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Author Topic: A curious comment from the Dob  (Read 1670 times)

Sonic Whammy

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A curious comment from the Dob
« on: January 22, 2019, 01:02:27 AM »
OK, so I go over to Golden Road to check on a post or two I made there today for the first time in forever, and I come across this interesting item posted a couple hours ago from the time I'm writing this.

As the story goes, someone was asking Roger Dobkowitz on Facebook about the current state of Price and how they can afford to put on special weeks like Big Money Week, Dream Car Week, etc. Roger's response was, in the poster's eyes, a bit refutable:

"As I have mentioned before, I believe the show is no longer making a profit (we were struggling during Bob's final years, having to cut back every year on our production budget to make sure the show was profitable).  I would wager that since Price is sold all around the world in other countries, it is important for the company to keep the main version on the air, even if it is losing money (it would be embarrassing for the original version to be cancelled!).  I believe they are pumping money into the show, feeding gimmicks and rebuilding games and sets, in the belief that these superficial actions will help the show."

I myself am a bit stunned and unsure of what to make of these comments, because I, like the poster, can find a couple things in what Roger said that I think are wrong. I don't think the sudden disappearance of our show if it happened has any effect on how long other countries carry on with it (case in point: our Millionaire outlasting the original British by several years, and their Gladiators outlasting ours likewise). Plus, wouldn't the ratings being up result in more ad revenue and things, which means bigger budget and the show isn't losing money? Or something like that? Why would they persist on doing it this way if it was really hemorraging?

Either Roger is blind to the truth here, or we are. Or maybe we all are. I'm lost, that's all I know.
Brian Sapinski

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BrandonFG

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 01:13:45 AM »
I'm not privy to the details of the show's ratings or finances, but I've seen a few comments on Roger's page, and he seems very resentful towards the show. Having been in that situation, I understand being upset at the way you were fired...it ain't fun. But after a while, you gotta let go and move on. The show appears to do well with the mainstream audience, who doesn't seem to care that it's no longer 1983. Honestly, if the show were doing as poorly as he implies, I think you'd be seeing a lot more Ford Fiestas and a lot fewer Big Money Weeks or Maseratis, and the top prize in Plinko would be $500.

It doesn't help that fans constantly post on his wall encouraging him to vent his frustrations.
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Sonic Whammy

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 07:03:14 AM »
Ok, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't the only one reading into it the same way and subsequently having to face a deluge of "Roger is God, Mike is the devil" type of comments of some type. Even the poster was concerned about sounding "blasphemous" at relaying this conversation.

This whole thing practically did tie in with a post I made on GR yesterday, but I'll come back to that a little later.
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whewfan

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 07:48:20 AM »
Fact of the matter is, if the ratings are enough to keep the show on, then the gimmick weeks will continue. Enough has been said of Drew's hosting... I don't watch so regularly now, but I did watch recently, and Drew is still not very consistent. I also watched an episode from Big Money Week, and honestly, I felt he treated it like it was any other show... there was no big deal about the raised stakes. Still, in the end it doesn't matter, because the show is still on the air. Drew also has the right to leave the show at any point, and honestly I don't think he'll do the show as long as Bob has. If he ever did want to leave, I wonder how hard CBS will fight to keep him on.

cmjb13

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 09:26:12 AM »
Didn't I read that at least Barker and possibly Carey negotiate their salary through CBS, but were/are paid by Fremantle?

If that's the case and Carey is rumored to make an estimated $7-10 million per year, there appears to be your (lack of) profit margin.
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TimK2003

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 10:54:40 AM »
Is TPIR not making as much in revenue as a show?  In some ways, probably yes, seeing how many of the prizes, grocery items, etc... are given generic and/or brief descriptions nowadays. 

If you want your product to be known for more than just, "A 16-ounce bottle of prune juice" or "a fun and exciting foosball table", you must pay the promotional fee the show requires and/or offer to give it to them for free or for under the ARP.   The less they have to spend on a prize budget looking for prizes to fill the hour, the more profit the show and Fremantle can make.

As to CBS "the network" losing money on the show?  That is a bit harder to say.  Does TPIR cost less per episode than an hour of soaps or a talk show or reruns of Hawaii Five-O?  Are they still making decent money on commercial break ad time selling senior citizens insurance and cell phones (I'm leaning to say not as much)?

So Roger is probably right...to a point, but as a previous poster said, how much of it is based on actual facts and how much of it is based on, "OMG This show looks and sounds nothing like a Bob Barker/Johnny Olson episode from 1983"?

BrandonFG

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 11:23:13 AM »
Another thing I thought of: IIRC the show still beats “The View”, which has had its share of ratings issues the last few years. Someone (maybe Roger?) pointed out ratings are down from when Drew first started, which is not completely fair. Daytime TV in general is a shell of its former self, and there’s a lot more options with on-demand and of course DVR. Outside of grandparents, I’m sure a lotta people aren’t sitting down to watch at 11/10 Central.
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tidefan12

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 12:19:32 PM »
In today's marketplace, higher ratings don't always = higher revenue.  The more forward thinking media companies have made up for the shortfall with their digital assets and other holdings.  TPIR doesn't seem to do much in that world.  They also don't seem to have made many efforts in the way of brand extension of which I'm aware......recent editions of board games, mobile apps, interactive games, etc. 

TLEberle

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 12:31:19 PM »
Drew also has the right to leave the show at any point,
Fairly sure that's not how contracts work, in general.

It is possible for two things to be true at once: Roger can still be bitter about his dismissal and refuses to build a bridge to get over it. It can also be true that TPIR is hemorrhaging money through mismanagement or bad practices. (Remember those stretches where nobody would win their pricing game for a whole week? Pepperidge Farm remembers.) The truth is somewhere in that Venn diagram.
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jjman920

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 01:17:28 PM »
(it would be embarrassing for the original version to be cancelled!)
Wish someone told NBC this about Law & Order.

The show is still the most viewed program in daytime and CBS has the most successful daytime block on television. My guess is that they don't mind paying whatever they have to pay to Fremantle to keep the show and block together. My guess is that it also probably doesn't cost that much. Certainly not enough to consider canceling it, or so I think. Who knows? They could be considering it for all I know. I think Roger's reasoning is off, but clearly they find some value in backing these weeks.

I think in the end, what I'm more bitter about is that CBS would rather pay for the largest touch screen in the world and Kevin Hart's Wipeout than bring back Million Dollar Spectaculars, which these specialty weeks basically are in daytime. Especially when a rival network is having a fine time profiting off of Fremantle's other properties in primetime.
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clemon79

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2019, 02:59:39 PM »
Fairly sure that's not how contracts work, in general.

Why is it impossible for someone to have an out clause in their contract? I work under a contract, and yet I can terminate said contract tomorrow, if I want.
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TLEberle

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2019, 03:07:43 PM »
I wasn't thinking of an out-clause, I was thinking that it would put CBS in the lurch to have a show without a host because he up-and-decided that he just didn't want to do it anymore and gave his notice at some point besides the end of a season.
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BrandonFG

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2019, 03:31:10 PM »
They also don't seem to have made many efforts in the way of brand extension of which I'm aware......recent editions of board games, mobile apps, interactive games, etc.
Do they still promote the 1-800 mobile game during the Showcase Showdown? Other than that, I agree that it wouldn't hurt to have a mobile app like the other game shows do.

I wonder how well their viral clips do?
ALEC: On your Instagram, it says you're a millionaire playboy philanthropist? What does that mean?

TONY ROCK: It means I'm lying on Instagram like everyone else!

JasonA1

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2019, 03:36:47 PM »
It is possible for two things to be true at once:

I think that's the thing to remember. Roger's probably speculating, and those of us in this thread know even less than that. But I find it bears noting...

Honestly, if the show were doing as poorly as he implies, I think you'd be seeing a lot more Ford Fiestas and a lot fewer Big Money Weeks or Maseratis, and the top prize in Plinko would be $500.

Simply offering bigger things more often is no indicator of success/budget. Giving away one $100,000 car just means giving away 4-5 fewer "regular" cars somewhere else. Publishers Clearing House sponsored a week of $20,000 bonuses in pricing games, which likely works like Wheel sponsorships - PCH is footing that bill (perhaps up to a certain number of wins).

From the Inverse Situation files: there were multiple times GSN shows offered double stakes (Catch 21, et al) - but it was more often about having the money lying around because there were fewer winners on "regular" shows than it was about wanting to spend some bucks for a promo-worthy week.

And anecdotally, as Travis mentioned, the cars in particular were pretty hard to win for a stretch. Somebody who watches more often in recent seasons could shed more light, I'm sure. The last time I took notice, I was surprised to see so many compacts and hatchbacks, and very few full-size sedans and other cars over $20k. Just for giggles, here was the last aired week of shows' cars:

1/14
Toyota Yaris $19,243 (Win)
Volkswagen Jetta $19,842 (Loss)
Showcase: Kia Soul
Showcase: Fiat 500 Hatchback (W)

1/15
Mitsubishi Mirage $16,432 (W)
Nissan Sentra ~$18,000 (W)
SC: Mini Cooper Hardtop (W)

1/16
Toyota Corolla $20,841 (L)
Ford Fiesta $17,405 (L)
SC: Mazda 3 (W)
SC: Chevy Cruze

1/17
Chevy Trax $22,195 (L)
Nissan Versa $15,595 (L)
SC: Hyundai Accent (W)
SC: Toyota Prius

1/18
Nissan Sentra $19,780 (W)
Hyundai Veloster Hatchback $20,891 (W)
SC: Fiat 500 Pop Hatchback (W)


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TimK2003

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Re: A curious comment from the Dob
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2019, 04:21:19 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most of their medium to larger non-cash  prizes only eat into the budget IF a contestant wins it AND accepts the prize (i.e. pays the taxes on)?

In other words, can unclaimed prizes get returned to their sources, but TPIR gets to keep any and all promotional fees?