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Old April 9th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #1
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How much does a TV program cost?

Hi, any info on this question would be appreciated. How is the cost of a program intended for sale to a TV station, worked out? Is the calculation different to being hired by a company to make a corporate video for example? It's not a series (not yet anyway), but one program 22 minutes long intended for a 30-minute slot. I'm wondering if there is an international standard with regard to how TV stations do business with independent companies making programs.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #2
 
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How much does a house cost?
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Old April 9th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #3
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Care to elaborate?
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Old April 9th, 2008, 07:52 PM   #4
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I think he is trying to say that the cost of shooting a program is comparable to the price of a house. It could be a couple thousand dollars, to millions of dollars. and there are lots of variables that determine the value.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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So is it that the entity to which the final video is going, is not relevant to the cost? A bride and groom will pay the same as a TV Station for a video? Although the wedding video will be seen by family and friends and the station is airing their video to many viewers?
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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #6
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whats the crew going to cost for the job. What's the talent going to cost. Sets, writers, makeup, hair, costume, gaffers, electricians...Lets not forget the gear..cameras, lighting audio, the list goes on and on and on. Are you going to buy the gear or rent it, will the crew be employees or independent contractors (big difference, things like insurance, taxes etc...) how about liability insurance not just for the people and stuff but to guarantee completion of the project.
What are the production values going to be. It could be 1999 reality show values or 2008 HD scripted, shoot it again just one more time values if you know what I mean ;-)

Too many variables to really be able to give you an answer.

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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #7
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you think a bride and groom might spend millions of dollars? where are you getting your customers? I am jealous :)
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Old April 9th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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It really depends on your shooting location, talent (if any), crew (how many, type of equipment), post production, and then typically buy-in time on a network. I've seen projects around 25k to 60k on average for a 30min show.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Habib View Post
Hi, any info on this question would be appreciated. How is the cost of a program intended for sale to a TV station, worked out? Is the calculation different to being hired by a company to make a corporate video for example? It's not a series (not yet anyway), but one program 22 minutes long intended for a 30-minute slot. I'm wondering if there is an international standard with regard to how TV stations do business with independent companies making programs.
Helen,

The real answer to this is to understand that the cost of production MUST be related to a quantifiable potential for financial return.

TV is a BUSINESS first and last.

So the proper cost of the program is largely determined by an analysis of the profit that that program can reasonably generate.

This is complicated. It has to do with a lot of intangibles such as the time slot it runs in, the availability of and attractiveness of the audience it will provide to advertisers.

In the end, the production costs should be budgeted at a reasonable percentage of the revenue it's expected to generate. So a local show at a low viewership time will (and should) have a significantly lower budget than a piece of programing that runs in prime time.

The point of television production is to generate revenue. A show that costs X and generates five times X will likely get an ongoing time slot. A show that costs X to generate and returns X plus 2 percent will probably fail. It just doesn't generate enough return for the effort. A show that costs X and generates 10 times X will bump the first show off the schedule.

So the whole point of production budgeting is to look at what the time slot will reasonably be expected to generate in REVENUE, and to determine the most reasonable budget you can build, that can generate audience attractive programming for that time slot.

Make sense?
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Old April 10th, 2008, 02:04 AM   #10
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There's roughly a market price for TV shows... shows are sold at conventions like MIP and there's a rough price range for every niche/type of show.

I think you need to do this research yourself. It really depends on what the broadcasters need (and it might not be obvious), what producers around the world are selling their shows for, the quality of your show or how well it hits a broadcaster's needs, salesmanship, etc. etc.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 07:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Helen Habib View Post
So is it that the entity to which the final video is going, is not relevant to the cost? A bride and groom will pay the same as a TV Station for a video? Although the wedding video will be seen by family and friends and the station is airing their video to many viewers?
No absolutely not. A wedding video or any other type of individual work of that type is market driven as TV show sales are (large market vs small market) BUT a wedding videographer can only exsist by charging within the market bounds (generally speaking) AND in no way can justify to a client nor would a client pay say $10000.00 for a video of their $30000.00 wedding.
A tv show on the other hand can generate millions of views and millions of dollars for the advertisers and therefore for the production company and or tv station (depending on the deal) because they can charge more for the advertsing minute (commericals). In the wedding business it doesn't work that way and while there are some in the wedding video biz that charge upwards of 500 per hour with a 5 hour minimum up to close to 1000 per hour MOST can not (well they can but they won't work often) Why? Because the wedding video market is nowhere at all like the TV market and there fore cannot command thhe same money.
It's kind of like comparing apples and oranges.

Don
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Old April 10th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #12
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Thanks very much for the replies.

(Quote from Bill) "So the proper cost of the program
is largely determined by an analysis of the profit that
that program can reasonably generate."

Okay, so at the very least, the cost of production is the base amount to start with, then add on what the worth of the production would be to the station. Good, thanks.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Helen Habib View Post
... then add on what the worth of the production would be to the station.
You don't determine that, the station does.
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