The Biggest Deals in TV History

The Biggest Deals in TV History

There is always competition amongst cable companies for viewers, and with the entrance of streaming services, the competition has become stiffer than ever before. As a result, companies have pumped tons of money to get the best content in the market, which has seen some creators hit jackpots and collect a top dollar for their content.

Like the tv scene, the gambling world is getting more competitive by the day. Leading-edge online casinos like Vulkan Vegas are giving land-based platforms a run for their money. Online platforms offer the same or much better gambling products with more flexibility and convenience for players. To have a fighting chance, the biggest land-based casino companies such as Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and Golden Nugget also started exploring online opportunities. However, without making necessary adjustments to capture audiences as the tv industry is doing, it is easy to be crushed by the competition that’s ready to take up the challenge.

Types of TV Contracts

There are two types of TV agreements that writers and studios or production companies can get into – the overall deal and the first-look deal. An overall deal is an agreement between a creator and a studio to compensate the creator financially for their creative services. Other production companies cannot buy the written material even if the studio does not use it.

On the other hand, a first-look deal is an agreement between a creator and production company or between a studio and a production company. Here, the potential buyer, whether the studio or production company, pays a fee to the creator for the first option to buy before other potential buyers in the industry get to see or purchase the script.

Now that you understand the types of contracts involved in the tv industry, here are some of the biggest deals in tv history that changed the game:

South Park’s $900m Deal with ViacomCBS Inc.

South Park is a cocky, animated sitcom that became an instant success upon its debut in 1997 and has been on the air for the last 24 years. Who knew it would eventually birth one of the biggest tv deals in history? A new contract shy of a billion dollars was recently signed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park and ViacomCBS Inc. The creators will receive $900 million over the next six years, which they will use to make new episodes of South Park and spinoff movies exclusively for Paramount+, a streaming service owned by ViacomCBS Inc.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone also secured a 50% stake in all future online deals on South Park,  with a film based in the world of South Park set to be released by the end of the year. In the arrangement, ViacomCBS Inc is banking on the popularity of South Park to increase the number of subscribers in Paramount+ to record heights.

George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama series based on A Song of Ice and Fire series novels by George R.R. Martin. It premiered on HBO in 2011 and ended in 2019 after 73 epic episodes, and it is still HBO’s most-acclaimed series to date, receiving an outstanding 59 Emmy awards for prime-time series. In the beginning, Game of Thrones’ budget was $6 million per episode and increased to $15 million per episode by the 8th season, with some cast members making up to $1 million per episode.

Given that Game of Thrones was a big hit, HBO signed a 5-year agreement with George R.R. Martin at the beginning of the year, which is believed to be worth mid-eight figures. Martin’s assignment is to make spinoffs with 6 shows based on the same universe as Game of Thrones for HBO.

Friends Reunion

Friends is a sitcom created by Marta Fran Kauffman and David Crane. The television series aired on Thursdays at NBC between 1994 to 2004 lasted for ten seasons and has generated $1.4 billion in revenue to date. The show is back and will air exclusively on HBO Max, a streaming service under Warner Bros. Television, for a reunion special. The new show’s budget is $425 million, with each cast member taking home about $2.5 million.

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy of epic fantasy movies produced by Peter Jackson and adapted from a novel by author J. R. R. Tolkien. In November 2017, Amazon Studios beat Netflix in the run to buy tv rights for The Lord of the Rings at $250 million. Amazon Studios will make a TV series based on The Lord of the Rings novel in collaboration with HarperCollins, the Tolkien Estate, and Trust and New Line Cinema. It will be produced in New Zealand and will cost $465 million just for the first season, making it the most expensive tv deal to date.

Bigger TV Deals to Come in Future

We expect to witness even bigger television deals in the coming years. Entertainment companies are willing to pay big bucks to have wildly popular shows produced in their studios. Consumers on the other side of the coin will certainly have a feast for their eyes and make lifelong memories as they enjoy watching the shows. Who doesn’t have a fond memory of at least one of the epic productions that we’ve discussed here?

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