing check averages,” says Jim Grandahl, Senior Director for DIRECTV for BUSINESS National Accounts.

You undoubtedly already have one or several TV monitors in your restaurant or bar. Here are some tips on how to manage your options and maximize your revenue.


  • You don’t have to be a sports bar to use sports to drive sales. In 2022, 94 of the top 100 shows on television were sporting events, with 71 of them football games. Even customers who aren’t die-hard fans will watch the Olympics, World Cup Soccer, NCAA March Madness, and other major sporting events. 
  • Live sports encourage patrons to stay until the end of a game or event. There’s enough content to keep customers coming back. There are 343 regular season games, for example, from just your home team in the four major sports leagues—MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL. College sports, golf, tennis, WNBA, UFC, and other events offer a huge range to choose from.
  • Choose the right content for your customers and the time of day. Morning customers, for example, may appreciate seeing news. While bar patrons later in the evening may want to see a UFC match, diners in your restaurant might prefer family entertainment. Take advantage of mid-week lulls in sports programming to air episodes of popular TV shows. Use music channels to set a particular mood or vibe for your operation. And don’t forget international or foreign-language programming.


  • Whether you have a 10-ft. video wall (and not every operation needs one) or a couple of different monitors for your bar and dining area, be sure your provider can accommodate your needs and the number of programs you want to access at one time.
  • Aggregate your content from as few different providers as possible. Nothing’s worse than being asked to change the program and having to find the TV remote, change the input, log into a different service and find the right channel. Find a service that gives you the ability to aggregate practically whatever sports and entertainment packages you want.
  • Make it easy for managers and employees to adjust the volume or select the programming that customers want. DIRECTV For BUSINESS, for example, has “Remote App+” that gives managers and employees control of all their receivers from one device. It lets them identify receivers with custom names, see what’s showing on a particular screen, channel surf using the programming guide and view current and upcoming sports schedules.


  • Let customers know what types of programming you have on your website and with signage, table tents, and other marketing material. Content providers often have a wealth of these materials you can use including services that let you view, download and print the most up-to-date sports schedules. Look for a service that offers helpful hints to grow your business, and even a mobile app that helps customers find restaurants or sports bars that feature particular sporting events. 
  • Train and encourage employees to spot and take advantages of opportunities to engage guests and promote entertainment offerings. Have employees ask guests not only what they’d like to eat and drink, but what they’d like to watch. Guests wearing clothing with team logos give employees an opportunity to make a connection, start a conversation, and customize the guest experience. 
  • Use your programming to create events on slower nights to bring in new customers and generate more loyalty with current customers. For example, feature popular programs like “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” on Mondays, or awards shows like the CMAs or Grammys on Sundays. 
  • Give customers the opportunity to set up NFL or MLB Fantasy Teams and track their player and team stats every Sunday. Host Fantasy Draft events at the beginning of baseball and football seasons so “owners” can draft their teams. Hold trivia contests or drawings during the draft to keep the energy level high. Use materials like a draft board, sheets and stickers that providers make available.
  • Host viewing parties for special pay-per-view games or fights or annual sporting events to make your restaurant the go-to place.
Do it right
The world of digital entertainment has become more complex, with more content providers opting to provide exclusive deals. Don’t risk the hefty penalties of trying to stream unlicensed content. Choose a provider that can offer a wide range of licensed video and music content that will appeal to your customers.