Wednesday, 29 March 2017

RTE's Dancing With The Stars and Profit Salsa

For the first months of 2017, RTE's Sunday night primetime was dominated with Waltz's, Rumba's and Cha Cha Cha's as RTE One broadcast 'Dancing with the Stars' (DWTS). Franchised from the BBC's original format 'Strictly Come Dancing', the show was a ratings winner and the question that looms large for the state broadcasters commissioning department is 'will there be a second series?'.

Eleven Irish celebrities with limited dancing experience were paired with eleven professional ballroom dancers as week after week one of the dancing couples were voted off by a combination of Judges scores and the voting public. Eventually just three were left in the final aired on March 26th 2017 with former Kerry footballer and member of an Garda Siochana Aidan O'Mahony with his dancing partner Valeria Milova taking home the prized glitterball.

Was it worth the money to produce such a series? Recently the BBC announced that a 51st country had licensed the franchise earning the Corporation 500,000,000 working out at an average of £10 million to licence the show and while RTE as a small market probably paid little or nothing like that cost through their independent production company Shinawil there was still a significant expense.

The series lasted twelve weeks on RTE One and repeated later in the week with +1 and on demand available. The show also spawned a secondary thirty minuted show 'Can't Stop Dancing'on RTE 1. Viewership was in excess of 500,000 every week often as high as 650,000 topping the weekly ratings. But the show was expensive to produce with costs such as

11 Celebrities earning approximately € 250,000 between them
11 Professional Dancers earning approximately €135,000 between them
2 Main Presenters (Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne)
2 Can't Stop Dancing Hosts
3 Judges (Brian Redmond, Lorraine Barry and Julian Benson)
The Hiring of the Ardmore Studios
TV Crew and OB Units
Transport, hotel and accommodation
Dance Studio rental in East Wall

But the show generated a large amount of revenue for RTE. The show had a headline sponsor in Renault Cars and according to believed to be in the region of € 450,000. RTE sales department advertised a 30 second commercial aired during the show at €8,600 on Sunday night primetime with the same time during the repeat costing € 1,800. A 30 second ad during the 30 minute 'extra' show costs the advertiser €4,900 on Friday night primetime just before the 9pm news.

The final had five ad breaks opening with a Renault 'we sponsor' tag followed by a number of RTE programme promos and then over the five breaks 34 adverts. The two hour final show would generate €292,400. The previous weekly shows were just 90 minutes long containing 25 adverts per show. Based on just what is available online the information translates to the following financial position of the show.

34 adverts on the Final @ € 8,600 = 292,400
25 ads x 11 weeks  € 8,600          = 2,365,000
Headline Sponsor                          = 450,000
Repeats x 12 weeks                      = 550,000
Can't Stop Dancing x 12 weeks     = 500,000
TOTAL                                        = € 4,257,000

To be added to this is profits made from the voting text lines provided by Phonovation x 9 weeks @ 60c per vote and a competition sponsored by Aer Lingus and MSG Cruises @ €2.03 per entry.

Season Two??? I would say so