View Full Version : Where does prize money for game shows and reality shows come from

09-28-2005, 09:58 AM
I've always wondered how these shows come up with so much money to give away. I'm sure a lot of the prizes are donated to the shows, but there is still a lot of money being given away. Anywhere from 20,000 a day on a game show to a million dollors a season for a reality show. While we may enjoy a game show here and there or a reality show here and there I personally would have no problem giving up all the game shows and reality shows to see all this prize money being given to better causes like storm victims. I havent seen price is right in years, but if I remember correctly they give away at least one car a day. Thats 20 cars a month that could be given to people who for one reason or another have no car at all unlike the contestants who probably have a car parked in their garage before going on the game show.

It just seems like this country throws money away for things like game shows and reality shows when there are better uses to put all this money to. The Family Fued is another example. There is a potential to give away 20,000 a show. Where does that money come from? Who backs that show?

09-28-2005, 12:55 PM
The prizes are not donated, they are offered in exchange for advertising. It's not the same thing as simply giving something away. They get more mention on a show than they would by buying a commercial.

As for the money, $20,000 a day or even a Million dollars a season is nothing compared to what they make on the show. Filming a single episode of a sit-com or drama can cost hundreds of thousands, or in some cases millions of dollars. Reality shows are relatively inexpensive to make. There is very little to no high-priced acting talent, no writers, relatively inexpensive production techniques, and so forth.

09-29-2005, 10:38 PM
I agree with techie. Reality shows pay almost nothing for the actors and that is why they can afford the prize money. It comes from selling advertising time.

Ever notice that Bob Barker slips in an advertsiment when he's announcing those cars and washers and dryers? They get them free or close to it just for having it on the show.

Other big-name products like Pepsi, Pringles, etc. pay shows a lot of money to use their products. If you see King of Queens drinking a Pepsi, they actually paid for that to happen, if I remember right, it's called product placement.

09-29-2005, 11:26 PM
Although I cannot say for certain, it would not surprise me at all if in addition to providing a big ticket item such as a car, the advertiser also ends paying quite a bit of money to get their products placed on the show. A single commercial can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars on a prime time network show. A $20,000 car doesn't even come close to paying for all of that advertising.

Doc's Sis
09-30-2005, 07:29 AM
Re the original question, the sponsors of those shows must make big profits if they can afford to give away so much. If they make such big profits, why can't they reduce the cost of those products to the consumers OR give more to helping others as TNC suggests? Of course, if they did that, we'd not have the game shows that we love to watch. I don't care for the reality shows, but do like some of the game shows.

10-01-2005, 12:02 AM
Advertising is a huge, huge business. For example, McDonalds spends over two BILLION dollars on advertising each year. While it is true that is what they spend world wide on all media, a huge amount of that money goes into television advertising in this country. That's just one advertiser. They are probably by no means the largest.

Why do they spend all of that money? Very simple. It's because they know that they will make at least that much back in increased sales. In fact, there are formulas and tables that determine how much of an increase in sales they can expect as a function of advertising dollars spent.

The cost of television advertising time is a function of how many people watch a given program. That's why ratings are so important to show producers and broadcasters. The more people who watch a program, the more money the broadcasters can charge for a 30 second commercial. Just tonight I spoke to someone who directed commercial playback during the Superbowl two years ago. He said that a 30 second spot was selling for 16 Million dollars. Do you think advertisers spend that much money without being pretty sure that they will see a good return on that investment? For the record, the Superbowl that year attracted 144 million viewers.

Does all of that commercial advertising increase the cost of products? Absolutely. The pharmacutical industry spends more in advertising than it does in research. It's also one of the reasons why a gallon of Coke costs more than a gallon of gasoline (or at least it did until the recent increase in oil prices). But the people at Coke know that if they don't advertise they will not sell as much sugar water. It's that simple.

Taken in that context, you can see why giving away tens of thousands of dollars on a game or a reality show is small potatoes.