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It's his world.. you're just living in it...

Today is

A Different Kind of Numbers Game - July 13

When I heard the news that National Bingo Night was getting a renewal, I was, to say the least, stunned. This is a show that not only was buried on Friday nights, but buried with an under 4 rating. However, it was a HUGE magnet to the ABC website, averaging 3 million hits a week. When you think about it that way, it makes sense from a business standpoint.

Sure, television is about entertaining. But it's also about getting the advertising revenue. With TIVO effectively wiping out the mandatory commercial views between breaks, the networks have to find new original ways to get the advertisers to commit to your show. ingraining said product into the show is a major way to do it. The fact that The Apprentice has a weekly commercial plug has to be a major factor on why we are seeing a new season of the declining series.

As for Bingo, what better way to incorporate the products by making them a part of the game? If you get a bingo, you get a piece of merchandise or a coupon for something at a store. From a producer's standpoint, A $50,000 prize from a sponsor is good enough to cover 1/3rd of the major prize budget. Collect three sponsors and a huge chunk of your show is paid off for you. It's much easier to pitch a show to a network when the network doesn't have to shell out much
cash for it.

A game show is one of the best viable ideas to pitch to a network. Not only is it much cheaper to run, but if you get enough sponsors, it pays for itself, even if the show averages a 3.7 rating. National Bingo Night fits the bill for cheap, original programming, and even if we detest the show, the network will air it if it brings gold to line it's coffers. And the fact that 3 million
sets of eyeballs will be gazing at static ads placed their on the Bingo Website offsets the fact that those are probably the only 3 million people who are watching the show.

As a game show fan, are you likely to enjoy this trend? You probably are. Game shows are the best vehicles for unobtrusive product placement within the show. How many product ads are in The Price is Right? Over 30 per episode, but you wouldn't realize it because you're too busy looking at the products or playing the game. Let's look at Wheel of Fortune for a second. Sure, it's giving out money, but with a Prize Puzzle, Jackpot Round, Mystery Round, Bonus Round and other various wedges on the Wheel, you may as well call it Wheel of

The only drawback is that it would be a shame if a good but mediocre-rated game show was cancelled over a lower rated show with more opportunities to pitch advertising. But when you're in the entertainment business, the only game that matters is the game of money making. And apparently, in ABC's eyes on Friday night, they just secured themselves a Bingo.

You could be yelling Bingo too, if you use these Price is Right strategies...

One Wrong Price - This is a game where common sense rules. Find a price that seems to be out of wack with the other two prices on stage.

Pass The Buck - The products that are there are usually pretty easy to figure out. If you aren't sure, then the buck should usually be passed to the more
expensive item.

Pathfinder - What is the last digit of the car 95% of the time? A 5 or a 0. Before you even get off the middle square, look at the board. If you can find a path where the last decision you will have to make is between a 5 and a 0, that's the path you should probably take.

All I need now is a G-35 in order to complete my GSNN Bingo Card. E-mail him at


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