How to Set Up TVs in Sports Bar

by Robert Vaux; Updated September 26, 2017

One of the main draws in a sports bar is setting up televisions for customers to watch the big game. People are more apt to come out, have a drink and party with their friends if they know there's a giant flat screen TV with all the action on it. Indeed, when establishing a sports bar, televisions are likely the most important decorative item you need. Setting them up isn't all that different from setting them up in a home. You simply need to have a good idea of your bar's requirements.

Examine the space in your bar: each of the tables, chairs, booths and standing spots. You want TVs to be accessible to as many different spots as possible within your budget.

Determine exactly how many TVs you can afford on your stated budget, factoring in the number of TVs that you can comfortably fit into your space. The good news is that LCD TVs are getting cheaper by the day, making it fairly easy to pick up a large number of them. Don't forget to allot money for sturdy mounting brackets, satellite or cable installation and monthly satellite or cable bills.

Identify the central location in your sports bar--usually the bar itself--and set that aside for the main TV. It should be as large as will fit--40 inches or larger if possible. In some cases, you may wish to have auxiliary TVs placed alongside it, particularly if you intend on showing multiple sporting events at once.

Establish spots in your bar for smaller TVs where customers tucked away in booths can still watch the game. Corners are usually good locations, and you should always place your TVs high up on the wall where they can be seen over standing customers.

Note locations in the bar walls or roof where you can run cables up to the satellite dish. Make sure they can be easily inserted, that they look discreet, and that you don't need to run them across the floor or anywhere where your customers might trip over them.

Call a satellite or cable company to set up a programming package. Ask about sports packages such as NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB Extra Innings: the more programming options you have, the better. DirecTV has a package specifically for bar owners, and other satellite companies may offer similar deals.

Mount each TV in your selected locale using a high-end mounting frame. If possible, secure them to the studs in the wall rather than drywall or similar material; it makes them sturdy.

Call the satellite or cable company and have them install your programming package. Check each TV to see that it's working before the satellite installer leaves.

Monitor the sporting schedule in your local area (as well as national sporting events) and set your TVs to cover as many of them as possible.

Tips

  • If possible, purchase high-definition televisions and order satellite or cable packages that ge HD. You want your TVs looking as good as possible to draw your customers in on game day.

References

  • Starting a Bar
  • "The Upstart Guide to Managing a Bar or Tavern"; Roy Alonzo; 2006
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