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Big Brother VIP set to launch in 2021 featuring some of Australia’s biggest celebrities

rj90

Yeah, Nah.
What’s sad is, apart from news and current affairs programs, I can’t think of a single TV show in Australia that is filmed and broadcasted live anymore. Not a one.
Jackie O was saying that there is talk that The Masked Singer might go live this year - that would be great and hopefully show the other networks it can be done.
 

Brekkie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Jackie O was saying that there is talk that The Masked Singer might go live this year - that would be great and hopefully show the other networks it can be done.
I doubt after last years issues it would, and to be honest it is the sort of show that benefits more from being pre-recorded. I think there is more chance of names being leaked if it is done live (though some countries do broadcast it live).

Generally it's the talent shows you expect to have live shows in, and it'll be interesting that should Idol go ahead whether it has any live element at all. Even with Got Talent though although I think even when Seven did it properly with weekly shows the performance show was actually recorded a few days before. And of course we had that with the Big Brother launch shows every year throughout the Nine and Ten era (though I think BB03 may have been live IIRC).
 

beeb-jr

traumactised
The new season of The Voice is moving ahead with live audiences (finale films this weekend), there's no reason Idol won't either (which is definitely happening). There are tried and tested protocols for these talents shows to record with reduced or remote audiences if the need arises. The main challenges with TMS being live is potential border restrictions (it's safe to suggest that out-of-state talent would commute rather than relocate to VIC for the entire production window) and finding talent with open calendars (a pre-recorded block is much easier to book).

BB being pre-recorded was first and foremost cost control. Seven weren't willing to commission based on costs for a live production, which are exponentially larger with a 24/7 format (not sure why this is still being discussed tbh). The editorial advantage of pre-record wasn't a primary consideration, but did appeal to them.

My understanding of VIP, beyond being proof of concept for ongoing CBB, is that it's about maximising mileage on the new house. They've only got one more (civilian) season left on their current contract after the upcoming season, so they need to create rev opportunities to offset the cost of building another house. If VIP has legs, and the S2 continues to track well, it'll be an easy decision to renew the contract.
 

Kingston

Canadian Royality
The new season of The Voice is moving ahead with live audiences (finale films this weekend), there's no reason Idol won't either (which is definitely happening). There are tried and tested protocols for these talents shows to record with reduced or remote audiences if the need arises. The main challenges with TMS being live is potential border restrictions (it's safe to suggest that out-of-state talent would commute rather than relocate to VIC for the entire production window) and finding talent with open calendars (a pre-recorded block is much easier to book).

BB being pre-recorded was first and foremost cost control. Seven weren't willing to commission based on costs for a live production, which are exponentially larger with a 24/7 format (not sure why this is still being discussed tbh). The editorial advantage of pre-record wasn't a primary consideration, but did appeal to them.

My understanding of VIP, beyond being proof of concept for ongoing CBB, is that it's about maximising mileage on the new house. They've only got one more (civilian) season left on their current contract after the upcoming season, so they need to create rev opportunities to offset the cost of building another house. If VIP has legs, and the S2 continues to track well, it'll be an easy decision to renew the contract.
Disagree. Cost may have been a factor but control is easily the biggest benefit to a pre-recorded format.
 

beeb-jr

traumactised
ROI is everything. Seven is a business with shareholders, revenue leads every decision.

The incremental revenue opportunities for BB as a live production are marginal vs pre-record. If Seven can save $3-5m on operating costs against missed partnership opportunities of - at best - $1m, then it's a no-brainer.
 

Kingston

Canadian Royality
ROI is everything. Seven is a business with shareholders, revenue leads every decision.

The incremental revenue opportunities for BB as a live production are marginal vs pre-record. If Seven can save $3-5m on operating costs against missed partnership opportunities of - at best - $1m, then it's a no-brainer.
Where are you getting these figures from?
 

beeb-jr

traumactised
Experience and educated estimates.

In the Nine era, a BB season cost around $20m, and that's with fully established infrastructure. I understand that Seven are working to $15m, including facilities development. Sponsorship revenue is fairly typical - I based my estimate on one additional tier one partner or - more likely - multiple T2/3 additions.

Seven have been able to afford all of these large format franchise agreements in recent years because they're heavily budgeting the production side.
 

Drama

♥️
I think pre-recording might make it more appealing to celebrities who'd be hesitant to participate if it was live? I wonder if celebrity management will give producers a list of subjects that they don't want discussed?
 

Brekkie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Experience and educated estimates.

In the Nine era, a BB season cost around $20m, and that's with fully established infrastructure. I understand that Seven are working to $15m, including facilities development. Sponsorship revenue is fairly typical - I based my estimate on one additional tier one partner or - more likely - multiple T2/3 additions.

Seven have been able to afford all of these large format franchise agreements in recent years because they're heavily budgeting the production side.
Based on that though the Nine seasons were greater value for money with 12-14 weeks of episodes (at 4-5 nights a week) compared to 7 weeks at 3 nights a week for Seven. Nine were getting at least double the airtime (triple for their first two series) for just an extra third of the cost, based on those estimates.
 

Kingston

Canadian Royality
Experience and educated estimates.

In the Nine era, a BB season cost around $20m, and that's with fully established infrastructure. I understand that Seven are working to $15m, including facilities development. Sponsorship revenue is fairly typical - I based my estimate on one additional tier one partner or - more likely - multiple T2/3 additions.

Seven have been able to afford all of these large format franchise agreements in recent years because they're heavily budgeting the production side.
I have a problem with your statement about “established infrastructure”... The extent of infrastructure is the same considering the house at the base level is only four walls and a roof. Nine fully renovated the house after each series and Ten did ever other season with smaller changes between series. Sevens series started with an already constructed shell and simply constructed an interior with some minor additions. If there were additional costs associated with the house they’d be small.
 

Kingston

Canadian Royality
Based on that though the Nine seasons were greater value for money with 12-14 weeks of episodes (at 4-5 nights a week) compared to 7 weeks at 3 nights a week for Seven. Nine were getting at least double the airtime (triple for their first two series) for just an extra third of the cost, based on those estimates.
Adding to that there’s no way sponsors are paying the same fees they would have for a full series.

I’d say if there were cost savings with this series they came in the form of production staff. But then again with advances in technology they’d have similar savings even if the show was produced live.
 

beeb-jr

traumactised
I have a problem with your statement about “established infrastructure”... The extent of infrastructure is the same considering the house at the base level is only four walls and a roof. Nine fully renovated the house after each series and Ten did ever other season with smaller changes between series. Sevens series started with an already constructed shell and simply constructed an interior with some minor additions. If there were additional costs associated with the house they’d be small.
The house itself is only one piece of the puzzle, and I agree with you that it's one of the least significant (although not exactly cheap) factors.

The Dreamworld site had a production office on site, including fully integrated post-production facilities, which accommodated up to 200 employees. That centralised environment was critical to churning out content on a live 24/7 cycle. The average production window was around 13 weeks.

Seven would be running on under 100 employees (I'd hazard a guess of 60-80), including the post-production quota which isn't required on site because of the pre-filmed nature. The production window was <6 weeks for S1 and approx 8 weeks for S2.

You need to keep in mind that the workforce element isn't just the cost of salary. It's the cost of space, equipment and resources to support them in doing their job as well. It all adds up very quickly.

Adding to that there’s no way sponsors are paying the same fees they would have for a full series.
Partnerships are a fickle thing, but yes, they can easily command similar fees despite shorter season lengths - the value is complimented in other activities like social/digital campaigns and live brand integrations. Air time is far from the only metric used to measure value.
 

Kingston

Canadian Royality
The house itself is only one piece of the puzzle, and I agree with you that it's one of the least significant (although not exactly cheap) factors.

The Dreamworld site had a production office on site, including fully integrated post-production facilities, which accommodated up to 200 employees. That centralised environment was critical to churning out content on a live 24/7 cycle. The average production window was around 13 weeks.

Seven would be running on under 100 employees (I'd hazard a guess of 60-80), including the post-production quota which isn't required on site because of the pre-filmed nature. The production window was <6 weeks for S1 and approx 8 weeks for S2.

You need to keep in mind that the workforce element isn't just the cost of salary. It's the cost of space, equipment and resources to support them in doing their job as well. It all adds up very quickly.


Partnerships are a fickle thing, but yes, they can easily command similar fees despite shorter season lengths - the value is complimented in other activities like social/digital campaigns and live brand integrations. Air time is far from the only metric used to measure value.
Considering BBUK’s “production village” for the entire Channel 5 era was made up of a bunch of portable prefab trailers surrounding the house once again blows your “existing infrastructure” argument out of the water. Also the Dreamworld site was set up in an era where having a centralized team was necessary. In 2021 it’s not. Also as far as I’m aware the Channel 9 series never leveraged technology to the extent of what is possible.
 

beeb-jr

traumactised
Considering BBUK’s “production village” for the entire Channel 5 era was made up of a bunch of portable prefab trailers surrounding the house once again blows your “existing infrastructure” argument out of the water. Also the Dreamworld site was set up in an era where having a centralized team was necessary. In 2021 it’s not. Also as far as I’m aware the Channel 9 series never leveraged technology to the extent of what is possible.
Seven era doesn't require Ten/Nine era infrastructure because it's pre-recorded, that's my entire point. Once you go live, you need to scale the entire operation. Even prefab suites need to be bought/hired, installed, fitted out, staffed, et al. Outside of camera operators, footage logging and some post-prod processes, the opportunity to "leverage technology" isn't as prevalent as you might expect.
 

Brekkie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Would be interesting though to see how long the post-production phase is. We don't know how much is edited together whilst they're still filming, or whether the luxury of time means they end up spending at least twice as long putting together each days worth of footage and as often is the case, over produce the whole thing. With reality series especially they can still be editing episodes as the series airs, even if the footage is months old. Therefore a 24-hour turnaround for a live series can actually be something which cuts out unnecessary wastage, and therefore costs.

I suspect to there are far more than 60-80 people involved - even the most basic one off half hour show can have that sort of number involved, never mind a two month reality shoot.
 
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