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Mavs launch viewer incentive program . . . but why stop there?

Dirk Nowitzki has a price on his head, as do those other Mavs pictured above (except that Josh Howard never plays).

The more you watch him/them, the more you might win as part of a new pay-per-view scheme announced Wednesday by Fox Sports Southwest.

Here's the deal. First go to 4Mavs.com and register. Then watch the Mavs on Fox Sports Southwest and wait for each game's "keyword" to be revealed. FSS says that each of these will be worth 5 or 10 points toward monthly and grand prize awards.

Frankly, the first one is kind of crappy. Earn 50 points in December to get 10 percent off Mavs merchandise at D-FW's two Dallas Mavericks Ultimate Fan Shops (in NorthPark Center and the Shops at Willow Bend).

It gets a bit better in January, where 50 points scores you a Mavs cap. February's prize is a special edition All-Star poster for 30 points. And in March, 40 points is worth a special edition Mavs T-shirt.

Accumulate 100 points by Feb. 10th and you get a "player-autographed" All-Star game poster (yeah, but who's signing 'cause I ain't watchin' for no Devean George sig). Nirvana is 175 points for the duration of the "Mavericks Fox Watch" program. That'll get you admission to a "private meet-and-greet reception" with a Mavs player plus a shot at winning a team-signed basketball.

Well, you get what you pay for, but this opens the door to other pay-per-view gambits. Such as:

***Endure any 50 of NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts, correctly count the times co-anchor Mike Snyder says "Woncha?" and win your choice of a free autographed picture of reporter Scott "Night Ranger" Gordon wrapped in yellow police tape or Meredith Land at a Botox clinic.

***Imagine being a member of Scott Sams' official Sams Club. And it's so easy, too. Check out CBS11's early morning news show, and spot the secret word scrawled on his coffee mug during a daily "Zoom Shot." Each word is worth 5 points. And you'll only need 100 to join Scott at a special invitation-only continental breakfast during which one lucky winner will get Eggs Benedict.

***WFAA8's Good Morning Texas wants you as a loyal viewer. And now you can be a winner, too. Watch very closely near the end of each show for the list of guests who have paid the station for their 5-minute segments. Write them down carefully and then solve that day's anagram. The first viewer to email co-host Gary Cogill with the correct answer wins two tickets to a future movie screening he wasn't planning to attend.

***Now's the best time ever to watch Fox4's 10 p.m. newscasts. That's because co-anchor Baron James is sponsoring a special grand prize event that will land one lucky viewer an all-expense paid Tuesday in Las Vegas at the luxurious Penny Slot Hotel and Wading Pool, located a convenient 35 miles from the Strip. To enter your name in the drawing, watch Baron closely for one week and try to count the total number of pinstripes in whatever loud suits he's wearing. Then mail your best guess to Fox4 and stay tuned for three more months to find out if you're the lucky winner.

Or maybe you have some better ideas.